France Rewards Chris Mburu for Converting Kenyan Village to Speak French

Chris Mburu who founded a French Library in Mitahato Village
Chris Mburu who founded a French Library in Mitahato Village
Chris Mburu

The Government of France has honoured Chris Mburu with a Chevalier Medal for Exceptional Promotion of the French Language in Kenya for his efforts in spreading the language.

At an event held in Mitahato Village on Sunday, French Ambassador to Kenya Arnaud Suquet vowed to continue supporting Mburu's efforts after his library in the village received immense interest from locals.

Declaring Mitahato a Francophone village, the ambassador further promised that his government would continue working with Mburu, a former United Nations employee, in advancing his cause.

"I think what Chris Mburu has been doing here is to give back to his community. He came from humble beginnings and he grew professionally to be a UN representative in Congo Brazzaville which is one of the most senior diplomatic jobs," stated the Ambassador. 

Students learning French at Francophone Network of Kenya
Students learning French at Francophone Network of Kenya.
Francophone Network of Kenya.

"We have more than 500 teachers across the country."

The French Embassy, in a separate statement, also promised to work alongside Mburu, especially during the francophone month, celebrated every March.

"Congratulations Chris Mburu on your achievements. Mitahato is indeed a Francophone village and we will continue to partner to bring the French language even closer to the people. We look forward to an engaging Francophonie Month next year. Felicitation!" read the statement in part.

Mburu, the recipient of the award, told the press that the community was already reaping fruits after the initiative continued to attract tourists across the globe.

"Kenya is already a very renowned tourist destination. This will create more awareness among people who are coming to visit Kenya. We have been receiving a lot of people from France.

"The Ministry of Education should ensure that French is really intensified in secondary school and make it possible for children to choose to do French," he stated.

Mburu founded the Francophone Network of Kenya and converted his house into a French Library and saw over 2,000 children enrol for free lessons by 2020.

In an earlier interview, he disclosed that he learnt French while working with the UN which opened opportunities for him.

 French Ambassador to Kenya Arnaud Suquet
French Ambassador to Kenya Arnaud Suquet.
French Embassy