Page 1

It’s titanic battle in Kiambu as giants face off Page 2&3

Why Kiambu 1 vet is promoting chess in primary schools Back page

Kenya School of Flying sours higher with Sh13m state-of-the-art simulator Page 10

Advertiser Smart marketing Issue No. 001 March 1, 2013

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Why Koinange widow wants K-Street renamed Mama Elizabeth ‘Nyakanini’ Gathoni, the 112-year-old widow of Ex-Senior Chief Koinange wa Mbiyu is unhappy with the immoral activities that go on almost every night along the infamous Koinange Street in the heart of Nairobi. Page 6-7

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News Analysis

News Analysis

Februray 2013

It’s titanic battle in Kiambu as Governor: Tight race as Nyoro and Kabogo clash

giants fight for Governor and Senate Jubilee Coalition’s Presidential candidate waves at supporters after being cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, on January 30, 2013. PHOTO: KANIARU NDIRANGU

Mr James Nyoro

By STEPHEN MBURU and WILLIAM MUSOLI As the Jubilee Coalition, whose presidential candidate is Uhuru Kenyatta, enjoys unrivalled support in Kiambu County, the race for the gubernatorial (simply governor’s) seat has been a bruising battle between two proUhuru giants, one an agricultural expert-cum seasoned business management expert, the other a battle-hardened politician. Though the seat has attracted several public figures, including retired Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Moderator Rev Dr David Githii, and Mr Gakuru Karanya, an engineer, the battle is shaping out to be a two-horse race between Mr James Nyoro, a renowned international manager, and the aggressive former Juja MP William Kabogo. Signs the two would engage in fierce contest emerged during the chaotic primaries of The National Alliance (TNA) at the Kiambu County Hall last November, when Mr Nyoro decamped citing irregularities. Mr Kabogo easily captured the TNA ticket as Mr Nyoro got a direct ticket of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), which is part of the Jubilee Coalition. Mr Kabogo later easily beat Mr Mwaura wa Ngarari in the nominations. Mr Kabogo has since taken Mr Nyoro to court accusing him of campaigning under the Jubilee Coalition’s banner.

Close to Mr Kenyatta

Both Mr Nyoro and Mr Kabogo are not only close to Mr Kenyatta, but also enjoy sizable following in the populous county, which has around 860,000 registered voters. Mr Nyoro’s strong points include the fact that he is not only a renowned technocrat and administrator untainted by the murky political world, but also was involved in drawing up strategic plans by both President Kibaki and Mr Kenyatta’s Jubilee Coalition. Besides, he has the support of both the elite and the ordinary people. In fact, though

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Mr William Kabogo

Senate: “David” Wamatangi takes on “Goliath” Githunguri


he race for the Senate seat involves two seasoned politicians and relative newcomers in elective politics. The battle brings together mainly the abrasive former Limuru MP George Nyanja, former Kiambaa MP, business magnate Stanley Githunguri alias Stano, Terry Kairu, youthful Paul Kimani alias Wamatangi, and Nginyo Kariuki, who gave up his National Alliance Party of Kenya so it could be transformed into the TNA. However, focus will mainly be on Wamatangi and Stano.

The man to beat

Mr Gakuru Karanya

Rev. Dr. David Githii

new in elective politics, Mr Nyoro’s support base seems to have even surprised him as it has spread across one of the top counties in the country. Mr Kabogo, is not a push-over, though, when it comes to navigating the political terrain. In fact, many thought he would go for the senate seat, which is seen as a more political position as opposed to the governor’s position, said to be fit for a corporate manager. In an article published in the Business Daily, Ms Betty Maina, the CEO of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, argues: “It will be prudent to remember the importance of the bottom line and elect people into power whom you are confident will represent your interests.”

Governor’s job

Another management expert, Ms Carol Munywoki, the Executive MBA programme coordinator at Inoorero University in Nairobi, also argues in the same paper that a governor’s job, especially in a developing country like Kenya, should not be taken lightly. “We cannot afford to elect a person because he is merely likeable, neither can we settle on an unqualified candidate,” she says and advises the people to elect credible, trustworthy candidates who have

“clear and transparent business growth objectives. “The people we elect as our governors must be well-educated in terms of finances, especially when it comes to preparing budgets and managing them.” Another management expert, Ms Carol Munywoki, the Executive MBA programme coordinator at Inoorero University in Nairobi, also argues in the same paper that a governor’s job, especially in a developing country like Kenya, should not be taken lightly. “We cannot afford to elect a person because he is merely likeable, neither can we settle on an unqualified candidate,” she says and advises the people to elect credible, trustworthy, candidates who have “clear and transparent business growth objectives.” “The people we elect as our governors must be well-educated in terms of finances, especially when it comes to preparing budgets and managing them.”

