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Self-made Prof Mutembei; from Orphan to prestigious Chuka University VC

Prof. Henry Mutembei, new Chuka University VC

By Mutethia Mukembu

In his own words, Henry Mutembei, the son of Lawrence M’Ikiugu, born on August 1970 at Mituune in Igoji East Ward of South Imenti believes he fits into the big shoes of the retired Chuka University VC Prof Erastus Njoka.

Mutembei, the father of two, a son and daughter, went to Muliru Nursery school where he transited to Kiune/Kiarene Primary School from 1977-1983 and later to Chogoria Boys High School.

Mutembei could not hide his joy as he applauded President William Ruto and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua for appointing him to the helm.

“It reached a point where the political class input is required and I want to thank all those who had confidence in me starting with CS Ezekiel Machogu, Deputy President Ragathi Gachagua, and President William Ruto. The person I sincerely owe my gratitude to is the President who was in his third year when I was in my first year at Chiromo Campus.”

Mutembei says the head of State gave the concurrence because he believes in attributes that he is able to take this University forward.

The new VC echoes the words of the late Education CS Prof George Magoha at Chuka University, as he talked freely and said Prof Njoka should be praised for all developments at the institution. Prof Magoha said Njoka steered the University from a Polytechnic with funny-looking buildings still standing to a legacy of buildings we occupy today. Whether people like Prof Njoka or not, he has been a tough administrator who has grown the University to the Level of over 18,000 students today,” he said.

“Unfortunately, I lost my Dad just before I went to form one and since he was impressed by my results, he intervened with my mum, my Uncle and my brothers pleading with them to take care of my studies and other basics. My mum was a peasant housewife. I didn’t expect to study but my brother took me to Chogoria Boys in 1984. In 1987 I finished form four,” Mutembei said during an Interview at the Institution.

When he joined Kianyaga, I went there and finished my Form Five and Six studies, his tremendous performance instilled confidence in teachers who unanimously appointed him the school’s Laboratory Captain without campaigns as it was reserved for the best student.

“I passed well with three principals. I went to do Veterinary medicine at the University of Nairobi in 1990. Though it was a four-year course, there was an extension of one year because the institution had to break for one year, due to some adjustments where students needed to pay to eat. During that duration, I was teaching at St Mary Igoji Girls High School. I topped my class and the chairman of departmental clinical studies found it fit to enroll me in the training program.”

Mutembei said Immediately after he graduated in August 1995, the same year September he was back in the department in the section of reproduction and Obstetrics as an assistant Lecturer. He then enrolled in a Master’s program through the scholarship of the German Exchange Program which he completed in 1998.

Mutembei continued with his clinical work and was promoted to the coordinator of clinical presentations in the department. In 2002, Mutembei got another scholarship from the German government that took him six months to learn the German language in that Country.

“2003-2006, I did my Ph.D. in Reproductive Biology and Graduated as a top student again and I said to myself, it was now time to go back to my Country to contribute to nation building. When I came to Kenya, I started my research and have done very many projects as a researcher at the University of Nairobi. The total amount for these research projects goes beyond Sh2billion, they attracted various donors,” Mutembei said.

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