Samburu herdsboy who rose to be lawyer, now county Speaker

Tuesday November 28 2017

Mr Solomon Lempere

Mr Solomon Lempere’s whose early life revolved around herding livestock and dancing with other warriors in the evening. He is now the Samburu County Assembly Speaker. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PAUL LETIWA
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Less than a decade ago, he was a herdsboy in a small, dusty village along Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu County tending to his father’s cattle in the forest during school breaks.

Mr Solomon Lempere’s life revolved around herding livestock and dancing with other warriors in the evening.

“I was exposed to the pastoralist way of life and going to school was not a priority to my father who is a herdsman,” Mr Lempere recalls.

“The main reason was that, in the Samburu culture, as the first-born son, I was to assist my father to graze the animals.”

The 29-year-old lawyer added, “I was lucky to have gone to school. Many of my warrior friends didn’t.”

Mr Lempere, who started his education at Kipsing Primary School in the neighbouring Isiolo County, is the Speaker of Samburu County Assembly.

Before then, he was an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

UNOPPOSED

Considered humble and soft-spoken, Mr Lempere was unopposed after his rivals pulled out days to the ballot.

The young Lempere showed exemplary academic ability.

So, when he passed his exams, the extended family decided that he should further his education.

In 2008, he joined Moi University to study law. He later graduated with a master’s degree in law from the University of Western Cape, South Africa.

He also has a post-graduate diploma from the Kenya School of Law.

DRAFTED BILLS

Over the five years that he was a county legal officer, Mr Lempere drafted many Bills which were approved by the first county assembly of Samburu.

“I have, fortunately, benefitted from well-wishers and government loans to secure an education,” said the father of two.

Mr Moses Leluata, a close childhood friend of Mr Lempere’s, recalls about him, “He was a disciplined student who put his academics first, putting into consideration the challenges he went through as a son of a pastoralist family in Samburu East.”

Mr Lempere succeeded the 36-year-old former Speaker, Steve Lelegwe, who was elected as the Samburu senator on August 8.