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University student Norah Borus who died in US laid to rest

By Audrey Ng'eny | June 30th 2019

Norah Borus Chelagat after arriving at Stanford University in December 2015. [Courtesy]

A university student who died in the US under unclear circumstances was yesterday laid to rest in an emotional send-off at her parents’ home in Uasin Gishu County.

Norah Chelagat Borus, 24, was buried in her father’s farm in Ray Farm, Moiben constituency Saturday in a ceremony where leaders were barred from talking politics.

Chelagat, who emerged top student in Nairobi county and fourth nationally in the 2013 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) was eulogised as a brilliant girl who loved sciences.

She was pursuing a degree in computer studies and majored in artificial intelligence.

Chelagat was set to graduate by the end of this month as she had already started her Masters programme on the same since she had applied for the programme in the last quarter of 2018.

She was found dead in her hostel room at Stanford University on June 14.

The last born in a family of three children was described as a staunch Christian who loved singing and narration of stories.

“She loved to sing as well as play the good songs of the bells; she loved to sing ‘Bridge over Troubled waters’ with her piano and her guitar that soothed and touched most people’s lives,” her emotional mother Dinah Borus eulogised her.

Chelagat joined the Equity Bank Foundation and worked as a teller as she applied for university placement after emerging top at Precious Blood, Riruta in the 2013 KCSE.

With her passion for artificial intelligence, she also worked as an intern at Box in 2017 and Facebook in 2018 during her summer break.

She was set to continue working for Facebook.

Her father Dr Peter Borus, said his daughter loved science and she would engage him in sub-atomic particles and black holes of infinite gravitational pull topics and many other complex topics.

Chelagat is said to have talked with her family over the phone on her birthday on June 7. That was on Friday, a week before she was found dead.

The family called her the following day on June 8 to wish her success on her final exams that was due the following week, said Dr Borus.

On June 12, according to her family, Chelagat had a chat with her brother Dennis Kipchirchir, and she confirmed that she was well.

But two days later, the family would receive the unbelievable news that their daughter was no more.

The family asked the politicians present at the burial not to talk politics since they wanted to honour and give their daughter a peaceful sendoff.

“I remember when your name was read on the television and we were just the two of us in the house. We held our hands together and prayed before leaving for Precious Blood Riruta. It was a grand entry and in the twinkle of an eye, you had been whisked away and celebrated by Kenyans,” read her mother.

Dinah recalls her last moments with her daughter on June 8 during a video call wishing her a belated birthday. She remembers she was jovial and affirmed her of her sister’s visit and how she sounded excited and looked forward to meeting her.

The funeral was attended by Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos, Moiben MP Silas Tiren, William Kisang (Marakwet West), William Cheptumo (Baringo North) and former IG of police Joseph Joseph Boinnet among others.

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