In his effort to explain the rise of Okonkwo in the text Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe wrote, “looking at the kings’ mouth one would think that he never sucked his mother’s breast”.
Simple, down to earth but a very objective person, that is a candid description of Dr Erick Mutai born and brought up in a financially challenged family 36 years ago in a village called Rungut, Litein Ward, Kericho County.
Speaks like a native speaker of the English language contrary to his rural education. Dr Mutai attended Rungut Primary School where he has fond memories of jiggers and peerless hunger that were part of his life.
He, however, attributes his nonpareil linguistic competence to his primary school teacher called Grace Langat who instilled a love for books in his then young mind.
In 1997 he joined Litein High School for secondary education before proceeding to Maseno University in 2004 where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Education, English Literature in 2009.
“In the University I survived through friends and relatives. There are moments I could go hungry without a place to live. There is a time I slept with a guard at the gate but a certain police officer called Cherop came to my rescue and hosted for a year,” Dr Mutai lamented.
In 2011, his quest for the hyphens and commas saw him enrol for a Master’s Degree in Literature at the University of Kabianga despite the chilling and bitting financial crunch where he graduated in 2014.
It is worth noting that he enrolled for his MA by the time he was earning nine thousand shillings as a BOM teacher.
“I owe an immeasurable debt to the former Bureti MP Hon Frankline Bett who gave me a cheque of Sh 80,000 that made my dreams come true,” said Dr Mutai.
“Luckily: I graduated in 2013 with an MA in Literature at the same time when I got the TSC job,” he added.
With a stable income, he immediately enrolled for Doctorate in Literature at Laikipia University and graduated in the year 2018
At a glance, Dr. Mutal’s education journey may seem smooth but there is more than meets the eye. Speaking to Education News, Dr. Mutai tells a story of a labyrinth journey full of pricking thorns.
According to the astute, lucid and articulate literary critic, 2010 was a challenging year for him. He had just graduated from university and there was no job where he could work and earn a coin to support his ailing mother.
“Out of frustrations, I thought that life was coming to an end and the only resort was to hit the road but unfortunately, it ended in premium tears,” said Dr Mutai.
However, he later turned into a new leave and became a Christian apologist.
“I defend Christianity because I believe it is the pathway towards restoring normalcy to our society,” said Dr Mutai.
Currently, Dr Mutal teaches Literature at the University of Embu but his ambition to lead has never gotten too far from his heart.
Speaking to Education News, Dr. Mutai confirmed that it is indeed true that he is set on another journey from the classroom to the political arena.
“I am a resident of Kericho County, I am a child of the downtrodden in the society, I am a product of the voiceless and the faceless so I know what we need as a county,” said the articulate teacher of Literature.
Dr Mutai proudly attested that he has mapped out all possible ways aimed at ameliorating the living standards of the residents if his bid for the top position in the county is considered by the residents.
Known for his peerless admiration to the Deputy President Dr William Ruto, Dr Mutai told Education News that he has put everything in place for his journey to the county politics where he affirmed that he will be contending for the gubernatorial position in the next election.
Dr. Mutai however is a responsible husband and a father of two.