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Let’s Challenge the Conventional – Liz Lenjo
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Let’s Challenge the Conventional


“I am convinced Kenya is full of idiots, starting with Sonko’s interviewer, after the much hyped Sonko interview i had to watch it. I wonder did you guys digest what this guy was talking about, or he just threw around random facts and figures and Alas the Kenyan voter was bought, Sonko the Messiah, Random fact 1. Kenyan Economy has grown from 200bn to 1 trillion, that is just a bloody budget, economies are measured in GDP, remember Goods and services produced in a country over time. a bigger budget doesn’t mean a bigger economy, just because you budget to do a 50k shopping in Nakumatt does not mean you have the money, and within the budget you have allocations for development and recurrent expenditures, like akina Sonko’s tax free Salaries, so clearly his understanding on Economics is next to Nil. Another idiot claim, and i quote “my father was wealthy and influential,….. i come from a poor family”, contradiction of sorts, don’t you think? I can not believe even the anchor failed to pick it up. Then he goes to quote the constitution article on discrimination as a reason why he won’t change his dress code, does it mean I can disregard my uniform, wear a pair of jeans to work because the constitution protects me from discrimination, So fired! there are rules of decorum in the legislative house, and the guy being the delinquent he is, misquotes the good constitution to break the house rules. The guy needs to understand investors are attracted to places where people follow the rule of law, and there is stability since they are putting in their hard earned cash to get returns, not places run with populist goons, with little regard for the rule of law. Sorry this guy shouldn’t govern my toilet, but guess what Nairobians might just vote for him, and that is just sad, because it reflects who we are, our leaders do reflect who we are, and we are ready to get an idiot in power, clearly many of us are!”

Dear friend,

I saw your post on Facebook as quoted above. And I beg to differ. So yes, there was some inconsistency when Sonko said, “My father was wealthy and influential…I come from a poor family.” We can only speculate why he in was inconsistent, perhaps it was a slip of the tongue from the pressure of speaking to a live audience, I do not know. Nonetheless, this is not why I am writing to you.

Truth is, Sonko came armed, ready for ‘war’ when we watched him on the 9 O’clock news yesterday and on today’s Citizen’s Power Breakfast. The fact that he came with documents I say it is a stroke of genius. I do not think that anyone can beat his strategy as it stands now. He has become tactically genius.

First things first, so yes he doesn’t believe in wearing suits when he is not in Parliament and you are comfortable in your uniform. Being a Member of Parliament, the dress code simply is based on a ‘colonial’ reasoning that you have to be in a suit to be taken seriously. I am sure you remember a time when you hated wearing your school uniform, no? We all hated our uniform and looked forward to a time we could express who we are by how we dress. I give kudos to Sonko for being true to himself and for respecting Kenyans by not being a pretentious prick like others. What you see with Sonko is what you get.

You say he is a goon. On what basis do you say so? Is it because of the instances he has been on our screens punching walls? Well, I admit that at the time this was happening I really wasn’t paying attention to current affairs and yes I was among the majority that dismissed him as a crook etc. just because my friends believed so. Funny thing, I am one of the Makadara constituents that voted him in. I craved to see new blood in the 10th Parliament. I digress.

In the interview he expressed his reason. Now picture yourself in the shoes of the mwananchi whose kibanda was demolished by City Council; your only source of livelihood to fend for your family. As a kawaida person your cries will hardly make the news but when your MP cries and makes a spectacle of the situation on your behalf he makes the top news piece on Prime Time news and first page on the Kenya Gazette. It may be argued that his methods are unorthodox being in a leadership position. But I do not think so, he is simply ‘grieving’ like the kawaida person. He brought his constituents cries to the Nation’s attention. I say well done to him. He is only one person, what else can he do? He acted within his means.

Sonko as he says he is a man of the people, ‘jamaa wa Eastlando’. His approach is a sociological one. The media basically wants the parties vying for these leadership positions to be idealistic and philosophical…you know all the fancy gibberish that come with attending elite educational institutions. Did you hear him demonstrate how the leadership comes down to the people? He gave tangible examples of how he is empowering his people. Good for him.


