H.E Joseph Ole Lenku was born on 20 October 1970 in Lenkisim sub-location, Entonet location in
Loitokitok Division of Kajiado County. He spent his childhood like other Maasai boys in rural areas,
herding goats and sheep, running errands and undergoing the necessary ceremonies, rituals and rites of
passage in line with Maasai culture. His father Lenku Ole Mpaa Kapei was a senior chief in Kajiado South.
A respected leader of the Iterito age-group of the Maasai, he is reputedly one of the wealthiest Maasai
leaders with more than 2,000 heads of cattle and a large family. His mother, Sentema Lenku, also hailed
from a lineage of powerful Maasai family. Keton ole Soipei, Lenku’s maternal grandfather was second in
line in the leadership of Iterito age-group having lost the top position to Kapei. His double pedigree has
placed Ole Lenku on the top rank of Maasai leadership, also widely viewed as the youthful leader in line
to inherit the mantle of William Ole Ntimama as the community’s spokesperson.
Education and training
In 1979, Ole Lenku was enrolled at Lenkisim Primary School. Because of the rough and tumble of
Kajiado, Ole Lenku had to be moved to three other elementary schools, including Ilbisel Primary School
(1980–1981), Nkama Primary School (1982–1983) and D.E.B. Loitokitok (1984–1986), where he excelled
in his Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams. In 1987, Ole Lenku proceeded to the Nakuru High
School, where he attained his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education in 1990.
After high school, Ole Lenku was admitted to study at Kenyatta University. However, he proceeded to
the Kenya Utalii College where he attained a diploma in hotel management in 1995. He then preceded
to the University of Nairobi where he graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing and
a Master of Business Administration in strategic management. He further obtained a certificate in
project management from Greece and a certificate in corporate governance (company directorship),
among many other workshops and conferences on corporate governance, public and security
Ole Lenku had a sterling career in the hospitality industry where he rose to the general manager of the
prestigious Serena Hotels. He also served as the general manager Kenya Utalii College one of the best
hotel training institute in the world. It was from here that President Kenyatta picked him to serve as
Interior Cabinet Secretary in 2013.
President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed Ole Lenku as Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of
National Government on 23 May 2013, becoming the third minister in the security docket to come from
Kajiado County, after George Saitoti and Katoo Ole Metito. Like many of his predecessors in the security
department, such as John Michuki, Saitoti and Ole Metito, Ole Lenku did not have a background or
training in security prior to his appointment. Upon his appointment, Ole Lenku initiated police reforms
focusing on hastening the service transformation, putting in place the relevant structures and laws,
dealing with the general resistance to reform within the police service, dealing with the high
corruptibility of police officers, inadequate management, supervision and monitoring of the force and
lack of reasonable and transparent standards of vetting police recruits and those in service. The reforms
have been internationally hailed as more successful than many thought.
After his unsuccessful debut into elective politics in 2003, Ole Lenku ventured into business and farming,
and partly because of his cultural status as a leader in the Maasai community, he has kept a relatively
large herd of cattle, estimated at 600 animals. He is married to Edna C. Lenku, with whom he has four
Governor –Kajiado County