The people we elect as our governors must be well-educated in terms of finances, especially when it comes to preparing budgets and managing them,” - Ms Carol Munywoki


ICC cases: Muite defends Uhuru

Though relatively new in competitive politics, Wamatangi is widely believed to be the man to beat. For one, he has the advantage of being in the “right” party, The National Alliance, which is the home party of the Jubilee Coalition’s presidential candidate, Uhuru Kenyatta. He also has no political baggage, unlike Mr Nyanja and Mr Githunguri, who will be judged mainly by their past performance. However, Mr Githunguri and Mr Nyanja have political experience, which they have been touting to market themselves. When it comes to assertiveness, few people would beat Mr Nyanja to the game. Indeed, in the early 1990s during the dictatorial Kanu era, Mr Nyanja

Mr Stanley Githunguri “Stano” used to be so abrasive against the authoritarian Moi regime that he earned the nickname Gen Kaiyaba. The feat saw him easily win the Limuru seat when the country opened up for multiparty politics.


However, the people of Limuru might have had misgivings about his leadership as they had to remove him in 2007. Mr Nyanja has an uphill task trying to persuade the people of Kiambu that he is their best choice when a smaller constituency, Limuru, had rejected him for their leader. Wamatangi seems to have an apparent smooth road to the Senate. Since 2007, when he made his bid in elective politics by joining the race for the Kikuyu parliamentary seat, Mr Kimani


Safina presidential candidate Paul Muite (pictured) has won the admiration of many people in Kiambu County and central Kenya in general after he boldly questioned decion by the International Criminal Court to go for the Jubilee Coalition’s presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto and “not” the two principals. During Kenya’s first-ever presidential debate beamed live on the country’s major television and radio stations on February 11, Mr Muite said he believed President Mwai Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga, the presidential candidate for the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), “knew something” about the post-election violence of the 2007/8, as both were both presidential candidates in 2007, He asked why the ICC would “skip” the President and the PM, arguing the two principals should have allegedly carried the greatest responsibility for the bloody clashes that left about 1,300 people dead.

Mr Paul Kimani “Wamatangi” had been building his name among the people of Kikuyu in preparation to remove the outgoing MP Lewis Nguyai.

“Water tank man”

Mr Kimani won the hearts of many people, especially women, through his noble idea of helping them buy water tanks at discounted prices. In fact, it was through this project that he earned the nickname Wamatangi, loosely meaning “water tank man” The water tank project had made Mr Kimani so popular that before the creation of Senate seats, he would have given Mr Nguyai a run for his money in the newly-created Kabete Constituency. Mr Githunguri is banking on his apparent proven leadership, experience, integrity, and performance record in the fast-

growing Kiambaa, especially through the Stanley Munga Githunguri Foundation, which has so far helped finance kidney transplants for 10 needy Kiambaa residents, at a personal cost of Sh15 million. Believing he is the best candidate, Mr Githunguri argues: “The Senate requires leaders who are independent-minded, are above petty partisan politics, and command respect both nationally, and at the county level. It requires leaders who cannot be swayed, who are not beholden to particular political or economic interests, or can influence people to meet certain political expediencies of the day.”

“True Uhuru man”

Though he has since declared his support for Mr Kenyatta, critics claim he is not a “true” “Uhuru man.” However, the politician, known to be generous and to prefer actions rather than engaging in confrontational politics, must persuade the electorate that he is truly with the “Uhuru people.”

“The Senate requires leaders who are independent-minded, and above petty partisan politics,” Stanley Githunguri

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Februray 2013

Advertiser’s announcement

COTU boss Muchai and Nguyai lead pack of men eyeing virgin Kabete By STEPHEN MBURU


he entry of the Deputy Secretary General of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU), George Muchai, into elective politics has since made the newly-created Kabete parliamentary seat a hotbed of politics in Kiambu County. Those eyeing the seat include Mr Muchai, the outgoing MP for the larger Kikuyu constituency, Mr Lewis Nguyai, former banker Thiru Karanja, a cooperative management professional Newton Njenga, as well as youthful James Wanjohi, going by the nickname Kaana Funny (a funny child) or Jamoh. All support Jubilee Coalition's presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta. Mr Muchai holds The National Alliance (TNA) ticket, having beaten Mr Nguyai in the party primaries. Mr Nguyai holds the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) ticket, part of the Jubilee Coalition, after he decamped from the TNA, meaning he and Mr Muchai meet again at the ballot box.

