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Deputy President Ruto to attend Mrs Cheramboss burial

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020 10:00 | By
Former GSU Commandant Samson Cheramboss (centre) with family members at their home. With him is Nandi Governor Stephen Sang. Photo/COURTESY

Deputy President William Ruto is today expected to lead mourners in the burial of Hellen Cheramboss at her home in Aldai, Nandi County.

Mrs Cherambos served as principal of the prestigious Moi Girls’ High School, Eldoret for 24 years from 1983 to 2007.

The mother of five was the wife of former General Service Unit Commandant Samson Cheramboss who was once one of Ruto’s key witnesses at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

After her retirement, she served as Canon at the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK).  

“Mum was a woman of strength and influence. She was nurturing to everyone who passed through her hands.

She was a teacher, a mentor, a pillar and a source of strength to many,” said Edith Cheramboss, her daughter.

Uasin Gishu Woman Rep Gladys Shollei, one of her former students, described the deceased as a mentor.

“We will always remember her for having mentored us, inspired us and always had a way of lovingly kindly and with a very soft voice correcting us and molding us to the people we are today,” she said.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago said in a statement sent to the media that the deceased was an educationist who transformed the Eolddore-based school.

“My deepest condolences to the former GSU Commandant Samson Cheramboss (and family) for the loss of his beloved wife Hellen Cheramboss.

Mrs Cheramboss is a long serving educationist who transformed Moi Girls High School when she was the Principal, “ said the Governor,

Educationist

 Everlyne Cherobon, a member of the Moi Girls 1989 class, described the deceased as an educationist who loved her work.

“Cheraa, as we fondly called her was an exceptional woman. We remember with great nostalgia her tenacity in managing our school.

We joined Moi Girls at a time when her family was young. We witnessed her strength managing a large school of over 1000 girls and her young family well.

She was nurturing, motherly yet with a firm hand of discipline. She not only taught us but also mentored, cultivating the best in us and contributing immensely to who we became,” said  Cherobon.

“When some of us lacked fees, she never sent us back home but took the time to personally understand each case individually, many times seeking financial help to the needy students. She put her heart and mind to shaping us.”

Journalist Kipchumba Some wrote: “In 2002 the TSC promoted my mom, Dr Susan Choge, to be the principal of St Catherine’s High School in Kesses, but local politics led to her rejection on grounds that she wasn’t a Catholic.

TSC then posted her as the senior head of languages department at Moi Girls High School, Eldoret, where Mrs Cheramboss not only warmly welcomed her but also nurtured her professionally.

Shortly after, TSC again promoted mom to head Sugoi Girls High School where local politics again led to her rejection on grounds that she didn’t come from the area.

She returned to her position at Moi Girls, but soon after landed a teaching job at the newly inaugrated Western University College, today known as MMUST.

But even after mom left Moi Girls, Mrs Cheramboss graciously allowed us to stay at the staff house rent-free for nearly six months as mom settled in her new job.”

Family destiny

It was as if the destiny of the Cheramboss family and Moi’s were interwoven.

So close was their relationship that Moi often drove to the school impromptu to inspect projects first hand whenever he was in the neighbourhood.

He made similar visits to the Cheramboss rural Aldai home in Nandi “to see how they were living.”

Cheramboss, a woman described by her husband as  “the pillar of the family,” collapsed and died of chest pain on Monday aged 73.

Samson said she had complained of chest pains after the Sunday evening family prayers.

The pain persisted early on Monday morning. She collapsed and was rushed to Kaptumo Sub-county Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

“I left her with the grand-children and went upstairs after our evening prayers. She was in good health but started complaining of body weakness in the wee hours of the morning,” Samson told the media.

Buoyed by her unfettered proximity to State power, Hellen put the school to regional and national limelight. It remains  one of the country’s academic giants.

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