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Fare thee well Baba Moi (Father Moi)

Reflections on the death of Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, Kenya's second president (served from 1978 to 2002)

You made my school life enjoyable. We had maziwa ya nyayo (milk) three times a week in primary school. It was a wonderful welcome for those of us who carried boiled pumpkins for lunch every day. We loved the trips to the Statehouse and song preparations for national holidays even though I personally never qualified to sing. But, I loved listening to my friends sing and the excitement in school during these times. I also remember a huge Jomo Kenyatta lorry (truck) that brought in new textbooks every school term and made us all so happy! I was among the students chosen to collect the old tattered books and bring in the new ones. I can still remember the smell of all the fresh, new books.

In high school, Nyayo (Moi’s nickname, meaning "footsteps") buses were introduced for students. And did we pay 5 shillings? Or was it one? I do not remember the amount but I do remember the relief, comfort, and peace I experienced traveling on the buses.

Those buses meant so much to me, my sister and other girls my age. We had problems getting a bus or matatu (minibus taxi) that did not harass us, think we were too big and or too shy. The matatu tout (fare collector) would say anything--inappropriate, often body-shaming words--so, going to and from school was very stressful. The Moi/Nyayo buses changed our lives. He was truly a friend of children. Ulipenda Watoto Baba Moi-- May your Soul Rest In Peace.


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