This is Alicen Chelaite.

At the age of 13, she moved to live with the family of the late former President Daniel arap Moi at their Kabarnet home.

Alicen Chelaite

Moi was then a teacher at Kabarnet High School, while his wife, Lena Moi, was also teaching at a local school.

Chelaite helped take care of Moi’s children – Jonathan and Jenifer, as their parents worked.

“My father was a friend to the Moi’s, so that’s how I ended up moving to stay with the Moi family at their home. I used to take care of Jonathan and Jenifer,” Chelaite explained at her home in Ngata, Nakuru.

 

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The former Rongai MP moved to stay with the family in 1954 and 1955, a home where she was welcomed and loved.

Whereas most helps are looked down on by their employers, Chelaite was highly respected and treated equally with the Moi children.

“Lena respected me. We even used to share meals together and whenever she bought her children gifts, I would also receive something. The couple treated me like their daughter. I won Moi’s confidence that he trusted me with his visitors. The house was a hive of activities being the home of a prominent politician in Rift Valley,”

President Moi funded her education by enrolling Chelaite at the Kapropita Girls High School, for her secondary school education.

After completing her secondary education, she enrolled for a secretarial course and secured employment at defunct provincial administration as a secretary.

“Leaving the first family did not disconnect me from Moi and his wife. I would meet the children back home and even Moi would pass via the office. He remembered me and encouraged me to perform my roles diligently,” she said.

In 1978 when Moi became President, Chelaite was nominated as a councillor, in Nakuru town. In 1984, she vied and won as Nakuru Municipality Councillor.

Though she won the election, she said Moi was not confident about her being in a leadership position as he feared her being victimized and intimidated by male leaders who dominated the municipalities in Nakuru.

“He encouraged me to be a servant of people, and through such, I decided to give a try in politics,” she added.

 

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In 1996, Chelaite was elected as the first woman mayor in Nakuru, a position that was male-dominated countrywide. She served for two years.

Having gathered experience in political position, she vied as a Member of Parliament Rongai constituency in 1997, but lost.

Became Nakuru's First Woman Mayor

She vied for the Rongai Constituency MP seat in 2002, and won. She was appointed as the Assistant Minister of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services in 2003 to 2007. After serving this position, she resigned from active politics and joined farming.

“As a mayor and elected MP, I worked very closely with Moi. There are times he would organise meetings at State House where we could meet and share issues affecting the area, and instantly, he would come up with a solution,” she said.

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