NAIROBI, Kenya, MAY 27, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The world-record-breaking oldest primary school student, a Kenyan great-grandfather, was baptized after he learned to read the Bible.
Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge, the Guinness World Record holder for being the oldest person to enter primary school at age 84, was baptized Sunday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Kariobangi, east of Nairobi, Ecumenical News International reported Monday.
Now 90 years old, Maruge chose the baptismal name “Stephen” as he stated, “I commit my life to God, from now until the end.”
“I decided to be baptized after reading the Bible,” he explained.
In a wheelchair due to stomach cancer, the new Catholic added: “I read the Bible and came across the name Stephen. This is a name for those who have endured hardships like me.”
Father Paulino Mondo, Holy Trinity pastor, affirmed that the schooling helped Maruge to read and understand the Bible, and pass all his catechism tests.
Maruge enrolled in school due to the government’s introduction of free primary education in 2003. Two of his 30 grandchildren attend the same school.
He addressed the U.N. Millennium Development Summit in Sep. 2005 in New York on the importance of free primary education.
Maruge continued schooling despite being forced to a refugee camp due to post-election violence in 2008, and later relocation to a senior citizen retirement home.
The Kenyan’s story will be told in a Hollywood-produced film, titled “The First Grader,” which is currently being produced.