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Moi Forces Academy: Where girls were driven home in military lorries

 Moi Forces Academy Lanet [Photo: Courtesy]

Moi Forces Academy Lanet was founded in 1986 by former President Daniel arap Moi as a girls’ national boarding school to complement the other one in Nairobi as the educational institutions for children of Kenya Defence Forces-the sponsors of the school.

Students from military families comprise 80 per cent of the student population, with the other 20 per cent coming from civilian background.  

In its 31 years, it has only had three principals: Miss Zilphah Omondi was head for 14 years to 2000; Cecilia Ng’etich clocked four years to 2005; while Elizabeth Njoroge has been at the helm since 2006.

The pioneer girls had momentarily studied at the Moi Forces Academy-Nairobi until it was turned into an all boys’ school in the late 1980s.

 Moi Forces Academy Lanet was founded in 1986 by former President Daniel Arap Moi [Photo: Courtesy]

These pioneering cohort enjoyed life at Lanet, but really hated spending weekends on the school’s vast wheat farm tilling as part of their lessons.

One interesting event was closing day when military parents ferried everyone, including students from civilian families, in army vehicles (for free) back to Nairobi!

They sat their first national exams at Lanet in 1989 when Unny Nzioka was the first head girl across streams A and X, before they were renamed East and West.

The school has six streams today - East, West, North, South, Central and Meridian. Previously a banker and CEO of Bandari Sacoo, Unny is currently an independent distributor of lifestyle products and head of Hedge Management Services.

Besides Unny, other alumni still guided by the motto: ‘In Knowledge Dwells Strength’ include Jacqueline Kamonya, one of Kenya’s most celebrated news anchors whose nose ring and vibrant presentation style made her a household name at KBC in the mid-1990s to early 2000s before leaving for America where she became a nurse before pursuing media studies at Regent University, Virginia.

Kamonya captured public imagination with her poem Sukuma Wiki Kipenzi, when she was a student at Mukumu Primary School and retired President Moi offered to sponsor her education.

Another alumnus is Phyllis Kariuki-Magero, whose ‘excellent’ artwork at Lanet led to a degree in interior design and landscaping, but she’s now a luxury wedding cake maker running Cake Couture Kenya, a company which, recently emerged the best luxury wedding cake provider in the 2018 Kenya Wedding Industry Awards.

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