Activity came to a stop in the sleepy village of Matooni on the foothills of Manooni hills as Serena Wiliams, the world number two ranked tennis player, opened a secondary school named after her in the area on Friday.
Williams, who was accompanied by the Minister for Education, Professor Sam Ongeri, and the area MP, Peter Kiilu, could not hide her joy for being involved in the project.
“I would like to contribute more to education projects in Africa, and I really want to thank the Hewlett Packard Company for choosing to partner with me in this noble project,” Williams told the ecstatic crowd.
The school, which has been named after the player, was built in record one month, and is fully equipped with a computer laboratory and Internet facilities for the students.
Ongeri lauded the tennis star for her efforts, and requested more people to contribute in making Kenya’s free secondary education a success, noting that secondary school enrolment had gone up in the country over the past three years.
“In 2005, we had 5.2 million children in primary schools. Today they are in the range of 8.2 million, and all these children need to be able to access secondary school education.”
He assured the area residents that all the schools that had not yet received registration will have their paper work completed.
“I will also personally make sure that this school, which has been opened today, is registered as a matter of urgency.”
Studies were temporarily interrupted as the little-known village received international limelight when local and international press joined the locals in witnessing the memorable occasion.
“Our children are in dire need of the school because all the other secondary schools around this location are already packed with students,” said an elated villager.
Among other guests at the function were the area District Commissioner, Esther Lokwei, the vice-president of Hewlett Pakard worldwide, Satjiv Chahil, and the project manager of Build African Schools, Dickson Mutaiti.
On Saturday, Williams will join young tennis players at Sadili Oval Club for a round of tennis as well as a motivational talks.