14 Aug 2009

World's Oldest Student is Dead

He made headlines, in Kenya and internationally as being the oldest pupil in the world. He had taken advantage of the free primary school that the Kenyan Thieves Government had pretended to offer for free. His main aim for going to school was, he said, to learn how to read the bible.

At the (tender) age of 84, he enrolled at
Kapkenduiywo Primary School in Eldoret. The post elections violence that rocked most parts of the Rift Valley and other areas in Kenya, Maruge lost his property and had to move to Nairobi. At one time, he almost quit school. He moved to Nairobi, moved to the not so affluent Kariobangi Estate, where he continued his studies.

In May this year, he was baptised during the celebration of the World Communications Day ay the Kariobangi Holy Trinity Parish in Nairobi, taking 'Stephen' as his patron saint. He died at Cheshire Home for the Aged, in Nairobi’s Kariobangi South estate where he has been staying, according to police and officials there.

“He passed away at 1.30pm; his body is still lying in the house. He has been sick and his condition had deteriorated lately,” an official at the home Donatila Ekuyi said.

Maruge, a widower whose life is about to become a major Hollywood film will never see his life epitomised on film. The film has been going back and forth, between the international producers, with a 'fight' as to where the film will be shot; South Africa or Kenya.

Given that the man championing for it to be brought to Kenya has tendered his resignation from the Kenya Film Commission, David Maingi was seen to be the one to help shape the country's industry, and have films like The First Grader shot here. After all, it is a Kenyan story... Maybe Maruge's death will touch the hearts of the thie...ahem, I mean the hearts of the government (people) to give rebates and tax breaks and make sure that the film is shot here, if only to honor the courageous man.

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