This letter to Sharon has been written by a former top KCPE student, who had a Sponsor …read it slowly:-
I too had a sponsor. In 1986, I was the top candidate nationally in the KCPE. Actually, if I may brag a little bit here, I still don’t think that my record has ever been surpassed.
Anyway, back to my story. Larry Hart, an American tourist traveling in Kenya at the time that the results were published saw my name in the paper, and asked the staff at the Norfolk Hotel, where he was staying, if they knew my family. Luckily, one of them did, and called my father who was then a teacher at Nyeri Primary. I remember that it was one of my first trips to Nairobi, and when we met with Larry, I kept kicking my father under the table, because he was actually agreeing to a proposal for me to leave Kenya, at the age of 13, to attend a high school in the United States!
So, at 13 my father and I traveled to Wallingford, Connecticut, and I registered at Choate Rosemary Hall, which to this day is still one of America’s most elite high schools. The tuition fee back then, if I am not wrong, was US$30,000 per year. Only the best and the richest could attend. Larry paid my fees, supported me with out of pocket expenses, and paid for my ticket home every year. Larry and his wife Sally did not have children, but over the years, they had sponsored deserving young people. Unfortunately, Sally passed away very soon after I went to the US. She barely knew me, but she left me $15,000 in her will, which Larry invested in US Treasury bills for me.
In 1991, I graduated top of my class at Choate Rosemary Hall, and Yale University gave me a full scholarship. Larry was so excited and was such a proud ‘grandfather’ that he bought me a ticket to fly around the world. I remember the itinerary- I started in San Francisco, went to Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, then Germany, before ending up in Nairobi! I was 17 years old, and I had already seen the world.
Larry kept supporting me (that is what sponsors do), although frankly I no longer really required that support. You see, I was a full time student, but I still worked 40 hours a week (in the cafeteria, cleaning rooms, I even cleaned toilets!) Why did I work? Because I had a family to support back at home. Like you, I wanted to support my family. Those were the Moi years, after all. However, despite my 40 hour work load, I still graduated Cum Laude- with top honors- from Yale University.
When Larry first met me in Nairobi in 1986, he had asked me what I wanted to be. I said I wanted to be a lawyer, in Kenya. After Yale, we discussed how we could best accomplish that feat, and he suggested that I go to the UK. Unfortunately, the Brits were not as generous as the Americans, so the University of London did not give me a scholarship. Larry paid the fees for my LLM degree. He also gave me a credit card with a limit of $25,000. Essentially, as a 21 year old, I could have gone into Marshalls Kenya (back then) and bought a brand new car, and driven it out. Actually, I did just that (not the driving bit, because I failed driving school), but that is a story for another day.
Sharon, a sponsor does not have to get something for giving something. Larry got his full reward for being able to brag to everyone he met about his Kenyan protégé. By now, you must have figured out that Larry was a very wealthy man. He was a multi-millionaire, who did good things with his money.
You may be wondering if I have ‘paid back’. Yes I did. If you were still alive, I would tell you to talk to Ken Opalo, Assistant Professor at Georgetown University, and he would tell you what I role I played for him to get there.
Rest in peace, Sharon. In Kenya, we have a way of corrupting all good things. Sponsors are supposed to be good people.”
To you my people in Kenya: Yes… Sponsors are supposed to be good people. It’s only the devil who wants something back in return. Kenya has no sponsors, Kenya is full of Red Devils. Run away from their evil money – coz they will kill you, kill your unborn baby, kill your family and everyone who cares about you. Eat your problems and keep praying – Jesus Christ will send a REAL Sponsor to you one day – For free expecting you to do exactly the same to someone else – For free.. Rip Sharon. Shalom.