William Marnyo was born in Kutomwony, Kenya in 2020. William’s father died of an AIDS-related illness six months before William’s birth. Marnyo’s mother participated in a test program to eradicate neonatal HIV, which successfully cured Marnyo of the disease, but was unable to do anything for her. She did before William turned 2. Each year, an orphanage in Mombasa accepted three children from William’s area into its custody. William was interviewed by the nuns running the orphanage. He impressed them enough to give him a spot.
At the age of 4, he began school. While William excelled at reading, writing, and the arts, he struggled with math and science. One teacher enjoyed making William stand on his desk wearing a jester’s hat while reciting his multiplication tables. His nickname through age 14 was “Mwigizaji Marnyo” among his peers. Mwigizaji is the Swahili word for “clown.” The day he began grade nine, one of William’s teachers sat him down and asked him why someone so bright received such poor scores. William didn’t know how to answer her. No one had ever called him “bright.” But she changed his life.
William steadily improved his academic performance and graduated number five in his senior class. He applied to college at the University of Southern California and graduated number five again, running track and cross country all four years, wearing the number 5 in each race. After USC, William went to law school in Tokyo and went on to work for a prestigious firm in Athens. At his ten year reunion, William ran into his old teacher from grade nine—the one who had called him “bright.” He thanked her for turning his life around and told her about all the things he’d accomplished because of her influence. The teacher smiled and nodded and then interrupted him to ask what William was doing to help others. It shamed him that he had no good answer.
When he returned home to Athens, William quit his job at the firm and returned him to Kenya to run for mayor of the city of Mombasa. After four years as mayor, he ran in the territorial gubernatorial race and won. Eight years later, he ran for the territory’s open senate seat, defeating a three term incumbent. At every level of office, William fought for fair health care reform, increased educational standards, and government accountability. At age 54, William Marnyo was asked to serve as running mate to Hitachi Mashimoto in his bid for NWG President. Marnyo accepted, served two terms as NWG Vice President, and then ran for the office in 2079. He won in a landslide and took office in 2080.