Maasai elder, 93, bags fourth award from Kenyan presidents - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 30 November 2019

Maasai elder, 93, bags fourth award from Kenyan presidents

Philip Toikan ole Lemein
When his name was called, Mzee Philip Toikan ole Lemein, 93, could not hold back his tears.
All the four Kenyan presidents since independence have now awarded him for his services.
As he walked towards the podium to receive his award from President Uhuru Kenyatta on November 24, one could not fail to notice that his looks belie his age.
He stood tall, walked fast and then stood before the President in salute.
He was being awarded the Silver Lion Medal (SLM) for ‘distinguished service and exceptional character in the scout movement’. “This award goes to him for his dedication and service since independence,” President Kenyatta said.
Mr Lemein is also a recipient of the Head of State Commendation (HSC) from former President Mwai Kibaki, in 2012, for his service in the District Peace Committee.
He was also honoured with Long Service Decoration by President Daniel Moi for his “faithful and efficient services to the scout movement”.
Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the founding father of the nation, feted him in 1968.
However, these are not the only accolades Mr Lemein has received in his life. Former Nairobi Mayor Dick Wathika recognised him in 2006.
The nonagenarian’s name also features prominently in history books, having served in the independence Senate and attended the Lancaster House conference in 1963.
“I had joined active politics in June the previous year when former President Daniel arap Moi and Hon Justus ole Tipis approached me to form a new political party, Kadu,” he said.
He became the first Narok district treasurer for the party and even hosted President Moi at his home to popularise the new party.
On returning from Lancaster, Mr Lemein was elected as the first senator for Narok district from 1963 to 1966 before the Senate was abolished and merged with the House of Representatives.
He then served as the first Member of Parliament for the newly-created Narok South constituency between 1966 and 1969.
However, he went back to teaching primary school children in Narok since he already had the Kenya African Primary School qualifications and had been trained at the Kapsabet Teachers Training College in 1942, where he was former President Moi’s college mate.
“Our studies were cut short by the Second World War, and after peace was restored I enrolled at the Kahuhia Teachers College in Murang’a and finished in 1948, attaining a P4 certificate,” he said.
He was then recruited to the Scout movement by his European teacher, a Mr Hooper, who was the scout commissioner. He still serves the movement to date.
Mr Peter ole Saruni, a Narok resident, said the former senator was among leaders who spearheaded the acquisition of the 40 hectares on which Ole Tipis Girls Secondary School stands.
Currently, the father of six is a preacher at the Elder at Light Christian Fellowship in Narok.

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