Mr George Muchai (centre), COTU Deputy Secretary General George Muchai, unites Labour Minister John munyes (left) and Muga O’okare. Inset: Mr Muchai recovers at the Nairobi Hospital. He was forced to literally limp to negotiating table. (Photos: Courtesy) makes him untainted, Mr Njenga banks on his wide experience in cooperative management.

Decorated by President

All the candidates bank on their apparent strengths, with Mr Nguyai banking on his development record in the past five years. The Assistant Minister for Local Government claims major credit for the tarmacking of the road from the International School of Kenya (ISK) to Gathiga, and the ongoing repair works on the Njatha-ini-Gathiga earth road, as well as the Kirangari-Gikuni Road, which was once tarmacked but is now being murramed. Mr Muchai, who was over a year


“Kaana Funny” (Funny Child)

Mr Lewis Nguyai

Mr George Muchai

ago decorated by President Mwai Kibaki for his fearless efforts in fighting for workers’ rights, banks on his proven record as a seasoned trade unionist. In fact, one of his greatest achievements was in 2011 when he was forced to limp to the negotiating table to help broker a return-to-work formula between the government and over 7,000 striking lecturers in the country’s public universities. He had been recovering following a gun attack by criminals. However, critics claim - without evidence - that he is associated with the Mungiki criminal gang. A matatu driver who gave his name as Wachira says it is interesting that such claims surfaced only after Mr Muchai secured the TNA ticket, which gives him a head-start in the race.

Mr Thiru Karanja

Mr Newton Njenga

Mr James Wanjohi alias Jamoh or Kaana Funny

Mr Lewis Nguyai (right) inspects work in progress on a feeder road in the newly-created Kabete Constituency. “It is clear Muchai is a force to reckon with. I strongly believe the Mungiki issue is being bandied

around by his rivals,” says Wachira. While Mr Karanja, champions his freshness in elective politics, which

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Mr Wanjohi, 28, banks mainly on his oratorial skills, with his speaches almost always leaving his audiences in fits of laughter. It is partly due to this that he has since earned the nickname “Kaana Funny” (Funny Child), a term which is also derived from the baby symbol of his party PICK. But Mr Wachira, the matatu driver cautions: "If we are not careful, we the people of Kabete might be a laughing stock should we elect 'funny' people."

If we are not careful, we the people of Kabete might be a laughing stock should we elect ‘funny’ people” -Wachira, a Route 118 matatu driver



Februray 2013



I, the honourable Mwai Kibaki desire to record my high appreciation of your distinguished service to the republic of Kenya. I, therefore, award you Elizabeth Gathoni Koinange the Head of State’s Commendation (Civilian Division)” -December. 12, 2013.

Why I want Koinange Street renamed

Mama Gathoni embraces the ICT as she ages joyfully

Mama Gathoni Koinange changes TV channels using the remote control. Inset: She demonstrates how she uses her mobile phone.

The Koinange Street in Nairobi as seen from the end touching Univerity Way. Notice the Holy Family Basilica tower at the far end. Inset: Ex-Senior Chief Koinange wa Mbiyu after which the street is named in his honour. PHOTO: KANIARU NDIRANGU

A provincial administrator pins a Head of State’s Commendation (Civilian Division) medal on Mama Gathoni’s dress President Mwai Kibaki awarded her in 2006.



ama Gathoni has gone through technological transformation — from the days when messages were passed by word of mouth or delivered by hand to the era of the mobile phone revolution. Growing up at Muchatha village in Banana, Kiambu County, Mama Gathoni had not seen a radio set until she got married to the ageing Senior Chief Koinange wa Mbiyu. Today, she would amaze many, including tech-savvy youth, by the ease with which she operates her television set using the remote control. She is a proud owner of a mobile phone she uses to communicate with, among others, her two daughters. Her first-born is 77-year-old Madeline Wanjiku, who lives in the United States, and the second-born is Irene Wairimu, who celebrated her 70th birthday on Feb 9, 2013, weeks after returning from the US where she is also based. Mama Gathoni wants to learn how to operate a DVD player, “So I don’t depend on anyone to change these things.” She is yet to learn how to make calls using the phone, her grandson first gave her one more than two years ago and replaced it this year. However, she knows how to pick and terminate calls. She may not have saved any names on the phone, but will immediately identify callers by their voices. Although she cannot tell any TV station by name, she knows on which number on the remote control each is stored. “I keep on switching stations until I find a good programme. I also like watching news. But there is too much politics. Too much political wrangles,” she tells the Metro as she searches for a more appealing channel.

