- Citizen DigitalMachakos Governor Alfred Mutua.
2022 Presidential candidate and Machakos Governor, Alfred Mutua, granted a riveted audience a rare glimpse into his past.
The two-term elected official presented a moving self-portrait during the Machakos Youth Empowerment Conference held on Feb 19, 2020.
Mutua, who presented his origins as he had lived them, started off by highlighting the destitution that he had ultimately risen from.
A younger Governor Alfred Mutua as he pursued his education in the US.
“My parents were poor, they worked for the government as public servants. We moved to Nairobi early on, to a place called Makina in Kibera. Our home then was a one-roomed mud house next to a mosque. The house, I remember, didn’t have indoor plumbing, we used an outdoor pit latrine.”
The Governor held the audience captive as he continued his narration enunciating his tale with aggressive hand gestures yet in a voice that held steady and conveyed strength.
“I studied in Toi Primary School but then my parents got a salary bump, it must have been around 50 shillings, and we moved from Makina to Riruta. In Riruta, we moved to a wooden house, this one with two rooms. This is where we all lived for 21 years of my life: myself, my sister, my mother and my father.”
Dr.Mutua, still in command of the room with, detailed his eventual fate as a school drop-out, a consequence of the poverty that had settled like a light film of dust on his existence.
“I was studying in Dagoretti but when I got to form two, I had to drop out as there was no money. After that, I would pick up some odd jobs at construction sites. Then I started ferrying water for people with a wheelbarrow all so I could make some money, make sure that my family wouldn’t sleep hungry.”
A small lull superseded this part of the portrait as the hall was swallowed with a collective sadness and empathy. Yet it didn’t last long, the gifted orator turned the ebbing tide by moving the tale towards the fabled light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
“I was spotted by a leader of the church, the late Hezron Waithaka, who saw my potential and decided to cover my school fees to Form Six, He gave me an opportunity and I moved from Dagoretti to Jamhuri.”
Continuing in the same light vein he detailed the wave that would eventually lead him to tthe US.
“US missionaries from America came to the Riruta Baptist Church where I worshipped and I served as their translator. They were impressed with my work and nudged me towards study in America. I applied and got a full scholarship.”
Yet here again, the doctor highlighted one of the characteristic stumbling blocks that arises in the flow of life.
“We did a harambee. But you know how it is, a harambee for the poor only brings the poor: the friend of the poor is poor, of the struggler is struggling. The ticket was Ksh 25,000 but we were only able to raise Ksh 12,500.”
The Machakos Governor, with the same signature charm, went on to highlight the virtues of a never-say-die spirit. He explained to the crowd how he finally got a ticket that got him close enough to his destination, and the rest, as they say is history.
Alfred Mutua went on to do his bachelor's degree and his masters in the US. He came back to Kenya and became the youngest lecturer at Daystar University. After, he was awarded a full scholarship to pursue his PHD in Australia.
While in Australia, he worked as a foreign correspondent before the winds of fate blew him to Dubai where he worked as a Professor of Communication.From left: CAS Wavinya Ndeti, Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Governor Alfred Mutua, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyokas and Dan Maanzo during the burial of Mzee Mulwa Kang'aatu in Kalama, Machakos County on February 18, 2020.
It was during this time that he met Mwai Kibaki who spotted him and led him back to his mother-country, returning, not as a lecturer but as the first government spokesperson for Kenya.
The two-time Machakos governor and 2022 presidential aspirant left the attentive audience visibly buoyed. Still a believer, he stated with conviction, “God did not move me from Kibera, Makina for my journey to end here. He has a plan for me.”
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