Coming from a humble background in Sugoi, Eldoret selling chicken on the roadside of the Eldoret-Kampala highway for just Sh. 11, to being ounces away from having the most coveted seat in the land of Kenya, William Ruto has been a man to admire for many.
Behind every good man, there is an incredible woman… they say. William Ruto and his wife Rachel, have been married for 31 years and have lived to be blessed with 7 children.
Just like any other couple, Ruto and Rachel once met as strangers, years ago and love blossomed between them. Rachel fondly loves to call him ‘Husband Bill.’
Ruto revealed that he met Rachel in a church where they were both attending in campus. Ruto was studying for his Bachelors of Science in Zoology and Botany at UoN while Rachel was studying Bachelor of Arts in Education at Kenyatta University. They were both in the school choirs.
“She was a member of the choir like me. We were both part of an evangelistic team called North Rift Evangelistic Team.” He said.
Ruto further said that in his early days he was an Evangelist.
“We used to go on missions together. She did a course in Education.” Said the President-elect.
“She was posted to Kessup girls for teaching practice and I was ‘generally around’ and that is where our love history grew from. The rest is history,” Ruto said.
Rachel says that God revealed Ruto as her husband in a dream. Rachel also says that Ruto was the first man in her life.
”I used to pray for my future husband and at one point at night God gave me the two names of the person that I would get married to (William Ruto). That was during my teaching practice times,” she narrated.
“The next day, I was learning how to play the guitar from a friend’s house. My roommate came and told me that I had a visitor, I was like, who is that?” she said.
“William had come to visit me and that was a confirmation that it was him. He was not supposed to be in Eldoret,” she said revealing that her roommate left her to be with her boyfriend.
“I was left with him (Ruto) in the room feeling very uncomfortable without knowing what to do. He then told me he had something to tell me and that was the day he proposed to me.”
“I got married immediately after KU at the age of 23 years. I have never regretted getting married young. It’s good to enjoy the young life in your marriage. I have six children.” She said.
Rachel said that she had no clue whatsoever that Bill would end up in politics except that he once hinted it on a date they had together.
“I remember one time during our courtship, he asked if I knew I was getting married to a politician and I was like, where is this coming from? I thought it was a joke.”
Ruto once gave details of their humble start in the relationship when they were renting a house in Ng’ando, Dagoretti South for just Sh. 1,750. That was when they had their first child, Ruto’s eldest son, Nick Ruto.
The couple’s other children are June Ruto, Charlene Ruto, Nadia Ruto, Stephanie Ruto, Abby Ruto and George Ruto.
President-elect William Ruto describes his wife as ‘an angel’, reminiscing of her immense support and unconditional love during trying moments such as the trial at the International Court of Justice in Hague, Netherlands.
Rachel left her career as a teacher to concentrate on familial matters and because the job was too far from her husband. Ruto’s rise in the political scene is credited to Rachel’s religious attributes and presence.
Nick Ruto has barely made news in Kenya but he was acknowledged when he was admitted to the bar in 2018, at the same time his father received his PhD.
In 2016, Rachel and Ruto adopted Nadia Ruto who was found abandoned as a newborn with her body already decomposing. Ruto took her in and named her after his mother ‘Cherono’.
“The story of Nadia who was found buried, her body partly decomposing and abandoned as a newborn and has been under the care of Sisters at Madre Ippolata Children’s Home touched my heart. I have named her Cherono, after my mother and made her part of my family,” he said then.
Rachel Ruto is a humble prayer warrior and she is an inspiration to many Kenyan women who have benefited from her organizations such as Joyful Women. Many believe that the initiatives she began for women across the country are to mobilize for her husband’s support.
Speaking in Kibwezi West Emali Market in March, she brushed away such allegations. She said that her husband’s generous nature for donating to churches and needy people should certainly not be used to pull him down.
“His habit of donating to churches is not something he started today. Let people not be bothered by his generosity. Yeye atapeana, atapeana, atapeana, hata mpaka hatakuwa nayo (He will give and give until he has nothing left),” she said.
“The Bible says that the hand that gives, is the one that receives. What’s the secret of being blessed?” she added.
For Ruto’s 54th birthday and to celebrate 28 years of marriage, in December 2020, the couple visited 52 orphanages in Uasin Gishu County. He urged Kenyans to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Ruto says he is a leader who has experienced first-hand the strenuous lives many Kenyans live with and promises to put the needs of the people ahead of the state’s needs.
The couple now are on the edge of having the most power in the country, with William Ruto being the president-elect of the country and Mama Rachel set to be Kenya’s next first lady.