Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Okeng’o Matiang’i’s efficiency, tenacity, and leadership and Kenya is growing by leaps and bounds. This Simeon Nyachae underling is coming to his own as one of the most efficient and effective performer of his master, Uhuru Kenyatta. God knows son of Jomo needs men of integrity like Matiang’i!
Out of his humble Kisii roots, Fred is no traiblazer. He is the receiver of the baton of efficiency on the third or fourth wrung in a 4 X 400 hundred meter relay featuring his Godfather, Mzee Nyachae, Dr Zachary Onyonka, and his immediate and highly effective boss at ICT, Dr. Bitange Ndemo.
The one and only time I met Dr. Fred Matiang’i was in February, 2000.
He was in the company of Mr and Mrs Simeon Nyachae when I picked them up at Logan Airport in Boston, and drove them to a function at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I engaged both mzee and mama Nyachae but one thing that struck me out that day during the Harvard trip and at a six man lunch is that Dr Matiang’i never opened his mouth to opine on anything we were engaged in.
At our dinner table was Harvard University Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Dr. RobertLevin who, with his wife, have studied and written about the Gusii people with the help of the Nyandusi family since the 1950s. Simeon Nyachae himself is a rare man of oratorical brilliance and conversational ability if you ever get the chance to engage with him man to man.
As for Dr. Matiang’i on that day, it was either a case of still waters running deep or I was in full stare of the very exemplification of a court poet waiting for the master to prod him for attention, but which such attention never came! Fred wore the face of a poker player and the mask of the Makonde of Malawi. The man was deadly mute.
However, Fred, like his mentor and benefactor, Simeon Nyachae, has to be his best man in a system that cares more about surnames than performance. Basically, in the tribalized nature of
siasa Kenyaleo, the best
daktari can ever be is Governor of Nyamira County, something he must surely think about considering the joke of leadership we have in Nyamira County right now. A combination of Dr. Matiang’i and Dr. Matunda Nyanchama will put not only Nyamira, but pana-Gusii on the global map. With such icons in charge, many of us will knock the door to serve.
Strike while the iron is hot, sir. I never liked your ilk but you have proven me wrong. Our people need you. Don’t fail us. They say chance always favours the best prepared. Thou art the man of chance, of the hour, of destiny, Fred. The baton is yours, bro. Drop it not,
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