Pastor Dorcas Gachagua Biography

Dorcas Wanjiku Gachagua’s story, as the woman poised to become Kenya’s second lady, is the epitome of a rise from rags to riches.
Ms Gachagua, a retired banker turned pastor, says she spent most of her childhood in Thika’s Kiandutu slums after her family moved from Ndunyu Chege, Muranga, where she was born.

When she was a child, her father died, leaving her mother to raise her seven siblings while working menial jobs to make ends meet.

“As a widow with eight children, you have nowhere to go; it’s as if you’re shunned; even her family didn’t want her to return,” Ms Gachagua said in an interview with KTN News.

Ms Gachagua recalls her adolescent years as the most difficult because she and her siblings had to shuttle between coffee farms and do various menial jobs, such as becoming maids, to supplement their mother’s meager wages.

Pastor Dorcas Gachagua Biography

“My mum worked in her business, trading maize and beans while my siblings and I worked in coffee farms, and sold water to supplement her wages,” she said.

Ms Rigathi recalls her family being forced to sleep in a chicken coop after their extended family disowned them, believing they were attempting to inherit their grandfather’s estate.

“We were made to stay in a chicken coop outside my grandmother’s house, because the rest of the family thought we’d claim our grandfather’s inheritance,” she added.

Ms Gachagua attended Mugumo-ini Primary School before moving on to St Francis Girls. She was then accepted into Kenyatta University’s 1985/1986 intake.

She earned a bachelor of education degree from Kenyatta University, majoring in History and CRE. She then joined the Agriculture Department of Cooperative Bank in 1990, where she learned the ropes as a banker.

She explains that part of her job was to create a plan for coffee and tea farmers to be able to access credit without having to put up collateral. Ms. Rigathi worked as a banker until 2006, when she retired to join the family business as a director.

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How Pastor Dorcas Met Gachagua

Ms. Rigathi claims she met her future husband while visiting Moi at his Kabarnet Gardens home in the early 1980s.

In a series of interviews, Ms Rigathi described the trip as a suicide mission. According to her, she was in bed that day, contemplating suicide, when one of her girlfriends woke her up and informed her of the trip to Moi’s house.

Pastor Dorcas and Gachagua inspecting their dairy farming project at their home in Iruri Village, Mathira, Nyeri County.
Pastor Dorcas and Gachagua inspecting their dairy farming project at their home in Iruri Village, Mathira, Nyeri County.

She claims she only agreed because she knew it would be her last trip. She planned to make a scene on the presidential dais in the hopes of being shot.

“When the president stood, I just got up and ran and I expected them to shoot me… I dont know how it happened, but it is God’s way of doing thing,” she narrated.

“He stood up and started coming towards me and I went and bumped into him… I was asking myself, is this how people die?”

Gachagua was the one who was ticking off names and interpreting his future wife’s desperate act as bravery as he led the delegation from Nyeri to Moi’s house.

Gachagua, who offered her words of comfort when she confessed her plans, foiled her suicidal scheme.

She was invited to State House with her mother and siblings after telling the late Mzee Moi about her ordeal.

Gachagua was also at the State House on the day she and her family paid a visit to Mzee Moi, flanked by his parents, who were there for another reason.

The second meeting started a love story that led to their marriage in 1989.

Kevin and Keith Gachagua, the couple’s two sons, are 31 and 30 years old, respectively.

Mr. and Mrs. Gachagua and their son Keith
Mr. and Mrs. Gachagua and their son Keith

Kelvin, a computer software engineer, works in a bank, while Keith, his younger brother, is a doctor.

Before fate ushered her and her husband onto the national stage, Ms Gachagua, who had been working as a director in the family business, had planned to retire from corporate life and become a full-time pastor.

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