David Maraga is that squeaky clean Chief Justice who doesn’t have skeletons on his closet, or so we thought. The CJ gave a moving account of his ‘purposeless before’ life during the 37th graduation ceremony of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa before he found his bearing and became the person he is today.
Here is what the CJ had to share:
Let me first tell you a little about my life’s story, and from it you will no doubt see how amazing God’s grace will always be.
Having been born into a rather poor family in Nyamira, I got to wear my first pair of shoes when I was admitted to Secondary School, and that was only because it was compulsory.
Worse still, I got to wear my first pair of shorts only after circumcision, at the age of 10. It is perhaps a good thing that those were not the days of today’s pervasive selfies and paparazzi.
Otherwise I wonder what pictures of the Chief Justice as a young man would be circulating in the social media today. There is one I took with my first car, a Volkswagen beetle which looks interesting. Perhaps I should have it tweeted and I see the reaction.
Although my parents were not Christians, I was baptized and joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1965 while in primary school, thanks mainly to the great influence of SDA in the area.
However, I got into bad company in Secondary School and slipped in the spiritual sense. While in that bad company, I drunk hard and, except for providing for the bare necessities.
I ignored my family and literally mark-timed for about 20 years. I did not bother to further my professional career. But all that time the spirit of God kept prodding me to return to Church.
When I eventually returned, God pointed me to a path of unwavering purpose that has brought me to where I am today. It is after I discovered my purpose in life that I realised I needed to do a masters degree and I went to class after 34 years.
After the change, as a private legal practitioner, I got more and better clients. God blessed the work of my hands and as my involvement with communities increased, so did my growth professionally and materially.
When I joined the Judiciary in 2003, I in no time earned respect from my colleagues because of my Christian principles. Let me not bore you with the story of my life. But allow me to say this.
I am sure I would not have been appointed Judge, leave alone being the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya today, had I not eventually found my purpose in life and pursued it relentlessly.
And in pursuing this purpose, the principle ingredient was ensuring that I was in the service of God, my family and my community in equal measure. In a nutshell, my brothers and sisters, I don’t know about you but as for me, I say this: it is great to be a Christian.