Deputy President William Ruto on Thursday recounted his reaction to Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta’s death, saying when the news broke in 1978 he thought it was the end of the world.
Speaking at the 17th annual National Prayer Breakfast in Nairobi, Ruto, in a narration to paint a picture of his rise from rags to riches, said he was grazing his father’s cattle when the news on Mzee Kenyatta’s death was announced.
“We were on school holiday and I was looking after my father’s cows,” said Ruto. “And at around 3pm we were told President Jomo Kenyatta has passed on. I remember we hurriedly took the cows home. We ran, literally, because in my mind I thought it was the end of the world.”
The DP also went ahead to narrate his first experience wearing shoes, saying that opportunity came as he was preparing to join secondary school.
“My father bought me my first shoe in 1981 from a ‘Mr. Onyango’ on the streets for Ksh.60,” he said.
“Today, the gentleman who did not have shoes is sitting at the high table with the son of the founding father.”
The deputy president said his humble beginnings is what brought his closer to God and the reason why he often makes huge donations to churches.
“When you see some of us go to church, and pray, and lift up our hands, sometimes shed tears, make this or that contribution, it is because we cannot forget where God has brought us from.
“Some of us have more to thank God for than some of you,” he told the gathering, adding: “I beg you to understand, because sometimes you judge us harshly.”
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