Little-Known Details of Sakaja's Medal-Winning Mother, Emily Kubasu

  • Combination image of the late athlete Emily Ayoti Kubasu and her son, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja
    Combination image of the late athlete Emily Ayoti Kubasu and her son, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja
    File
  • Many know Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja as the suave, urbanite city politician often in the headlines for various political intrigues.

    While he is often quoted addressing issues such as the revenue formula, or personal scandals such as flouting Covid-19 rules, rarely spoken of is his connection to one of the country's athletics legends.

    Sakaja's mother is the late Emily Ayoti Kubasu, a track legend who won medals in the 100 metres sprint for Kenya in the 60's and 70's.

    The Senator has previously referenced his relationship to the champion athlete, including when faced with political battles.

    Emily Ayoti Kubasu (extreme right) pictured with other Kenyan athletes in 1975
    Emily Ayoti Kubasu (extreme right) pictured with other Kenyan athletes in 1975
    Twitter

    In August, Jubilee Party Vice-Chairman David Murathe had threatened that leaders who opposed the party position on the revenue allocation formula would be kicked out.

    In response, Sakaja stated that he was unafraid of threats or intimidation, citing the champion spirit that runs in his family.

    “Now that I have come here and I have voted, those who want to arrest please go ahead.

    "I am not one to be intimidated, I am the son of Emily Ayoti Kubasu, a Champion and I am ready for whatever consequence it is for the price of this country," he stated in the Senate on August 5, 2020.

    When the Senate held its first sitting outside Nairobi in Uasin Gishu in 2018, Sakaja also made reference to his late mother.

    It was fitting as Uasin Gishu is considered a hot-bed for the country's world-beating talents.

    "I am very proud to have grown up in a family of athletes. My late mother, Mrs. Emily Ayoti Kubasu, as she was known, was one of the last Kenyans to win medals in short distance races in this county," Sakaja stated.

    Emily Kubasu won gold in the 100 metres at the East and Central African Championships in 1971, considered her most memorable victory.

    Before becoming defunct in 1990, the annual international athletics championships ran for 32 years, and featured several countries from the region.

    Sakaja revealed in the Uasin Gishu sitting that his father met his mother at one of her sporting events.

    "We have had a long running joke, as a family, that there was the newspaper cutting of their wedding day saying: “Star athlete marries tyre dealer”. Those days my dad was a marketing manager at Firestone Company," he revealed.

    While Sakaja built a career in politics, the Senator also considers himself a sports lover, and played rugby during his high school days at Lenana High School.

    File image of Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja
    File image of Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja
    File
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