Zipporah Achieng, a camerawoman at a local station, became the center of attention at an event where Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii was distributing title deeds to farmers. The young journalist found herself at the receiving end of President Ruto’s mother, Sarah Cheruiyot’s concern over her choice of clothing.
Achieng was taken aback when Mama Sarah stood up, approached her, and wrapped a Maasai shuka around her waist in front of everyone present.
Achieng, showing respect for her elder, expressed her surprise and gratitude, stating that she felt compelled to go home and change into a different outfit after the warm encounter. Mama Sarah later took the podium to explain her actions and the reason behind them.
She shared that she noticed Achieng’s short dress and was concerned that if she were to bend over to pick up her camera, there would be no covering. Mama Sarah emphasized the importance of women carrying a leso (traditional wrap) at all times, as they might encounter expectant mothers in need of assistance.
Amidst the amusement caused by the incident, Mama Sarah advised the journalist to view the situation positively and not feel targeted unfairly. She clarified that her intention was to bless Achieng rather than disturb her.
Achieng, understanding Mama Sarah’s perspective, embraced the experience and likened Mama Sarah to her own grandmother. She appreciated the concern shown by Mama Sarah, who is close in age to her grandmother, and interpreted the act as a sign of care.
After changing from her shiny grey dress into a blue power suit, Achieng approached Mama Sarah, shook her hand, and offered an apology. The grandmotherly figure was pleased with the transformation and commented on Achieng’s improved appearance.
Achieng was overjoyed when Mama Sarah asked for her phone number, hoping that she would become her mentor.
The incident highlights the respect for elders and the cultural values upheld by Mama Sarah, as well as the positive response of Achieng, who recognized the genuine concern behind Mama Sarah’s actions.
It serves as a reminder of the importance of cultural traditions and the role of elders in guiding and advising the younger generation.