Where Ruto, Murkomen and Marwa were powerful Dining Hall Captains

Deputy President William Ruto and Senator Kipchumba Murkomen

For the four years you’re in boarding school, the dining hall captain is part of your life

— like the school uniform.

A bell from the dining hall captain signalled queuing for weak breakfast tea or uji, ‘murram’ for lunch or ‘freestyle sliced’ cabbages with ugali for supper. Most were huge, had hoarse voices from shouting instructions.

Most were firm on senior students, feared by ‘monos,’ respected by cooks and the school cateress

— and sometimes loathed for their sadism when the clever but hungry tried to pull stomach moves that were not in line with culinary decorum.   

Kapsabet High School, Nandi County

This was where Deputy President William ‘Hustler’ Ruto was enrolled for his A-Leves from Wareng Secondary School.

William Ruto [Photo: Courtesy]

It was a change from running 10 kilometres barefoot every day to Sambut Primary School to being head of the Christian Union at Kapsabet and the dining hall captain who retreated to his Kibiegen dormitory.

Despite the high profile of DH captains, former students remember him as “soft spoken and shy student who kept a low profile.”

Kamagambo High School, Kisii County

The Coast Region Coordinator Nelson Marwa was in charge of kitchen matters here between 1983 and 1984 when he was pursuing his A-Levels.

Nelson Marwa [Photo: Courtesy]

Marwa had the tendency of matching to and from the school dining hall like a soldier, little wonder monos nickname him askari. He was no-nonsense, calling students to order, admonishing some to behave in  queues.

St Patricks High School, Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen had to campaign to be the school DH Captain.

Kipchumba Murkomen [Photo: Courtesy]

Murkomen was in charge of the ‘mitochondrion’

— a witty name for th dining hall where he made sure naughty Form One students did not cause food shortage by eating everything.

Dagoretti High School, Nairobi County

Benson Ndeta, the chair and  controlling shareholder of Savannah Cement was the dining hall captain they called Sande.

He broke into the public limelight nearly 10 years ago when Trade minister Mukhisa Kituyi appointed him chair of East African Portland Cement.  

Benson Ndeta [Photo: Courtesy]

Since 2015, Ndeta, who studied architecture at the University of Nairobi, became one of the country’s biggest deal makers through multi-billion shilling deals including sugar imports. At ‘Ditchez’ though, Ndeta was a likeable DH Captain although not immune to locking out students who reported late for their meals after the second bell had rang.

He would also see to it that those who forgot to wipe their tables when it was their turn wiped the entire dining hall!

Kisumu Boys High School, Kisumu County Trevor Oyombra of the infamous chickengate scandal at the IEBC was nicknamed Idi Amin for obvious reasons.

“He could yank you from the queue, slap and drag you with your tie to the tail end of the queue,” recalled a former student, adding that Oyombra could give you a piece of bone and three leaves of sukuma wiki and shout that you move!

 Did you have an unforgettable DH Captain? Drop us a  line: [email protected]