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Uhuruto’s scramble for ‘Whiz Kids’

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are involved in a contest for publicity by hosting “super kids” in their respective offices.

Photos and videos of President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto hanging out with the “whiz kids” have become the norm after almost every single function they attend.

Invitations to the talented kids and their parents or guardians to State House often follow and in some cases financial support comes through.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta embraces 8-year-old Marc Smith during the official opening of the National Assembly Lady Spouses Association of Kenya Directorate of National Cohesion and National Values conference in April 2015. PHOTO | NAIROBI NEWS
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta embraces 8-year-old Marc Smith during the official opening of the National Assembly Lady Spouses Association of Kenya Directorate of National Cohesion and National Values conference in April 2015. PHOTO | NAIROBI NEWS

Some have labelled the move a public relations stunt while others have stated that it is the new way of governing and encouraging the younger citizens. But Uhuruto seem unfazed.

Daniel Owira popularly known as ‘Otonglo’ was among the first to be treated to the new government way.

After the Form Two student recited his poem before the head of state during the May 2013 Kenya National Drama Festival gala, he received an educational scholarship and got to hang out with the President at State House.

MESMERIZED

During a similar event in 2014, the President was once again mesmerized by Emily Wanjiru through her poetry presentation.

The six-year-old from Gachororo ECD earned her single mother and grandmother a family house fully furnished and with a year pre-paid rent along with an admission to a new school.

In September, the President invited students of Gitugi High who had launched a media appeal to fundraise for a fellow student who was to undergo a kidney transplant.

Deputy President William Ruto shares a light moment with pupils from Pioneer School when he hosted them for breakfast at his Karen residence.
Deputy President William Ruto shares a light moment with pupils from Pioneer School when he hosted them for breakfast at his Karen residence.

In October same year, the President was once again wowed by yet another wonder kid, Dennis Ngaruiya presented a poem during the Kenya Defence Forces Day in Nakuru.

The 13-year-old got to shake the President’s hand after using his popular statement “ama ni aje ndunguzanguni” in his poem. In between, the head of state made impromptu visits to State House Girls and took selfies with the star-struck students.

Fast forward to early this year when photos of Chavakali High student hanging out with the President were shared by his communication department.

ROSE TO DANCE

In one of the photos a student could be seen getting some tie tying lessons from the head of state.

Pupils from Maxwell Adventist Preparatory School were next to visit the highest office in the land and one of them even got a chance to sit on the President’s chair.

President Uhuru and First Lady Margaret have now launched a School Mentorship Program for bright pupils dubbed Pupils Reward Scheme (PURES) that will see bright kids mentored by the two, pupils in the program were recently sitting in one of the cabinet meetings.

And a fortnight ago, President Kenyatta wowed guests at the Kenya Red Cross Society’s 50th anniversary at KICC, Nairobi when he rose to dance to 8-year-old Marc Smith’s song. He later invited him to State House and gave him a personal tour of the house on the hill.

Mr Ruto seems to have adopted the move as he was recently moved to tears by an 8-year-old girl in Meru and went ahead to embrace and sit with her at the dais.

Weeks later he hosted Pioneer Boys Boarding pupils for breakfast at his Karen home and took them on a tour of his official residence.