Tributes poured in following the sudden death of Hellen Cherambos, the wife of former President Moi’s Escort Commander.
She passed away yesterday morning as she was being taken to hospital after complaining of chest pains at their home in Aldai, Nandi County, her husband, Samson said.
Mrs Cherambos served as Principal of the prestigious Moi Girls High School Eldoret for 24 years from 1983 to 2007.
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In retirement, she took on community work including as a Cannon at the Anglican Church of Kenya and mentoring young women professionals.
“I have lost a pillar of the family,” said an emotional Cherambos who also served as the GSU Commandant between 1999-2002.
“I left her with the grandchildren and went upstairs after our evening prayers. She was in good health but started complaining of body weakness in the wee hours of the morning,” he said.
Those who knew her described Mrs Cheramboss as an astute educationist.
“The education sector has lost an icon. Madam Cheramboss was a tireless and dedicated teacher and mentor who moulded a generation of leaders in every sphere of society,” said Deputy President William Ruto in a Tweet.
Baringo Senator Gedion Moi mourned Mrs Cherambos as “a great teacher who touched and inspired the lives of many Kenyan girls” and prayed for fortitude for the family.
“Moi Girls has lost its mother. Mrs Cherambos is Moi Girls. You can’t run the school without referring to her. We are still in shock,” said current Principal Ms Christine Chumba.
“Hellen Cherambos was an astute and desciplined manager in our high school system. She was a much respected principal. I will miss her friendship, warmth and good neighbourliness,” said former Head of Public Service Dr Sally Kosgei.
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang said his county had lost a public servant who served with distinction. “It is a big blow to the community and society,” Mr Sang said.
Uasin Gishu Woman Rep Gladys Shollei, one of her former student, described the deceased as an icon.
“I ran into her three weeks in Eldoret, and I was happy when she remarked that she was proud of me and my achievements. She remained my mentor even after I completed my education... so sad she is no more,” she said.
“I knew her as a mother, a mentor and a meticulous Principal,” her former deputy Henry Kimng’ok recalled.
“She moulded us to be women of substance, mothers and professionals. She was tough, but motherly… and knew every student (about 700 of us) by name, where we came from and which class we were in,” said Rebecca Tallam, a former student who works in Nairobi.
“Mrs Cheramboss had the goodwill of her students at heart... Mrs Cherambos had a good heart and demonstrated that teaching is a calling,” said Rael Sogomo, a former parent.
Mrs Cherambos served as council member at Moi, Maasai Mara and Egerton universities.