Unlike others with the ideas of how to grow the economy…he proposes that we start with the internal resources so that we pull in the external investors. I am not an economist I understand what I need to and leave the rest to the experts. What I interpret loud and clear from Mike Sonko’s approach is this…In so long as the ‘lower class’ are kept comfortable, they can earn a living to take care of themselves and their families, there is internal peace. Less crime, less robberies outside your middle class neighbourhood. I stand to be corrected.

Sonko may not be the image of an ideal leader, but do we say this because of how he dresses? I acknowledge his sociological approach, I respect it and I support it. We need to challenge the conventional so that we move to the next step. He just may be our next step. He has always been standing out when fellow August House members are on another page. He sticks out like a sore thumb but he has not bowed down to pressure.

I am not a political analyst, just a simple plain Jane who wants change in her beloved country. Who wants peace and prosperity for her country. In my humble opinion, as I was discussing with my husband this morning,  a combination of Sonko as Senator and Kidero as Governor shall help strike a balance in our representation. Both social classes shall meet, exchange ideas and learn from each other to improve our county. It is worth the shot. For how long shall we clamour for our leaders to only hail from the elite class yet that is not the situation on the ground. I think we need a leadership revolution and challenge the norm.

This is my two cents in the matter dear friend. All in all we all want a peaceful Kenya.

5 Comments

  • janet murikira

    I certainly feel that the whole aspect of positivism is out of touch with its purpose. like alkags put it in his article tagged above ,

    “Last year, I wrote an angry blog post, where I wondered who Sonko represents. Young people, I wondered? Not me, I averred. ”

    i really dont know what sonko stands for and represents. the whole aspect of positivism and its leadership is to lay down ur own self governing (right ) at the feet of another person as a group of people , to have him govern you with (he is the gist of it ) the intention of him having ur needs and intrests at heart… / hoping he will lord over u with the same good will you have given him.

    But here lies the point ‘ you have to be intouch with a particular group u hope to lord over before u can purport to..” so really who is Sonko representing?? and since no one is raising their hand to signal he is representing them, how then can we still tolerate him?

    what point is he trying to prove?? even the mafia dresses better and plays the economics of money and business with a much better hand than he will ever purport to.. so he isnt representing the kenyan youth.. nor the kenyan mafia….. are we sure his purported citizens are not in his head?

    January 25, 2013 at 12:19 am
  • Mark Mwangi (@Mwangy)

    I am in the same boat with you liz even though he doesnt represent me in parliament. I do not even know what my MP looks like seeing as he never contributes in parliament begging the question what does he suppose his job is?

    Anyway, Sonko and Waititu though demonized by the middle class and the media re a godsend to those in the economic gutter. It is convinient to forget that the watchmen,cooks,factory workers etc are the majority and lofty plans of economic development are music to only the elite while bulldozers flatten cottage industries.

    Ignoring their plight and illegitimizing their presence in Nairobi by calling their settlements and work places informal only seeks to radicalizing them and justifying crime and disregard for rule of law.

    I hope the duo (Waititu and Sonko) win then atleast the disenfranchised may feel placated and get their representation.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:45 am
  • Rockwell

