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Moi: The father who loved meat, watched wrestling

SAMWEL OWINOBy SAMWEL OWINO
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Behind the serious face he depicted while attending to national duties as the Head of State, former President Daniel Arap Moi was an easy family man who always created time to be with his children.

While paying tribute to his father, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi talked of a man who would spare time, despite his busy national schedule, to be with his children, and instilled valuable life values in them.

“You see, despite the responsibilities of State that he carried on his shoulders every day, he still found time to be a wonderful, wonderful father. He loved his friends and he loved his family. Yet as a family, we accepted that he gave his life to something bigger than himself,” Mr Moi said.

“Our father was a gentleman, not in the impeccable manner he dressed, but in his attitude. His word was his bond. He valued loyalty and decency; he taught us to do the right thing,” he added.

The Baringo senator, who is the lastborn son of the former President, told the thousands of mourners who turned up for the memorial service at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi, Tuesday how his father loved meat and specifically ribs.

He caused laughter among the mourners when he revealed how he unsuccessfully tried to stop his father from eating meat after the doctor cautioned him against it.

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The politician said his father looked at him and asked: “Umeona daktari hapa?” (Do you see a doctor here?).”

The visibly calm and composed senator further cracked mourners’ ribs when he narrated how he crashed his father’s new car.

“I could not resist the temptation to take it for a spin. Unfortunately, my driving skills then, did not match my enthusiasm and the new car was shortly, no more. Dreading breaking the news to my father, I had the cunning idea to carry a Bible in one hand as I entered his room.

“My father, who of course, had heard of the accident, took one look at me, shook his head and burst into laughter, and that was the end of the matter,” Mr Moi said.

On his acts of compassion, he said: “This was our father; he had an elephantine memory and a compassionate heart. Throughout his years of service, he taught us to have tough feet but keep a soft heart.”

Senior Moi had a wonderful sense of humour and a ready laugh, the senator added.

While unwinding after a busy schedule, Mr Moi revealed that his father other than watching Billy Graham on TV, also loved watching wrestling and was one of Big Daddy’s ardent fans.

One thing that the former President disliked, according to his lastborn son, was dishonesty or deceit. He believed in hard work and discipline, and his was dedication of a lifetime of service.

“He dared to be great and through toil, discipline, courage and sacrifice, he spent his life in service of the country he loved. He dedicated his love and life to this country. But above all he was passionate about God,” he said.

The senator thanked all Kenyans for the overwhelming love, compassion and support they had shown to the family since the death of the second President of Kenya.

And as he bowed out of the stage, this was the last quote that Gideon  Moi had for his father.

“Father you have fought the good fight and kept the faith. We will miss you. Kenya will miss you.”