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Kenyan Youths Getting Their Hands Dirty In The Murky Political World



Babu Owino

Babu Owino

By Nicholas Olambo

While they say politics is a dirty game, and the youths are the leaders of future, Kenya is now witnessing more and more young politicians stepping into the arena to clean the dirt in the game. Many have come and gone, and others made it others did not, a real leader is one who champions his policies and agreeing not to keep rehashing mistakes of the past and instead focus on the future without bootlicking the moneyed party chiefs.

Change won’t come from the top, and change will come from the mobilised grassroots, Obama said while launching his presidential ambitions. Obama who first attracted global attention in 2004 at the DNC in Philadelphia and rose to win the American presidency in 2008 with his ‘Yes we can’ slogan is inspiration enough to up and coming young politicians from humble backgrounds.

The election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013 must have acted as the biggest push in a generational shift. I am seeing a crop of dedicated young men keeping on their track, rising and getting better with time. Mombasa is the den of many, Moses Aran who is the current Chairman of ODM Youth, and Mombasa County has steadily risen to his position after many years of community work and youth mobilisation. He is now sharing the same platform with the big men in political spheres, Cord leader Raila Odinga, Mombasa Governor Ali Joho and area Mp, Abdulswamad Nasir just to mention a few.

Moses Aran, Mombasa Youth Leader addressing a crowd

Moses Aran, Mombasa Youth Leader addressing a crowd

With a track record that speaks volumes, he cannot be belittled as a small time leader. Moses has headed projects that saw the shaping of musical talents of juveniles from Boarstal Academy, Shimo la Tewa Prisons, leading Tudor soccer team to represent the country in beach soccer tournament in Tanzania in 2014 and organising community clean-ups. Commonly known as Cvilizer Youth Commander 001, Moses has been the loudest voice of reason among the youth of Mombasa. Through Samba Foundation where he is the project director, his efforts have seen the implementation of projects that change and sustain lives of women and the youth. Recent polls ranked him the most influential young people in the county.

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The trend is not in Mombasa alone; Nairobi too is seeing the same. Young people are gearing to be elected in top political positions in 2017 polls. TNA Chairman, Johnson Arthur Sakaja is a young man who burst into the national limelight with a powerful speech during the launch of The National Alliance (TNA) party in 2012. He began his foray into national politics while studying at the University of Nairobi in 2005 and later played a key role in the re-election of the retired president Mwai Kibaki. Now a household name, the nominated lawmaker has declared his interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial race.

Paul Owino Ongili, better by his moniker ‘Babu Owino’ than his real names is the young man in his late 20s with a whiff of scandals about him. Babu who is the current chairman of SONU is always in the news for one reason or the other, from controversial re- election, flashy lifestyle and to constant dates with the courts has said he is in the race for Embakasi East parliamentary seat. His political future seems bright with the kind of authority he commands among university students or comrades as he refers to them; he is in a place where many have successfully launched their political careers.

Steve Mbogo is another one, flashy and controversial with many questioning his wealth and education. In an article, a Daily Nation writer described him as nothing more than a crossbreed of a fake wannabe with a rudimentary grasp of English. The leader of Party of National Alliance (PONA) Party is aspiring to unseat President Uhuru Kenyatta just like Mohamed Abduba Dida.

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