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'I grew up with nothing'- Duale revisits childhood memories


Defense CS Aden Duale at the Spice FM studios in Nairobi. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

When President William Ruto was launching his Hustler manifesto for the 2022 General Election, he carefully selected a team who believed in his bottom-up vision.

Outwardly, one might have interpreted it as just a normal political arrangement. But for Ruto, for you to talk it, you had to have walked it.

Walking the journey with him was the current Cabinet Secretary for Defence Aden Duale, whose loyalty to the Head of State saw him lose the National Assembly Majority Leader seat in 2022.

Being a real bottom-up crusader, Duale documented some of the struggles and challenges that he had to endure growing up in his new book For The Record.

“I used to wear one pair of shorts and a shirt throughout the year. I would wash the clothes at night and wait for my mother or elder sister to patch them up when they were torn. My first pair of footwear was a pair of red slippers that a kind man from Kitui gifted me after seeing me walking barefoot,” an excerpt from the book reads.

“After school and during the weekends, my brother and I used to sell eggs in the streets or walk from one homestead to another hawking them. Some would refuse to pay us while others drove hard bargains,” he says.

Duale who has gained wealth over the years currently has a net worth of Sh851 million also revealed that he slept on a bed for the first time as a student at Garissa High School.

According to him, one has to rise from somewhere and all the hardship he had to endure shaped him into who he is now.

In his speech during the launch of the book last week, the Defence CS urged political leaders to revisit the early years of their lives to remind themselves and Kenyans of where they have come from.

The book is the first written by a high-profile, sitting government official.

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