    I too was born in Jericho and raised in Buru buru, so clearly i am an Eastlander too. This guy plays to the gallery and we jump on it like flies on shit, ever wondered why this guys acts of generosity so to speak, are always in full view of the camera, it is because he understands the psyche of the common mwananchi, and the mileage it gives him with the poor. Are you aware that Musalia mudavadi rehabilitated and built a clinic in his sabatia constituency? i guess not, you know why? because he did it to improve the lives of his constituents, not to be played out on National TV for political mileage, are you aware of the developments Peter Kenneth has done for his gatanga constituents? probably not, because he doesn’t shout over rooftops to gain political mileage, are you aware that former Rarieda MP Raphael Tuju, single handedly electrified, “literally”, his whole constituency? I’m guessing you don’t, because these leaders when they act for their constituents it is genuine and not politricking, how do you tell the difference? improve clinics, don’t call KTN, CITIZEN and NATION to pay hospital bills for ten people and claim to improve health care in the slums.
    Buru buru is currently grappling with its worst case of street boys and insecurity, who is our MP again? you guessed it, your beloved Sonko.
    I am in Buru buru literally every other day, i have seen the sheds Sonko talks about, have you? in some of those sheds you have young men selling Mogoka, and idling all day, this is the empowerment and economic drive you are talking about.
    He might have come to the programe armed, but he still made an arse out of himself. You claim he proposed we use internal resources, maybe you can remind me because i have watched the interview severally and i can’t pin it down, all i remember him quoting is the Budget numbers as the size of our economy, oh my bad! was that a slip of the tounge too, and claiming we do not manufacture toothpaste, i think you ought to give the guy a primary school like tour to Unilever in industrial area, he can see that they actually produce and not import as he claims, and they already employ quite a number of Kenyans. That is a clear basic lack of understanding of even what happens in his backyard.
    Dress code, mmh! where do i start with this one, again i love it when we bash those darn colonialist for imposing their ways on us, don’t you? They also forced us out of mud houses remember, and riding donkeys too, oh don’t we just hate them. We should all say to hell with the suits, and the cars and the stone houses, bring back our huts and donkeys, maybe just maybe, there would be less road carnage, because clearly complicated machinery like cars were not designed for the African liberal minds like Sonko.
    Dress codes are meant to inspire professionalism and in some cases equity, like in schools for example, so that you do not have one student wearing a 500 dollar gucci dress and another wearing a dress from gikomba, we might have hated it then but i understand it now, the environment becomes enabling for all students because it becomes hard to single out the haves and have not. In the case of parliament it is professional and befits the position these leaders hold, imagine Martha Karua walking in a Mini skirt, albeit her being a bright legal mind, debate would be very distracted in parliament, probably nothing gainful would come of it, that is what your beloved MP does when he walks in with dyed hair and sunglasses in the legislature.
    Leadership is not about populist ideas,its about sustainable development and growth agenda i am 100% sure he doesn’t know that. As the swahili saying goes ” mnatema big G kwa karanga ya kuonjeshwa” for the last 5 yrs most of you who were pouring praises for him did not even want to associate with him, did he become saul and changed to paul overnight? We dont need leaders with “zima moto” attitude we need quality leaders with long lasting solutions to our ever increasing slums,insecurity,jobs,healthcare problems not people who plays for the cameras and bring a packet of unga then wait for another calamity to arise so that they can raise their public relations standings.
    I want the intelligent minds that have attended the Elitist schools to lead me, does it mean that they necessarily come from wealthy backgrounds, NO, it simply means they probably came from average to poor families but were accorded quality basic education, and they worked hard, and through hard work they ended up in schools like starehe and some even in ivy league colleges in the U.S, they are many, even PK is one of them, why should i settle for a delinquent as my leader, a goon who knows no bounds of laws he swears to protect, how does that work and how does it inspire confidence in the investors we so badly need. It is those bright minds that run the world, one of them from a peasant fore family whose father attended an ivy league college in America, and he also had the same ethos of hard work is currently sitting in Americas white house, formulating health bills and economic plans to get the biggest economy in the world out of the mud. You think the likes of Sonko will get us there? dream on, we need the Steve Jobs, and bill gates of this world. I leave you with a quote from Malcolm X
    “When you live in a poor neighborhood, you are living in an area where you have to have poor schools. When you have poor schools, you have poor teachers. When you have poor teachers, you get a poor education. When you get a poor education, you are destined to be a poor man and a poor woman the rest of your life.”
    So we don’t need vibandas for selling mogokas, we need better schools, better hospitals, and all falls into place if we are willing to work. Did you hear Sonko say anything about education even once, yet the world over, it is known “Education is the Key”, of course good health is enabling to creating bright minds, and in turn the minds invent and create enterprises that create wealth.

    January 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm
  • Niazaro Wordz

    couldn’t put it better! have to share this… good stuff!

    January 28, 2013 at 6:23 am