Being a friend to someone who is in decidedly different financial and social levels than you is one of the toughest thing to mange in life and Kilimendi can relate to this.
This is because the foundation of the friendship, developed long before the wealth usually comes in, gets impacted by the money difference. This doesn’t just impact the ability for the friendship to go on, but also impacts the amount of time you two can spend together.
But as for Clement Kipkoech Kosgei, famously called Kilimendi – who has been an acquaintance of Deputy President William Ruto since childhood – things have somewhat worked out between him and Ruto despite both of them living in different worlds.
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He has been enjoying greater leeway to have deep chats with the DP every time they meet.
The Deputy President William Ruto’s childhood bestfriend, who is a boda boda operator in Kamagut village, Uasin Gishu county, claims his friendship with DP has remained safe.
The hustler, who also dabbles in livestock trade, became a celebrity all of a sudden after he had a meal with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his former schoolmate Ruto to settle the protocol issue.
Despite Ruto is the Kenya’s deputy president, his friend still calls him William and rarely mentions the words his excellency around him.
“When I am with William, I forget that he is the Deputy President and should be referred to as his excellency”William ni mtu yangu sana (William is my man). We learnt with him from nursery school at Kamagut and have kept our friendship until now. That is why I find it difficult to call him by his title deputy president. He used to be called William Kipchirchir and that’s what I am used to. Our closeness makes the issue of titles forgettable”.
Based on what Kilimendi narrated about their friendship, he schooled with the DP and did their Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) together. They separated when he joined Kaptel Boys in Nandi County and later advanced to the National Youth Service (NYS).
Ruto joined Wareng Secondary School for O-levels, Kapsabet Boys for A-levels and University of Nairobi.
The DP made reference to Clement during his brothers burial.
In his speech during the burial of his brother Harrison Kiptoo in his Kamagut home, the Dp told president Uhuru that “Clement” is pronounced “Kilemendi’ in the village due to the accent.
“His excellency, you should note that the name clement is pronounced here as ‘Kilemendi’“
After the mention, Kilimendi became popular in the village with many paying closer attention to him.
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His friend DP Ruto invited him for lunch together with the president, a gesture he says he didn’t expect. Hear him:
“I was amazed, (sic) I never imagined I would sit on the same table with the president, let alone have lunch together.”
The lunch date with the president, he says, taught him many lessons. He said he also left with valuable advice. He said:
“The president told me to continue working hard and be able to support my children through their education.”
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