Editor’s note: KFCB boss Ezekiel Mutua pours his heart out in a moving tribute to departed president Daniel Moi. Mutua recalls how his path crossed Moi’s and his life changed for good.

Go well Mzee. At an early age our paths crossed by divine arrangement. You made me self confident and gave me that feeling of “I am special. I have made it in life. I am cut for greatness. ..”


Knowing you those days and the sheer anticipation of just speaking in your presence or visiting State House changed my view of life and made me despise my poor and difficult upbringing.

My life would probably have taken a different trajectory had I not met you. That a poor boy from Mwala could call State House from a telephone booth and request to speak to you, and get you on the other side with your booming voice “Gijana igo nini?” That felt heavenly.

I recall with pride the morning of December 24, 2002 when you created time for just the two of us to have breakfast, to pray together.

You spoke greatness to my life and told me to love my country. I still remember the distinct honour of seeing you stir tea for me with the words “Ezekial, have more tea. . .” Then after you received my guests and gave them some lunch you went into your pockets and removed some notes and gave me something saying, “na hii ni yago..

It was in total 300K mzee. What a miracle on the eve of Christmas. I left State House straight to my village and that evening I sat with villagers in my village and bought shared Christmas gifts with them.

I would never meet you again until last year when I came to condole with you at Kabarak following the death of your son, but your inspiration has kept me going for years.

My story is the story of thousands of strangers whose lives changed because they had the rare chance of meeting with you.

Thank you for inspiring hope in us as you did to many others in Kenya and across the globe. . . .
May your soul rest in eternal peace!

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