Mama Gathoni with a local priest, Rev. Ngige Muir, visited her.

IN THE NEXT ISSUE: How Mama Gathoni used to secretly serve Mau Mau strategists. Jokes Jomo Kenyatta made on her. Her last words with her husband before arrest and death.

Until her grandson, renowned TV personality Jeff Koinange, left K24 TV for a more lucrative job in South Africa, Mama Gathoni’s favourite channels included K24 and the Citizen, which she does not know by name but says it “brings weddings”, referring to the TV station’s The Wedding programme.” She used to prefer K24 mainly to watch Jeff, whom she lovingly calls Mwaura, interviewing different personalities on the now defunct The Bench. She used to refer to K24 as Kwa Mwaura, meaning the station where Mwaura (Jeff) worked. The station is saved on number four on the remote control. And perhaps to show her love for Jeff, on the TV set is a strategically-placed framed photo of her holding little Mbiyu, Jeff’s son. “I now hear Mwaura has left (for South Africa), is it because there is more money there?” she asks without actually seeking answers from the Metro team. Mama Gathoni has met almost all of the whois-who in Kenya’s politics, including Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (father of Prime Minister Raila Odinga), retired president Daniel arap Moi and President Mwai Kibaki, long before he took the mantle. Registered voter

She may be about 112 years old, but Mama Gathoni is not only a keen follower of Kenya’s politics and a registered voter and participated in The National Alliance (TNA) primaries. She asks Kenyans to vote wisely for those who will take care of their interests. And what is her secret to a long life? “I always walk in the Lord and eat healthy. I eat boiled traditional foods. No salt,” says a generous Mama Gathoni with a mirth.

Left: Mama Gathoni with her great grand children. Right: With Jeff Koinange’s son, Mbiyu.



Februray 2013

Advertising feature

Advertiser’s announcement




P.O. BOX 1190-00217 Limuru Kenya. Cell: 0710344473 / 0715094000 Website: Email: Education

is your life…guard it well (Prov. 4:13)


uguku Tumaini School is a boys’ boarding high school set in the lush and serene Redhill area in Limuru, 21km from Nairobi, off Limuru Road. The school, which has ultramodern facilities lies on an expansive compound -- 53 acres. The institution was founded in 1969 as Green Acres School offering the British curriculum. In 2007, the late Dr Nelson Muguku took over the school’s ownership and renamed it Muguku Tumaini School. The school, founded on strong religious values, now offers the 8-4-4 system of education. Dr Muguku, a former teacher before venturing into poultry farming, and who was known for his struggle to help raise academic Conducive learning environment standards in Kikuyu District, deliberately students creativity, innovation, diligence, set up the school with one vision: to be a patriotism and a sense of self-reliance. centre of academic excellence in Africa. To nurture virtues commensurate with Tumaini is Swahili word for HOPE. etiquette and integrity in our society. As the name correctly suggests, Dr. Muguku To educate our students on dangers of drug aimed at laying a firm foundation for a and substance abuse and seek to ensure them of meaningful future for our children and giving a safe social environment. them hope in life. His objective was to provide a model of a quality education with a view to OUR CORE VALUES: uplifting education standards, and successfully preparing students for entry into leading local 1. GOD FEARING and international universities. Teach students to develop virtues of loving, caring, humility, tolerance, compassion, and OUR VISION patience. To be a centre of academic excellence.


To provide quality education and produce responsible citizens with skills needed to develop a foundation for success in life, and remain relevant in a dynamic society.


