Google Inc. on Monday featured the late Kimani Maruge on its homepage, posthumously celebrating his resolve to acquire formal education.
The customised doodle read: “11th anniversary of Kimani Maruge’s first day of school.”
A Google doodle is an artistic customisation of the logo on Google’s homepage that is meant to celebrate holidays, special events, and people.
Mr Maruge who died in 2009, enrolled in Standard One at Kapkenduiywo Primary School, Uasin Gishu, at the age of 84, becoming the world’s oldest pupil.
His joined school after the introduction of free primary education.
In 2005, the Mau Mau veteran addressed the UN Millennium Development Summit where he spoke of the importance of education.
“It is my dream that nobody will have to wait for so long the way I did to receive education. It is a basic human right,” he had told the UN meeting in New York attended by dignitaries from all over the world.
Before his death, Mr Maruge was featured in local and international media clad in school uniform as he shared pews with fellow pupils young enough to be his great grandchildren.
He was the protagonist in the 2011 movie The First Grader: A True Story of Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge directed by Justin Chadwick.
In the movie, Mr Maruge expresses his resolve to learn how to read, without which he said he was no different from a goat.
Google’s feting of the late Mr Maruge comes at a critical time in the Kenyan education sector as a teacher’s strike entered its second week.
Teachers want a 150 per cent pay increase, but the government says the demand is unrealistic.
Google is based in the US, with footprints in more than 40 countries including Kenya and is the biggest internet search engine in the world.