Rachel Ruto full names are Rachel Chebet Ruto. She assumed the role of the First Lady after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared William Samoei Ruto the winner of the 2022 presidential election on August 15, and the Supreme Court upheld the decision on September 5, 2022.
Her calm nature, religious inclination, and social justice activism make her a beloved and respected personality by many people in Kenya across the political divide. Her husband and his supporters attribute his political success to her prayers.
Age and Place of Birth
Mrs. Ruto was born on November 20, 1968, in Kakamega County, in the former Western Province.
Rachel Ruto Tribe
Rachel Ruto has roots in the Luhya tribe, with her brother being Samuel Cyrus Shikuku. Her name includes Nafula, a common Luhya name for girls.
However, Rachel’s parents are hardly unknown as she came from a humble background like her husband.
Rachel Ruto’s husband.
Rachel is just 2 years younger than her husband, Ruto born in 1966, making her 56 years old in 2022 when she became the First lady of the Republic of Kenya. The duo married in 1991 and had their first child on September 9, 1991.
Her excellency attended Likuyani Primary school in Kakamega, where she sat for her Certificate of Primary Education (CPE). She joined Butere Girls for her Secondary Education, completing both O-levels and A-levels in the same school.
She later joined Kenyatta University to pursue a Bachelor of Education degree that would allow her to work as a secondary school teacher.
Ms. Ruto also attended the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. She earned a Master of Arts degree in 2011, while William Ruto earned his master’s degree from the University of Nairobi.
Rachel Ruto Career
Although Ms. Ruto was a trained teacher, she did not practice the noble profession for long. She voluntarily resigned and started a tour business.
She also served as the second lady between 2013 and 2022 when her husband was the serving Vice President of the Republic of Kenya.
Rachel Ruto’s Children From The Oldest Nick Ruto to The Youngest Abby.
Rachel and William have a total of seven children, including an adopted daughter and a child from Ruto’s secret relationship.
Nick Kipkurgat is Ruto’s eldest child who is perceived to follow in his father’s footsteps and is reported to be interested in an elective seat.
Born in 1991, the lawyer and businessman has publicly advocated for the government’s support in youth affairs, including sports and fighting drug abuse in the Coast Province.
June the second-born of the Ruto family. She married Dr. Alexander Ezanagu, a popular Nigerian, in a highly publicized event.
Charlene Chelagat, Ruto’s third child, welcomed a baby in 2021. She works as the Director & PR and Branding executive at Weston Hotel in Nairobi. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in communication.
Stephanie Jepchumba, Ruto’s fourth child, graduated with a bachelor of law degree from Strathmore University in 2019.
George Kimutai is Ruto’s youngest son, who also prefers a private life, unlike his elder siblings, who are more open to the media.
Nadia Cherono is Ruto’s adopted daughter who was rescued after she was found buried alive.
Abby Cherop is Rachel’s stepdaughter, whose biological mother is Prisca Chemutai Bett. Abby appeared in the limelight after she was among the top performers in KCPE in 2019 after scoring 406 out of 500 marks.
Born in 2006, she made headlines for the first time when Ruto acknowledged her existence in 2017.
Rachel Ruto activism
Rachel Ruto’s social advocacy intends to end poverty and hunger, promote good health and well-being, education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation, and infrastructure.
Other goals include reducing inequalities, promoting sustainable cities and communities, climate action and peace, justice, and strong institutions.
These objectives are incorporated in the Mama Organization Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocated by various organizations such as Joyful Women Organization, Destiny Women Capital, Mama Cycling, Carakana, Mama Fresh, Mama Feeding, and RearGuard.
Joyful Women Organization
She heads the Joyful Women Organization, which advocates for improving the skills of women for self-reliance.
The organization has over 200,000 members from more than 12,000 groups sitting on a stash of over 2.7 billion Kenya shillings (about $27 million).
Destiny Women Capital
One way to achieve fairness and inclusion for women is by providing banking services. Rachel hopes to assist women in finance by promoting table banking in Kenya and Africa through Destiny Women Capital.
Rachel Ruto also advocates for healthy living by promoting cycling across the country through the Mama Cycling initiative.
She advocates for dedicated lanes for cyclists and pedestrians to reduce accidents involving the two groups of road users.
She says a non-motorized transport system is necessary for a working population and a sustainable economy.
On October 25, 2020, she cycled 37 kilometers alongside other 100 cyclists from Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) to Machakos County.
Ms. Ruto says she picked the cycling hobby during her lowest moments in life, although she did not elaborate further.
Carakana cross-stitching platform
The first lady partnered with Google to launch the Carakana e-platform to preserve indigenous skills such as cross-stitching.
The social enterprise also intends to help marginalized communities make a living by producing hand-made items. Google has showcased various items produced by indigenous cross-stitchers from the platform.
The first lady heads a climate-conscious initiative to assist women, youth, and small agribusinesses gain access to the market. She heralds fairness, inclusivity, and product quality to help small farmers market their produce.
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Rachel Ruto promotes the feeding program for primary school children and vulnerable people in formal settlements through the Mama Feeding program. She advocates dignity for everyone, physical and mental health, through the provision of food.
Ms. Ruto promotes cohesion and coexistence of various communities through advocacy, reconciliation, mentorship, and prayer. She has participated in various national prayer events which advocated for unity despite political tensions.
Mama Rachel Recognitions
In 2014, the Binary University of Malaysia awarded her the International Honorary Fellowship Award On Women Empowerment.
The World Economic Forum and African Union Commission also selected her as a champion of Women’s Economic Empowerment and Financial Inclusion.