Nairobi News


CITY GIRL: Matiang’i, you’re up there with the likes of Michuki

By NJOKI CHEGE December 2nd, 2016 3 min read

I like you, Dr Fred Matiang’i. Mine is not the sudden infatuation that Kenyans suddenly have towards you. I think you are the best decision that President Uhuru Kenyatta has made so far in a very long time.

In a country that was going round the wilderness of corruption and plunder, you are the rain we have all been eagerly waiting for. You, Dr Matiang’i, are that light at the end of this dark tunnel Kenya has been walking through.

I have been watching you for a while now, since the days you harassed us the media into digital migration. I won’t talk much about that.


Let me let you into a little secret; you know, some of my bosses never liked you much back then, but from the recent good reports, I guess they have healed and all is forgiven!

Anyway, Dr Matiang’i, I believe I speak for many when I say that you have done Kenyans proud.

The history of this country will smile at you. Children will read about you — the man who transformed the education sector.

You will go down Kenya’s history as one of the most effective and performing Cabinet secretaries. Up there with the likes of Michuki.


You inherited a scandal-riddled ministry but instead of playing cry-baby and blaming the cartels like your Sports colleague Hassan Wario, you handled it like a real man. A real Abagusii man.

You grabbed the cartels by the cojones and showed them who is boss. You are a rare breed of public servant, you are cut from a different cloth. You, Dr Matiang’i, are a good apple in a sea of bad apples that make up the entire public service.

Instead of sighing pathetically and appearing on television asking us mnataka nifanye nini? You showed us the way. Just like a true leader.

You have pleasantly surprised us. You see, we Kenyans have very low standards when it comes to our expectations of public servants.


We expect them to take office and begin their usual looting orgies. We expect them to cut deals to enrich themselves enough to move from Runda to Kitusuru.

We expect impunity from our public servants because we know they have godfathers (and mothers) who will protect them. But not you. I know many Kenyans will agree with me when I say that you have restored our faith in public servants.

You have proven that if one is truly committed to public service, you will get results, cartels or no cartels. You have proven that the days of cartels in this country are numbered and with the right attitude, we can make Kenya great again. And what an apt place to begin, with the education system.


When the cartels were burning schools all over the country in an attempt to intimidate you, you stood your ground and you used those fires to harden you, like a pot in a furnace and guess what, you emerged victorious.

When things got tough, instead of resigning yourself to the cartels that handed fake and “stupid A’s” to children like candy, you remained firm and put your foot down.

I hope your fellow Cabinet secretaries are watching. I hope you give them a few tips when you have those meetings at State House.

And please, Dr Matiang’i, do share some of your success tips with your boss, Mr President, so that your goodwill and dedication may trickle down to other branches of government.

I will not end this letter without a request. Now that you are running the show, please deal with our higher education system.


Deal with the corruption cartels and institution heads, deal with the tribalism in our higher education systems and please, jail those people who give out fake degrees.

As I finish, I wish you the best as you take on the big fish in the higher education sector who have, for a long time, thought they could get away with the crimes they have been committing against Kenyan students.

Please, keep up the good work. Keep up this spirit of excellence and Kenyan children will forever be thankful.

Mine is to pray for you that Mr Kenyatta keeps you in his administration. And ps … whatever you do, please sir, do not listen to those who are asking you to run for president. You are way too brilliant to be a politician.

Barikiwa sana.