Kenyan viewers were on Friday evening treated to a glimpse of West Pokot Governor Prof. John Lonyangapuo’s residence, and a section of Twitter users were awed by the fact that the county chief has a 32-inch TV despite being prominent and wealthy.
Lonyangapuo was the guest on popular K24 show Weekend with Betty on August 9.
As the host Betty Kyallo was being ushered into the house of the governor, what stood out is the relatively modest environment in the county boss’s residence.
No high-end decorations, flashy home displays or deluxe features could be spotted as is typical in the mansions of many Kenyan governors.
Lonyangapuo says he is not easily-impressed by the allure of flashy materials and the “good things in life”.
According to him, he left a Ksh370, 000 (£3, 000) per month lecturing job in the early 90s at a top London university.
“I wanted to come back to Kenya and show my people in West Pokot the value education has. Had I stayed and worked in London, I would have thrown that opportunity away,” Lonyangapuo told Kyallo.
Despite being a prominent farmer who owns hundreds of cows and a 200-acre maize farm in West Pokot, Lonyangapuo says his humble upbringing, which saw his education sponsored by the Kenyan Government, keeps him grounded.
A Twitter user took to the microblogging site on Friday to say: “If a whole governor has a 32-inch TV and is very much okay with it, why should I put pressure on myself to own expensive and big things in life yet I cannot afford them?”
Another Twitter user, Dan Riro, said: “Governor Lonyangapuo lives such a humble life.”
Ahal Ismail said: “Governor Lonyangapuo on Weekend with Betty is the best thing I’ve watched in a while. He is so down to earth and funny.”
Levi Kones said: “Governor Lonyangapuo’s home is modest. And that says a lot about the kind of a leader he is.”
During the interview, the governor introduced his family made up of his wife, Dr Rosemary Lonyangapuo, their two daughters, Abigael, who in Class Seven, and Rachel, who is in Class Four.
The couple has another daughter, Esther Chenangat Lonyangapuo, who graduated from the University of Nairobi in 2017 with a First Class Honours in Civil Engineering.
Lonyangapuo’s daughter, Abigael, says “huwa ananigombanisha nikikosea (he scolds me when I make a mistake)”. According to the governor, “that is the proper way of raising a child, when you want him or her to be successful in life”.
And the governor’s wife of 26 years, Dr Rosemary Lonyangapuo, paints a picture of a loving husband, who is highly humorous.
“How we keep it going is by trusting God. When we get into an argument, we have to find a way of getting over it, forgiving each other, forgetting and moving on,” said Dr Rosemary.
Part Two of Lonyangapuo’s interview airs on Friday, August 16 on K24 TV at 9pm.