On the 23rd of November 2022, a team of Old Boys led by Robert Omamo (AHS 99), Editor-at-Large of the recently released autobiography of former Cabinet Minister Dr. William Odongo Omamo “The Path to Kaliech”, visited Alliance High School to donate copies of the book to the school library. Of the 6 copies donated, 3 were donated by Old Boy Bernard Kishoiyian while the rest were donated by Mr. Omamo.
Mr. Kishoiyian, who left AHS in 1986 after six years at the school, belonged to Wilberforce House, Dorm 12A and played hockey for the school. He graduated from the University of Nairobi School of Law in 1990 and now lives in South Florida with his wife and two kids. His daughter is a freshman at Harvard University.
Mr. Omamo, who is also a son to the Late Dr. Omamo, was accompanied by Mr. Isaac Mutemi (AHS 2006), who served as the Substantive Editor for the book, and Mr. Starlings Muchiri (AHS 99), who represented the Old Boys Club and is also Mr. Omamo’s classmate. The team was received by the Principal, Mr. Kamau Chomba, the teacher in charge of the library, Mrs. Joyce Okemwa, and the librarian, Ms. Rosalinda Kinya. The group proceeded to address a brief forum of student librarians, led by the Library Prefects Job Muturi for the Junior Library and Jesse Jason for the Senior Library.
Mr. Chomba thanked the team of Old Boys for the donation and encouraged the students to emulate the example set by their predecessors by maintaining a strong reading culture that was both broad and deep. He lamented over the corruption of students’ reading culture by the influence of new media, which has led many students to prefer short and racy forms of literature, whose reward is short-lived, over longer and more complex genres, whose impact tends to be more rewarding in the long term. Reflecting on the memory of “Kaliech”, Mr. Chomba recounted the profound impact Dr. Omamo left on Kenyan politics through his exquisite humour and dedication to service, and encouraged the students to connect with that history by making use of the books donated at the forum.
Mr. Omamo reflected on the impact that Alliance high school has had on his family, as four of his siblings, an elder brother and 3 elder sisters, had preceded him at the two Alliance schools. He therefore felt obligated to give back to the schools and to inspire the students by sharing the example of Kaliech, who overcame great odds to leave a powerful legacy in Kenyan society. He also encouraged them to treasure the Alliance ties, both with their peers and with the wider alumni community, because they will provide an opportunity to collaborate together on important projects. He gave the example of his partnership with Mr. Mutemi, who, being 7 years his junior, did not find him at Alliance, but, through engagement in the Alliance fraternity, became a valuable partner in the project of releasing his father’s autobiography. On his part, Mr. Muchiri encouraged the students to take advantage of the resources the school has availed to them to ensure that they grew up to become the best possible versions of themselves. He announced that the OBC would be collaborating with the Library Department to ensure that there was a section for literature produced by AHS alumni. The Sr. Library Prefect, Jesse Jason, delivered a vote of thanks on behalf of his peers. He thanked the editors of the book for adding to the pool of literature produced by Kenyan authors, and observed that reading Dr. Omamo’s story would equip them to better find their own paths to Kaliech.