Joseph Malatit, a former assistant chief for Kimoso Sub Location in Salawa Division, Baringo Central Sub County is no ordinary man.
He woke up one morning and said enough is enough.
He was unhappy with the suffering of some youth in Kabarnet.
They were engaging in smoking of bhang and drinking of second generation liquor at the stalled Kabarnet stadium.
The facility is intended to promote their God given talents once it is completed.
Malatit, 61, says he decided to start a 354 Kilometres charity walk from his rural village on the Tuesday of August 24th 2021.
His intention is creating awareness and raising funds to complete the stadium whose first phase was launched in 2014 by the then governor, Benjamin Cheboi.
The project is now in deplorable state.
The retired chief is a lucky man because he embarked on a journey without planning for his security from Kabarnet to Nairobi.
He also did not have food that could keep him going through the ragged terrain.
By the time he covered the first 60 Kilometres Mzee Malatit had lost two pairs of shoes due to the harsh weather conditions.
“I couldn’t just sit around at home after my retirement. I am a passionate person who likes to see the youth come out to be successful people in society,” he says.
The former administrator notes that he received overwhelming support from well wishers who volunteered to facilitate his upkeep during the 10 day journey.
He managed to present his written proposal to Safaricom PLC and the Ministry of Sports Office in Nairobi.
He was driven by hope that they will consider his wishes of having an ultra-modern stadium within the county headquarters.
Mzee Malatit’s efforts to reach out to President Uhuru Kenyatta remained futile after he was denied access to State House.
The president was hosting foreign diplomatic dignitaries that day.
He says his other intention was to seek the president’s support in constructing the stadium to international standards.
He also wants the facility to be renamed in remembrance of former President Danel Arap Moi who was born in the region.
“Mzee Moi served the country for 24 years and it will be very good if we can have a stadium named after him,” he explained.
He adds that the region has a potential of nurturing upcoming sportsmen and women who can represent the country in major talents.
This can only be more practical if the necessary facilities are put in place.
Nominated MCA Elizabeth Kipsang while lauding Malatit says that the old man has “retired but not tired” because he single handedly carried a challenge of all Baringo residents on his shoulders thus should be emulated by other leaders.
Kipsang points out that the stalled stadium is a big shame because other regions have made huge strides in uplifting sporting facilities.
She wants the county government through CEC for Sports to be serious and take up the matter with the urgency it deserves so that the youths can get a platform to engage in sporting activities and not to idle around.
“Personally, I have been seeking answers from the department of sports on why the construction works of the stadium stopped but the feedback is not forthcoming.
Mzee Malatit is our true hero because he took upon himself to think of another idea on how best to salvage the situation,” she said.
Youth led by Baringo Central representative Patrick Wangari urged Governor Stanley Kiptis to team up with other partners to ensure that the stadium which stalled four years ago receives enough funding for construction works.
David Kipyegon, Treasurer Baringo Central FKF, said it was amazing how such a person thought out an idea which does not benefit him but the youth.
Kipyegon says that due to incomplete construction works, the stadium poses danger to sports spectators and animals.
“We have witnessed animals fall down from a section of the field as well as people getting injured when they come to watch matches ongoing at the incomplete stadium,” he says.
Stanley Ngetich notes that the region has 16 football teams with 14 playing on sub branches and two others at regional level.
He says with an improved stadium he expects more teams to join top tier leagues in the country.
Athletics Kenya (AK) county women representative, Elizabeth Keitany, says sportsmen from the region have equally been affected since they have been forced to seek training services in other camps.
She calls upon other stakeholders including Non-Governmental Organizations to chip in to support the completion of the stalled facility.
Keitany is also calling on Government officials to inspect stadiums under construction on a regular basis.
She says it is from such neglect that the contractor did shoddy work and left the Kabarnet Stadium incomplete.
Janet Cheburet, another AK official, says that from the initiative of Malatit, she expects other leaders to join in the noble cause in order for local youth to engage themselves in productive activities.