Who is Kimani Maruge?

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Kimani Maruge is a Kenyan who was the oldest person to attend primary school on record. When he began attending school at the age of 84 in 2003, he was the oldest student enrolled in the program.

He holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest person to graduate from primary school — he entered first grade on 12 January 2004, when he was 84 years old. Although he did not possess any documents to prove his age, Maruge believed that he was born in 1920, although he appeared to be somewhat younger than that age.

The government’s announcement of universal and free elementary education in 2003 prompted Maruge to enroll in Kapkenduiywo Primary School in Eldoret, Kenya.

Maruge, a model student, was elected head boy of his school in 2005.

Remembering Rao Gopal Rao

For the first time in his life, Maruge boarded a plane and traveled to New York City to speak at the United Nations 2005 World Summit. He discussed the importance of free primary and secondary education.

Maruge was forced to withdraw from school in June 2008 and relocate to a retirement home for seniors. Maruge enrolled once again in Standard 6 at the Marura primary school, located in the Kariobangi area of Nairobi, shortly thereafter, on 10 June 2008.

At the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Maruge died of stomach cancer on 14 August 2009.

On 12 January 2015, Google Doodle celebrated 11th Anniversary of Kimani Maruge’s First Day of School.