Nine ‘odd’ things to know about Uhuru on his 54th birthday
We all know that Uhuru Kenyatta is the fourth President of Kenya. But as he celebrates his 54th on Monday, here are some nine things you probably didn’t know about him.
1. Born on October 26, 1961 , he was given the name Uhuru which means ‘Freedom’ in English by his father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, in anticipation of Kenyas’ upcoming independence.
2. He was conceived in a detentiuon camp in Maralal, Samburu where Mama Ngina was allowed to visit. He was, however, born in Gatundu. His father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died when Uhuru was in Form Four.
3. Together with his classmates, Uhuru was once beaten when in Class 6 by the Class 7 pupils. His classmates exerted pressure on him to report the matter to his father –then president of Kenya. But when he called using a ‘reverse call’, his father bluntly told him, “you must fight your battles”. He then hung up but a crafty Uhuru lied to his classmates that “help is on the way”. Word spread around which scared the aggressors into retreating.
4. He attended St. Marys’ School where his best subject was History. He even received an award from his predecessor, retired president Mwai Kibaki, for performing exceptionally well in the subject.
5. After clearing his higher education at Amherst College in the US, he returned home and secured a job with the Kenya Commercial Bank, Kipande House branch, along Kenyatta Avenue as a teller.
6. He started a vegetable selling company called Wilham Company Limited that would fetch them from as far as Meru. He sold off the company after 10 years “for a fortune”.
7. He has been married to Margaret Wanjiru Gakuo Kenyatta since 1989. The couple has three children Jaba Kenyatta, Jomo Kenyatta, Ngina Kenyatta
8. Uhuru joined politics in 1994 and was mentored by the then Cabinet Minister Kenneth Matiba. He vyied for the Gatundu South Parliamentary seat once held by his father and lost to Moses Mwihia. He later got nominated into parliament by KANU and subsequently appointed to the cabinet as Minister for Local Government. Following this, he was elected as one of the four national vice-chairmen of KANU in the same year. He was a presidential candidate in 2002 but got white washed by Mr Kibaki of Narc.
9. In 2007, he made history as the first leader of official opposition to support the incumbent president for reelection. Uhuru sat out the election and threw his weight behind Mr Kibaki who was reelected in the highly disputed election. He won the seat in 2013 with William Ruto as his deputy.