Meet Stubborn Carpenter Going After Maraga's Job

  • When former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga's term came to an end in 2016, one unlikely candidate, a carpenter, appeared before the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) seeking to succeed him.

    Kongani Udoto Kongani was, however, beaten in the interviews for the Judiciary's top job by Chief Justice David Maraga for being under-qualified.

    As fate would have it, on Monday, September 2, Udoto got his advocate's licence after he was admitted to the bar by the Chief Justice himself.


    Udoto, who had been in and out of law school since 1999 disclosed to The Standard that he turned to carpentry in a bid to raise school fees.

    He revealed that he still practices woodwork occasionally and has vowed to go for the Chief Justice position in the future.

    The 42-year-old, who has already applied for a master’s degree in the US, further divulged that his journey to be an advocate was met with several obstacles, which almost dented his dreams.

    "I joined Moi University in September 1999. I thought after 10 years, I would at least have a doctorate or something close to that. However, things changed along the way," he began.

    He stated that when his father died in 2004, his mother could not afford the high cost of university fees and that's when things started going south for him.

    However, through his woodwork jobs, his classmates and a well-wisher, he later managed to raise some considerable amount of money for his school fees. 

    The father of three went back for his law degree in 2007 and graduated in 2011, though some units had changed.

    “When I submitted my application for law school in 2012, I was told the system had changed and I had to go back to university to redo some units. Labour law had changed. I had to wait until January 2014 for Moi University to get accreditation. In 2014, Moi was not accredited. The dean told me they had accredited Riara University and I got in with the 2015 intake. In 2016, I joined KSL until 2017,” he disclosed.

    Udoto has published at least 10 volumes of study and revision materials especially in conveyancing, commercial law and civil procedure, to help students pass their law diploma since according to him, most of the available materials are outdated.

    Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga with Chief Justice David Maraga at past function.