Ever come across someone who can memorise the calendar of all the years back and forth? Mentally challenged Pascal Kibet, 22, is an amazing â€˜walking calendarâ€™ of Kobil village in Marakwet East District.
When The Standard visited Kibetâ€™s home and posed several questions to him on dates there was no doubt he has unusual ability. To our amazement, he could answer spontaneously and correctly. It still is a wonder how he mastered the calendar.
â€œThe answers are in my head. I take your questions and visualise the date and day in a flash,â€ he says.
Curious about his ability, people from far and wide throng the home to sample the boyâ€™s memorising ability.
Kibet through years
His 63-year-old father Benard Kaino says he was born normal but they realised there was a problem when he couldnâ€™t speak at age of two. â€œA two-year-old child can struggle to talk or imitate people suggesting that he or she is about to communicate but my son didnâ€™t show any of the signs.â€
Mr Kaino, a retired teacher, says took him to a nearby nursery school where he joined his age mates but to the fatherâ€™s dismay there was no improvement. â€œTeachers told me the child could neither catch up with other children nor communicate properly with them.â€
He then decided to take him out of school with the hope tht if he stayed among familiar faces he would improve, but five years down the line there was still no change.
At the age of 12, the parents enrolled him at St Teresaâ€™s Special School for the Mentally Handicapped in Webuye for vocational training where he studied for four years before his studies were cut short at the height of the 2007/08 post-election violence.
â€œHe learned how to write letters of the alphabet and speak some Swahili,â€ says Kaino.
Since then Kibet has been at home tending their farm and looking after the family animals.
Besides his calendar skills, during the interview, we learned Kibet is very good at counting, adding and subtracting reversely but does not understand multiplication. It was not until 2009 when the family and neighbours discovered his gift of memorising the calendar.