To enable learners obtain admission to top local and international universities. To equip our students with competitive skills to ensure success in a global society. To create leaders by instilling into our

CURRICULUM The school offers the 8-4-4 system of education. Our aim is to offer students hope to achieve their academic dreams and desired careers. Our teachers are not only highly-qualified and experienced, but also dedicated to achieving our collective goals. We deliberately keep our classes small to facilitate teacher-student consultations at all times. The teachers monitor and mentor students on various disciplines: offering an ideal

5. DISCIPLINE To instil into our students and staff a high sense of self and collective discipline.


7. CONCERN FOR ENVIRONMENT We teach our students to actively conserve and restore all aspects of the environment.

2.INTEGRITY Instil integrity into our students, through the promotion of obedience, honesty, respect, selfcontrol, transparency and accountability among the school community.

Wholesome creative learning

3. TEAM WORK Work as a team and exploit the benefit of group synergy skills experience and talents. 4.COMMITMENT Inculcate in our students the sense of hard work by promoting self-drive dedication and

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Fresh from the farm

atmosphere for individualised interaction and learning. Subjects offered are English, Kiswahili, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Geography, History, Christian Religious Education, Agriculture, Business Studies, Computer Studies, French, Physical Education, and Aviation (coming soon).

FACILITIES AND SERVICES: LABORATORIES We have well equipped laboratories for Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Computer studies.

Brains at work

desire to achieve the best possible.

6. JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS We embrace the principal of fairness and justice through the observance of human rights and respect for individual differences.

LIBRARY The library is well stocked with a wide variety of reference books, fiction, and non-fiction books

Hands-on learning covering both arts and sciences. We encourage a reading culture in every student. CLASSROOMS Our classrooms are spacious and well- furnished. Besides, class sizes are manageable and offer students the much-needed individualised attention. The dormitories are spacious and modern. Students are accommodated in cubicles. There are enough washrooms and showers with a hot and cold water system.


It’s meal time A healthy mind requires a healthy body. Games and sports form an integral part of our extracurricular activities. Students participate in organised clubs and societies to allow each student to maximise his talents. The school has one of the finest sports facilities which include, a full size swimming pool, football and hockey fields, as well as basketball, lawn tennis, and volley-ball courts. In addition, there are indoor games including scrabble, chess badminton and table tennis. Our well-equipped kitchen and

Keen meal preparation spacious dining hall are run by welltrained staff with wide experienced in school services. We offer our students a balanced diet. Our farms not only provide students with fresh produce and milk, but also are instrumental in teaching.


Februray 2013

Aviation News

Aviation News

Kenya School of Flying sours higher with Sh13m state-of-the-art simulator

11 <11>

Pioneer High School: where students defy gravity — safely

Above: The Sh13 million Redbird FMX at the Kenya School of Flying.

Left: The 12 students of Pioneer High School in Murang’a County display their Private Pilot Licences (PPLs) and certificates at the Orly Airpark Kajiado, Feb. 27, 2012. They are (squatting from left) Emmanuel Kinyanjui (Grade A- in the KCSE), Joseph Mbugua (Grade A-), Samuel Thiong’o (Grade A-), William Abagi, Jaffer Tawfiq (Grade A), and Henderson Munene (Grade A-). Standing from left Kevin Njuguna, David Githiomi, Dennis Kabatha (Grade A-), Lemmy Ndegwa (Grade A-), Francis Ndung’u and Douglas Njuguna. Right: Dr. James Njiru (centre) and Capt. Joseph Ririani with students and parents. (Photos: Njenga Gicheha)

Dr Cyrus Njiru launches the Sh13m simulator at the Kenya School of Flying. With him are from left, the school director Capt. Joseph Ririani and Col. (Rtd) Hilary Kioko, the Director General of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).



he Kenya School of Flying, a premier aviation institute in the region, has aims to soar even higher with its newly-acquired state-of-the-art simulator. The Redbird FMX, twin-engine full motion simulator, which cost about $150,000 (around Sh13 million) seeks to help reduce the cost of training pilots. The institute is believed to be the first in Africa to acquire such a model, which is manufactured in the United States.

The simulator will help reduce the cost of flying from Sh45,000 per hour to Sh8,000," -Capt. Joseph Ririani

First of its kind

While commissioning the simulator, at the school based at Nairobi's Wilson Airport, the then Transport Permanent Secretary Dr Cysus Njiru, now Industrialisation PS, commended the school for the initiative. He said the move will greatly reduce the cost of training pilots in the country. Dr Njiru said the country has a severe shortage of commercial pilots. He attributed this to the high cost of training. Lucrative career

Dr Njiru said that there was need for the government and private aviation firms to embark on training more pilots to counter this shortage. Such training institutions, he said, should strive to reduce the cost of the programme so that more young and ambitious Kenyans could enroll and train for the lucrative career.

