Mwai Kibaki’s Sister Esther Waitherero Dies At Age 115

Mwai Kibaki's Sister Esther Waitherero Dies At Age 115
Mwai Kibaki’s Sister Esther Waitherero Dies At Age 115

The late president Mwai Kibaki’s only surviving sibling, Esther Waitherero, has died. Reports indicated Waitherero, aged 115 years, passed on at her home in Gatuyaini, Nyeri county.

Her son, Francis Githinji, confirmed the death as he asked the country to stand with the family in prayer during the tough times.

Esther Waitherero was 10 years Kibaki’s senior and during a previous interview with The Standard, she revealed that she was given the task of taking care of Kibaki and their other brother, Bernard Nderitu, while the two were still young.

“I still remember the day he was born (November 15, 1931). It was early in the morning before the sun rose. Our mother had woken up early to milk the cows but she could not finish. She went into labour and the boy was born.

“Our mother would go to the shamba and leave me to take care of the two boys. One was slightly older than the other and they were troublesome,” she narrated.

“My work was to roast mitahato (bananas) and feed them. I would chew the bananas until they were soft then feed them.”

During the interview, she recalled the sole day when Kibaki’s life was completely changed after he was enlisted to start schooling.

Their father, Kibaki Githinji, had to be convinced by village elders to release one of his sons to attend school in 1939 and he thought there was more value for his sons in looking after cattle and goats.

“My mother wept and we all wept. We did not want him to go away from home and Mwai was liked by everybody. My mother even said he was too small to walk the distance to school, but our father’s word was final,” Waitherero narrated.

Waitherero recalled how their mother visited the only tailor then at Othaya market and bought the little Kibaki one pair of khaki shorts and a shirt for not more than 50 cents for both.

The school fees also cost the family another fifty cents and he was enrolled to Gatuyaini Primary School, which would see him study through Sub ‘A’ and Sub ‘B’, the preliminary classes.

According to Waitherero, the late president would then join Karima School for his primary school education and would walk to school, a couple of hundred metres from their home.




Mwai Kibaki’s Sister Esther Waitherero Dies At Age 115

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