By Prudence Minayo
Rachel Ruto is the incoming First Lady of Kenya. The spotlight is mostly on her husband, the President-elect of Kenya-Dr William Ruto. Known for her short natural hair and simple dressing style, Rachael Ruto is an eloquent woman interested in the empowerment of other women across the country. She is also known for conducting countrywide prayers for the nation’s peace and her husband success in elections. From very humble beginnings, she rose to become a successful woman who many look up to for guidance and inspiration.
Here is her story as told by WoK.
DON'T MISS: Stay informed with the latest news and interact with us on Instagram.
Rachel went to Likuyani Primary School, Kakamega County. She then proceeded to Butere Girls High School for her O and A levels. From Butere High, she got a chance to join Kenyatta University for a Bachelor’s of Education Degree. The humble prayer warrior went on to earn her Master of Arts in 2011 at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
She was born on 20 November 1968. She will be turning 53 this year.
The Kenyatta University graduate is married to Dr. William Ruto and they are blessed with six children.
JOIN US: Stay informed with the latest Kenyan news and join the conversation on Telegram.
The two started dating while at the university. Rachel was studying Education while her husband studied Botany. She has been a great support system in her husband’s political career.
The couple adopted baby Nadia, who had been buried alive. They named the baby Cherono, after DP Ruto’s mother.
Although she studied Education, she didn’t get a chance to practice teaching for long. She ventured into the tour business taking people throughout the country to places like Maasai Mara and Mombasa. They also organized Israel tours for Christians twice a year.
Rachel Ruto is passionate about women empowerment. She has established various projects to help women in the society better themselves. Some of the projects to empower women are:
- Drops of gold: This was an initiative to help women get clean water for use. Many women carry water for long distances. While touring the country, Rachel identified this problem, hence, the project which is in collaboration with the government.
- Table banking for women: Most Kenyan women are familiar with ‘chamaas’ which operate on a merry go round basis and people have to wait ages for their turn. Table banking is where women put money on the table either monthly or weekly. From this money, then each member decides how much they want to borrow.
- Cross stitching, especially for women in prison: This is an embroidery pattern done in such an artful manner. This project targets prison women who can cross stitch, their embroideries which are kept in a frame and sold, from a distance you’d mistake it’s a drawing. The money from the cross stitching is given to them which means they’ll have something when they leave prison.
The deputy president’s wife can also cross stitch, a skill she learnt from her mother.
- She also started a poultry project which supplies chicks to women across the country at an affordable price
The project to empower women is known as joyful women organization. Appearing on Citizen TV’s Newsmakers series, the Second Lady revealed that the project as helped a good number of women. Some of them have been able to start businesses, save money, buy land and in the process build their confidence. She also reveals that none of these projects overlap with the first lady’s projects. They both support each other while each deals with different projects to help women, Rachel through empowering women in business and Margaret with her Beyond Zero campaign whose target is providing better health care to women.
Now a mother in law
Rachel Ruto is now a mother in law to Dr. Alexander Ezenagu. Her daughter was married in a colourful invite only wedding with a beaming Rachel looking on.