Capt Joseph Ririani, the school's founder and managing director, said the simulator would greatly help reduce the cost of flying, from Sh45,000 per hour to Sh8,000. "The Redbird FMX, twin engine full motion simulator gives a student every bit of experience as on a real aircraft," Capt Ririani, a former pilot with the defunct East African Airlines, told the Metro during the event last year.

I Dr Njiru watches as an instructor (right) trains his student pilot (not in photo) in the simulator. PHOTOS/ Njenga Gicheha

“Freeze” the simulator

Another advantage, he said, was that an instructor may "freeze" the simulator should a learner make a mistake. "The instructor would point out the mistake to the learner before proceeding. Such a thing cannot happen in the air, and learners would only be corrected once they land. The simlutator also gives students the confidence before they take to the skies," said Capt Ririani, an experienced instructor, and also the director of KSF’s sister company, Aeronav Air Services.

t was jubilation as 12 students from the Pioneer High School in Murang’a County got their pilots’ licences - the Private Pilot Licences (PPLs) - even before their Kenya Certificate of Secondary School (KCSE) examination results were out. Seven of them obtained Grade A in the 2011 KCSE exams. The young pilots interviewed by the Metro at the time said their ultimate goal was to get the highest commercial licence. The CPL is followed by the Multi-Engine Instrument Ratings (MIR), with the highest being the Air Transport Pilots License (ATPL). Lemmy Ndegwa, who scored A-, said he was looking forward to getting the CPL. He said that, just like with many other boys, his childhood dream had always been to become a pilot. Strayed into forest

An instructor (right) with a student in the simulator.

De-congest Wilson Airport

The school’s main training field is the the Orly Airpark, a 250-acre airfield in Kajiado County, about 28 kilometres from Nairobi, and Wilson Airport. It also has a base at Malindi Airport, where students are trained on sea-level flying. Capt. Ririani, a co-founder of Orly Airpark, says the idea of the an airpark came following the need to help de-congest Wilson Airport.

Ndegwa said he was inspired to become a pilot after he strayed into the forest and his father led a search team for him using a helicopter. Joseph Mbugua, who also got Grade A-, said he would pursue higher licences alongside a degree course in management so he could venture into the lucrative aviation business. Mr Josephat Njogu, father of Emmanuel Kinyanjui, who also got Grade A-, described Pioneer School as among the best in aviation training. “It has really advanced,” he said. The school offers aviation courses and the young pilots had started their aviation classes at the Kenya School of Flying (KSF) at the Wilson Airport, during the holidays when they were in Form Two. The classes ran through Form Three, after which they took a break to prepare for the KCSE examination. They resumed and completed the training soon after they sat the exams. Awarded Air Service Licence

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The school has since been awarded the Air Service Licence (ASL) which allows it to train its own pilots. Dr Cyrus Njiru, the then Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, was the chief guest at the colourful ceremony at the Orly Airpark, a 250-acre airfield in Kajiado

County, about 28 kilometres from Nairobi and Wilson Airport. He encouraged the young pilots to aim for advanced licences, saying Kenya always has a shortage of commercial pilots. He said the Kenya Airways, which is the major employer of Kenyan pilots, was always experiencing a shortage of pilots. Training as a pilot is surely not a cheap undertaking with a student spending at least Sh2.8 million to get the coveted licence, which excluded normal school fees. Advanced licences

The minimum age one could legally get a pilot’s licence is 17. This means, in Kenya, one could fly an aircraft even before qualifying to get a driving licence, whose minimum age is 18. However, the PPL is the basic licence and the holder is not allowed to carry paying passengers. To start earning a living through flying, a PPL holder would need the next level licence — the Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL). Sister company

The Kenya School of Flying has a sister company, Aeronav Air Services, and on qualifying and earning a CPL, graduates get free further training, known in the aviation language as turbo prop rating, on the company’s Cessna Caravans (C208). The KSF founder and Managing Director, Capt Joseph Ririani, says the move seeks to expose the pilots to “aspects of multi-crew cooperation.” The Pioneer School has produced not less than 70 pilots since 2002 when it started its aviation programme. Pioneer School is among premier educational institutions in Kenya. It was founded by Mr Peter Munga, the founder and chairman of Equity Bank, Africa’s fastest-growing bank. The group includes St Paul’s Thomas Academy and the Nairobi-based Pioneer International University. 17--The age a person is eligible to become a pilot


