Why billionaire David Langat donated Sh130m Nandi school to church

Dr David Lang'at Primary School in Lessos ward, Nandi County. 

Dr David Lang'at Primary School in Lessos ward, Nandi County. 

Photo credit: Tom Matoke | Nation Media Group

Kenyan billionaire David Langat has donated his Sh130 million private school in Nandi County to the Anglican Church in Kenya (ACK).

The businessman established the state-of-the-art primary school -- Dr David Lang'at Primary School -- at Lolkireny village, Nandi Hills during President Mwai Kibaki’s regime in 2007.

The local community and church leaders were in shock after the Kenyan tycoon handed over the school to the Head of the Anglican Church in Kenya, (ACK) Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit, and Bishop Dr Paul Korir of Kapsabet ACK Diocese on Monday.

The businessman announced that he and his family have given out the school as a way of giving back to the community to enable local children to access quality education.

A majority of the children in the area were squatters driven out of the expansive Mau Forest along the Keben, Cheboror, and Koilot areas and whose parents struggle to ensure their children get quality education.

The move is expected to boost quality education for needy children in the local community.

A close ally of President William Ruto, Dr Lang'at owns a multibillion-shilling business empire in real estate and industry sectors across the country, including a mall in Mombasa and an export and import business.

Head of Anglican Church Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit in red with businessman David Lang'at on his right and other church leaders when Dr Lang'at handed over his private school -- Dr David Lang'at Primary School -- to the church.

Photo credit: Tom Matoke | Nation Media Group

He said on Monday he would transfer the school and the land on which it sits from his business empire records.

“I and my family have today officially handed over the Sh130 million private primary school which I built and have given it out to the ACK Diocese of Kapsabet under Bishop Dr Paul Korir,” said the businessman.

Archbishop Sapit presided over the handover ceremony on Monday that marked the official receivership of the school by the church, which now fully takes over the administrative function.

The primary day and boarding school in Lessos ward in Nandi Hills Sub-county consists of well-equipped laboratories, dormitories, and classrooms. It also offers Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) education. 

The school is among the top performing private schools which has produced top students in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). Many of its pupils have ended up in top schools in the country, including Alliance, Kapsabet Boys, Mangu, and Lenana.

At the time of handing over, it had a population of over 650 learners.

Twenty-five years ago, Dr Langat purchased a one-acre parcel of land at a cost of Sh30,000 and established a church after realising Christians walked over 12km at the time to Lessos ACK for the Sunday church service. He later bought the eight-acre parcel on which he established the school.

The businessman said the school will boost the church’s financial status and enable it to meet its obligations, as well as enable children from humble backgrounds to get quality education.

“The institution is not a profit-making business but rather a facility to change society through education. We are looking forward to bettering the standard of many families since for years, the school has been churning out excellent learners in KCPE results,” said the billionaire. 

Archbishop Sapit thanked Dr Langat and said the Church needs support from local leaders.

“It is an unlikely act of generosity for one to offer his lot to the community, but for the philanthropist, he has indicated it was a sense of gratitude and appreciation to the church and the community where he was born and bred over 56 years ago,” he said.

He recalled that last mont, Dr Langat hosted Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua at the school and raised over Sh25 million towards the construction of 10 churches in Lessos ward.