Tabichi said the farthest he'd traveled before this was to Uganda.
Yet at the Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School where Tabichi teachers, enrollment has doubled over three years and more of the students are going on to college, according to his profile.
Under Tabichi's mentorship, students from Pwani Village came first in the public schools category of Kenya's Science and Engineering Fair past year, with a device that enables blind and deaf people to measure objects.
"This prize does not recognise me but recognises this great continent's young people". Drought and starvation are common. He plans to use the million dollars from his win to improve the school and feed the poor.
Tabichi's students face many challenges, including food scarcity, drug abuse, teenage pregnancies and young marriages.
He guided the school's science club, in which students now compete in national and global competitions.
Peter Tabichi, from Kenya, was presented with the prestigious award in the presence of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai, and X-Men actor Hugh Jackman.
"You give me faith that Africa's best days are ahead of us and your story will light the way for all future generations", said President Kenyatta on Sunday.
The prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation, whose founder, Sunny Varkey, established the for-profit GEMS Education company that runs 55 schools in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Qatar.
You are a shining example on what the human spirit can achieve not just for Kenya, not just for Africa but the world.
Tabichi thanked his father for instilling Christian values in him, then pointed to his father in the audience, invited him up on stage and handed him the award to hold as the room erupted in applause and cheers.
The roof of The Atlantis almost came off when Jackman then appeared in person to perform songs from The Greatest Showman, a 2017 musical he starred in.
He was selected out of out 10,000 applicants for the Global Teacher Prize.
"When they become resilient, creative and productive in the society, I get a lot of satisfaction, for I act as their greatest destiny enabler and key that unlocks their potential in the most exciting manner".
The victor is selected by committees comprised of teachers, journalists, officials, entrepreneurs, business leaders and scientists.
Past winners have included a British art teacher working with ethnically diverse children, a Canadian teacher working with indigenous students in an Arctic region with high suicide rates, and a Palestinian teacher helping West Bank refugee children traumatised by violence.
The 2015 inaugural victor was a teacher from ME who founded a nonprofit demonstration school created for the objective of developing and disseminating teaching methods.