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Februray 2013


Why Kiambu vet is promoting chess in primary schools By STEPHEN MBURU

Roselyn Wambui, Std 7: Chess has helped me learn a lot of science and geography. I’ve learnt a lot about animals through chess.


oses Kwereba started playing chess by default when he was only five years old. He was at King’eero Primary School in Kabete, Kiambu County, and his father Harun Gathua would go with him to the Ngong Race Course in Nairobi to engage in his betting passion. The boy, bored by being left on the terraces, would get indoors and watch people playing chess. He got interested in the game and learned it through observation. At the age of nine, he was included in a junior chess tournament at Nairobi’s Visa Oshwal and Aga Khan schools. Today, Kwereba, a veterinary doctor, is not only an accomplished chess player, but a trainer in Kiambu schools. The former chess captain at Kiambu’s St Joseph High School is the founder of Kabete Cares Chess Club, his forum in promoting the game in the county. The young man from King’eero village, who graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Nairobi in 2008, says were it not for chess, he would not have been what he is today: a much-sought after self-employed vet.

Anne Njeri, Std 7: Chess helps me get good marks in social studies.

Vivian Wamaitha, Std 7: I’ve learnt a lot of science through chess. It helps you learn as you relax.

Chess opened mind

“Chess opened my mind. It helped me define myself in creating business. Even before I graduated, I had already decided not to seek formal employment but start my own business and create employment opportunities for others,” the soft-spoken veterinarian tells the Metro at his Musa Veterinary Clinic at Wangige Market. The holder of a diploma in animal health and production from the Animal Health and Industry Training Institute (AHITI) at Kabete, says he used his chess knowledge to start his own firm, with an initial capital of Sh2,000 he had saved from his pocket money. Though he traverses the county offering his much-needed veterinary services, he faithfully sets aside one hour every week to teach pupils chess. “I know the benefits of chess and that is why I volunteered to teach the children, starting with my old school King’eero in 2009. Chess helps and improves creation, logical thinking, execution of ideas, and planning and evaluation,” says Kwereba.

Dr Kwereba lets his pupils put theory into practice.

“With chess,” he says, “you easily learn what is happening around the world, for instance, in athletics and soccer. With chess, you deal with moves and you study opportunities open to you. You have to make the right moves and come out with difficult tactics to attack your opponent. You have to really think before making any moves. The practice helps the player navigate future challenges of life. “Chess aims at enhancing a child’s general knowledge, which has been left out from our school curriculum.” Kwereba’s free services have since been recognized by officials from the Ministry of Youth Affairs department in Kiambu, who asked if he could help set up a chess centre. His proposal led to pilot projects at King’eero and Msamaria Mwena Home at Kibiciku near Wangige. “We started with children who had no idea what chess was. The class at King’eero had 30 children, but many fell by the wayside. Only 14 pupils have made it this far,” says Kwereba, whose ambition is “to spread my chess gospel beyond Kiambu.” Manchester United and Arsenal

Leonard Mburu, Std 7: Chess helps me learn English and social sciences.

Ian Kibiriti, Std 7: Chess helps me answer questions in social sciences.

Lawrence Njoroge, Std 7: I find chess very useful in learning.

To make his lessons more lively he has divided the children into two teams named after the English Premier League arch-rivals: Manchester United and Arsenal. He also uses a laptop, iPod and Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). He asks teachers and parents to encourage children to learn the game as it could help them earn extra income as he does through coaching children in other schools. “The Ministry of Education should have chess taught as a lesson in all schools as in other developed countries such as Russia, Germany and the USA,” says Kwereba.

Dr Kwereba takes pupils of King’eero Primary in Kabete, Kiambu, through the chess game as the school deputy head teacher James Owino looks on. PHOTOS: Studio Kelfra

Jennifer Rehema, Std 7: Chess is fun. It enables me learn in an enjoyable manner.

James Owino, King’eero Primary School deputy head teacher and Nancy Githinji, the Kikuyu District Youth Officer, say they are committed to helping Kwereba achieve his goals.

Grace Wanjiru, Std 8: Chess helps me in passage and map reading. Learning social studies and mathematics is fun.

Metro Advertiser 001 March 2013  

Metro Advertiser is a newspaper published in Kenya.

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