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Cheruiyot's partner Nakhulo reflects on their love story that began on the track

Nakhulo Khaimia, the partner of the late mountaineer Cheruiyot Kirui, recounts their love story, detailing how and when they met, and the sweet moments they shared with his daughter before his untimely death.

Nakhulo Khaimia, the sweetheart of the late mountaineer Cheruiyot Kirui at the CITAM Church Valley Road on June 3
  • Nakhulo Khaimia pays tribute to her late partner, mountaineer Cheruiyot Kirui, remembering their love story and the impactful moments they shared with his daughter before his tragic death on Mt. Everest
  • Their love story began in 2019 through a shared interest in running, but it deepened in 2020 when Khaimia reached out to Cheruiyot for a book review on his mountaineering adventures
  • He was deeply devoted to his daughter and cherished his role as a father, earning the affectionate nickname 'Baba Chero' from Khaimia

In a heartfelt tribute shared at the CITAM Church Valley Road, Nakhulo Khaimia, the sweetheart of the late mountaineer Cheruiyot Kirui, remembered him as a romantic and loving man.

Cheruiyot, who tragically lost his life while climbing Mt. Everest, left behind cherished memories and a deep impact on those who knew him.

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Khaimia and Cheruiyot’s love story began in 2019 when they crossed paths through their shared interest in running.

However, it wasn't until 2020 that they truly connected. Khaimia had posted about a book on Kenyan runners by a British author, which led her followers to suggest she read about Cheruiyot. This prompted her to reach out to him for a book review on his mountaineering adventures.

"I knew him back in 2019 through the running circles but never got any attention. In 2020, I posted a book of Kenyan runners by a British guy. I went on social media, posted about it, and guys asked if I had read about Cheruiyot. I looked for him and after I reviewed his book, Cheruiyot said he hoped we would meet someday," Khaimia recalled.

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Their connection deepened over time, and Khaimia fondly remembered their dinner dates and Cheruiyot’s unique romantic gestures.

She aimed to challenge the stereotype that Kalenjin men aren't romantic, sharing that Cheruiyot had given her affectionate nicknames such as 'PL' (Purpose Lipstick), Miss Oasis, and favourite person.

On their first Valentine's Day, Cheruiyot humorously warned her not to expect much from a Kalenjin man, promising to give her a plant to nurture, which turned out to be flowers.

This gesture highlighted his thoughtful nature and his ability to show love in meaningful ways.

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Khaimia spoke warmly of Cheruiyot’s love for his daughter, revealing how much he cherished his role as a father.

"I had some nicknames for him, like Kirui, Josh, or Joshua, but he didn't like them. His favourite was Baba Chero. The first time we met, he told me, 'I have a mini-me.' Every time I called him Baba Chero, you could see his face light up," she shared.

Khaimia also reminisced about Cheruiyot’s exceptional tea brewing skills, a trait that particularly endeared him to her, being a Luhya who loved tea.

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She fondly remembered their drives to Kasarani to buy goat meat for his special recipes and their Sunday runs to Karura Forest. Cheruiyot was her alarm clock during their runs, ensuring she never missed a session.

Cheruiyot Kirui tragically died on Mt. Everest after a fall alongside his guide, Nawang Sherpa, who has never been found.

Due to the risks involved, Cheruiyot’s family decided to leave his body on the mountain, a place he deeply loved.

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His family and friends, while mourning his loss, take solace in the fact that he died doing what he loved most.

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