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I carried sweet potatoes and arrowroots in my metal box, Pastor Dorcas recalls challenging school days

The Spouse of the Deputy President, Pastor Dorcas Rigathi on Saturday visited her former high school, Alliance Girls in Kikuyu, Kiambu County where she joined the girls who studied in the school in the 80s for a meeting and Sunday worship. 

The girls shared with nostalgia their different past experiences as young girls at the institution. Pastor Dorcas told of how she almost missed joining secondary school because of lack of school fees, but through the intervention of an administrator (DC) she was able to join the Alliance Girls School.

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“I was brought here by DC Thuo Mathenge because, I did not have school fees. But someone came to my aid,” she said. Pastor Dorcas offered to pay school fees to two needy students from the school up to the highest level of education they would wish to attain.

“Coming from Kiandutu slums in Thika, and joining the Alliance Girls was nothing short of a miracle. I am a testimony that God can pick you from nothing to something. Never ever give up,” she told the 2206 students gathered at the chapel.

She said they came from an obscure single-led household, by a widow, who gave her best to see her children through school.

“We used to carry sweet potatoes and nduma (arrowroots), in our metal boxes while others carried cakes and other snacks. However, this school treated everyone the same. When it came to games, we went together as sisters and friends, and whether you came with cakes or not, we would happily share,” she said.

In the 1980s, those who could afford cakes and other refined snacks were from affluent families.

Pastor Dorcas has shared the story of her humble upbringing in different public forums, to encourage people that they can rise from ‘nothing’ and become something. 

“I am championing the cause of the vulnerable because I was there. I came from an obscure background, raised by a widow. I had jiggers and lice, and would wear my late father’s shirts, but that has not stopped God from picking me and placing me in the highest office in the land. People wonder why I go to the drug dens, and streets, it is because I would have ended up there,” she said.

She praised the Alliance Girls School for the education and values it taught her. “Every time I see Alliance, I get excited. I identify with my school anywhere. I am proud to be an Alliance girls,” she concluded her speech.

Other members of the alumni were excited to return to the school and narrated with joy their years at the institution.

Among those honoured during the alumni meeting was Dr Mary Dena. Dr Dena, currently serving as a surgeon in South Africa, composed the school’s national anthem when she was a student at Alliance Girls in the 80s.

Dr. Njeri Karanja, a former Alliance Girls Teacher in the 80s, was also recognized for her contributions in the academic and management growth of the institution.

Also present was former Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina who also studied in the school.

The alumni were hosted by the school’s Chief Principal Jedidah Mwangi. “We invited you here, so that in your different cohorts, you may encourage the girls. The girls look upon you to give direction. Success is contagious,” said Principal Mwangi.

She called the meeting ‘an unofficial reunion’. “Let us not drop the baton, but hand it over to the younger girls,” she said.

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