As the famous adage goes “Age is just a number”, 96-year-old Duncan Nderitu Ndegwa, a former Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor, has authored four books in his sunset years.
Duncan Ndegwa was the first post-independence Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet in Kenya.
He was also the first African and longest serving Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.
The books titled ‘Moi’s Kleptocracy and its Spillovers’, ‘Boy from Chorong’I’, ‘The Traditions, Culture and Beliefs of the Agikuyu and The Lineage of Aceera of Ndegwa Wahome Clan, were launched on Friday at the Continental Resort in Mombasa in a colourful ceremony.
Ndegwa is a long-serving public servant who became President Jomo Kenyatta’s Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet.
The pioneer Kenyan CBK Governor was born on March 11, 1925 in Nyeri County and attended Alliance High School, Makerere University College in Uganda and University of St Andrews in Scotland.
He joined the public service in 1956 as an Economist/Statistician and was appointed Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service in 1963 where he served until he was appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya in 1967.
Ndegwa who is still an ardent golfer at his age later served as the first African Central Bank Governor, a post he held from 1967 to 1982.
He also published his autobiography, ‘Walking in Kenyatta Struggles: My story,’ more than ten years ago and translated the same in Gikuyu language, ‘Rugendo rwakwa Makinyani ma Kenyatta’.
“Instead of lamenting, I used my brains to author books as my contribution to my country after being pushed out of the civil service in 1982,” said Ndegwa during the launching ceremony, which was attended by the current CBK Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge and several scholars.
In his book ‘Moi’s Kleptocracy and its Spillover’, Ndegwa said during early days of independence there were leaders of various African countries who inspired confidence among their citizens while a good number of them underwhelmed the citizenry in equal measures.
“For Kenya and Africa to make progress, we must purpose to learn from our past lest we keep taking certain wrong turns we have taken in the past time and again,” said the former CBK boss.
“Similarly we need to take note of times when we have taken the right decisions so that we reap more from some choices we made in our past,” Ndegwa said.
In the book ‘Boy from Chorong’i,’ where Ndegwa shows he was born to ordinary folk, young people will find inspiration that one does not need to be born into advantage to serve in crucial dockets in government or private sector.
Ndegwa encouraged Kenyans, especially university students to read his books which offer so many meaningful lessons that could take the country to higher levels.
Dr Njoroge paid tribute to the former Central Bank Governor for inspiring young people and Kenyans in general through his well-researched books.
He also said Mr Ndegwa was behind the transformation and modernisation of the Central Bank of Kenya whose contribution was still benefiting the country to date.
Dr Njoroge underscored the place of professionalism and proper vision in the management of the country saying this was a big challenge in both public and private sectors.
By Mohamed Hassan