President-elect Ruto’s letter from high school days expressed Christian faith, commitment to hard work

  • The letter written by the young William Ruto in 1984 as he cleared his O-levels paints a picture of a focused young man who was keen on leadership, academic excellence and observing a strong Christian faith.
  • Ruto joined Wareng Secondary School in 1981.

President-elect William Ruto's determination to succeed in life goes back to his high school days, a letter unearthed by Citizen TV reveals. 

The letter written by the young William Ruto in 1984 as he cleared his O-levels paints a picture of a focused young man who was keen on leadership, academic excellence and observing a strong Christian faith.

In early 1981, William Ruto received a letter informing him that he had secured a place at Wareng Secondary School for his O levels studies.

Peter Waweru was a teacher at the school when Ruto joined: “I was transferred immediately after taking William Ruto as Form One, when I came to see whether they had reported, I saw a small boy with very bright eyes, that picture has never left my eyes.”

A young Ruto joined the school in 1981 and it would be his home for four years, enjoying his studies there, by his own admission in an essay he wrote as he exited the school for his A-levels at  Kapsabet High School.

“He was a dreamer, dreaming big, we found a letter he had written as he left the school it has not address, we do not know who he had addressed it to,” Mr. Waweru said.

The letter that reads like his biography at that time. The president-elect outlines his family history, including his date and place of birth, and the size of his family. 

He says in the essay "In my family, there is a father, two wives, nine brothers and seven sisters and a grandmother, hence a family of 20 bodies."

The essay also details the president elect's triumphs and struggles in high school. He writes, " In school, I enjoyed literature as a favourite subject, others are English, CRE, Maths and Geography. Despite other subjects like Maths and Chemistry being hard, I have liked them so much."

He liked literature so much, that he harboured ambitions of being a writer himself. he says in the same essay ''Literature has been my best subject and with the help of God, I hope to write at least a book in future.''

Those ambitions seem to have changed, from author to an astute politician, now at the top of his game and days away from assuming the country's leadership mantle.

But the bedrock of his accomplishments remains, as he stated in 1984 when he wrote "I know that success is the result of hard work."

That work ethos is evident even during his time in Wareng, his academic records proof that he took his own advice seriously, always securing a top ten position during his time at the school.

“He was a very brilliant student, he was the top of his class, he was index 3, from the records we can tell that,” Mr. Waweru said.

Beyond academics, the president-elect also details how his leadership skills and strong Christian values were shaped and sharpened at this institution. 

“I have been able to meet several obstacles, but because of my Christian stand, I have been managed to conquer all, as the hostel captain I have found problems here and there, since where food is concerned, there is always a lot of problems, but because of my bravery and christian stand, I have managed to go through,” he writes. 

“His leadership skills were nurtured here, he was chairman of the Christian Union (CU), he was chairman of CU, he was a captain of the hostel, the dorm captain, he was a good player of volleyball. He was a student of very strong ill, he was a dreamer, dreaming big,” Mr. Waweru said.

A lot has changed at the school since the president-elect left in the early eighties. For instance, one dormitory christened Siberia, due to the cold that permeated its thin wooden walls, no longer serves as sleeping quarters for students. 

The infrastructure changes are funded partly by the country's president-elect.

“We are seated next to a building which he supported to be constructed and we are very very happy of the support that he has given us  and we believe and trust that he has us  in his mind,” the school’s current principal, Julius Kamatei, says.

Wareng now sits poised to join the ranks of educational institutions that have shaped the country's leadership when William Ruto becomes the fifth president after the power is handed over on Tuesday.

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Citizen TV William Ruto Citizen Digital Wareng Secondary School

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