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Mary-Ann Kirubi vows to step into her father’s shoes

NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 19 – The daughter of Industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi who died in mid June has vowed to carry on with her father’s legacy which has seen him celebrated as one of Kenya’s most successful businessmen and entrepreneurs with vast interests in real estate, media and agriculture.

Mary-Ann Kirubi-Musangi told mourners during her father’s funeral at the weekend that she is ready to move her father’s legacy to the next level.

Dr Kirubi succumbed to cancer on June 15 and was buried at his Bendor farm in Thika four days later.

“Daddy, I am still your little girl, and as little girls do, I will put on your shoes, those shoes that you have left behind. However, my tiny little fight will be swimming helplessly in your shoes, as I reach out for your hands to hold me steady,” she said.

“So before God, and all these witnesses, I ask you to bless me and allow me to wear my own shoes. The shoes that will enable me to run my own race,” Mary-Ann said.

She told mourners who included Cabinet Secretaries James Macharia (Transport) and Joe Mucheru (ICT) how she questioned her father’s decision to send her abroad for studies when she was only 12 years old.

Mary-Ann confessed that this tough love from her now-departed father conditioned her to be the fearless entrepreneur.

“I kept thinking why would he do that to me, I thought I was his little girl, I would keep wondering why would he do this to me and sometimes it did turn into resentment from time to time. But you know what he was thinking ahead, coz in the 80’s how many African families were sending their children out of Kenya for school. He had a vision for me, and that was to be exposed, that vision was to be worldly, that vision was to be fearless of any culture and any language,” she reminisced.

She recalled her late father’s four-year battle with cancer, saying the ordeal left her father – a tenacious fighter by all standards – weaker and his family emotionally drained.

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“He brutally fought this disease called cancer which was difficult. We were emotionally exhausted, it was unthinkable what he was going through. He fought very very hard,” she told mourners on Saturday.

Mary-Ann said she grew up cherishing every moment she spent with her father.

“Oh Daddy, as I told you in the last couple of weeks we will be alright, you taught us patience, you taught us to work hard, you taught us tenacity and most importantly you taught us to care. We will be fine, rest now, enjoy the place of Heaven with the loved ones who went there before you. I promise to do my best; your legacy will never be forgotten,” Mary-Ann said as she concluded her tribute.

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