Prominent Personalities Who Abandoned Lucrative Careers for Politics

  • Undated images of Former president Mwai Kibaki(left), Nakuru senator Susan Kihika(centre) and Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya.
    Undated images of Former president Mwai Kibaki(left), Nakuru senator Susan Kihika(centre) and Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya.
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • Have you ever taken time to understand what career your Governor, Member of Parliament, Senator or even Member of County Assembly had before venturing into elective politics? 

    Well, if you have never, then you are in for a big surprise. Kenyans assume that a majority of politicians are uneducated, but never consider the fact that some of them had lucrative jobs and run very successful businesses. 

    Many politicians have abandoned prestigious careers which include medicine, engineering and aviation among others to fully focus on politics. 

    Kenyans.co.ke has compiled a list of these politicians, detailing their previous careers and the current posts they hold. 

    An undated image of the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator, Kipchumba Murkomen.
    An undated image of the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator, Kipchumba Murkomen.
    File
    1. Mwai Kibaki

    The third President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki, was an economics lecturer at Makerere University. He quit his career three months before he was officially pronounced as a senior lecturer at the university. 

    Jaramogi Oginga Odinga picked him from Makerere in a new car he had bought him, and Kibaki never turned back. 

    1. Susan Kihika

    Susan Kihika is the current Senator of Nakuru County. After school, Kihika practiced law in the United States, and established her own law firm called The Kihika Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. 

    She left the United States in 2012 and joined Kenyan politics. She got the inspiration from her father, the late Kihika Kimani, who was a prominent politician during the President Moi era. 

    One thing that distinguished Kihika’s father from other politicians is that he never lost in any electoral contest.

    1. Evans Kidero

    Evans Kidero served is the former Governor of the Nairobi City County. Kidero is a pharmacist by profession. 

    He also served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Mumias Sugar Company for eight years, after which he resigned in 2012 and ventured into politics, eventually becoming the first Governor of Nairobi. 

    1. Kipchumba Murkomen

    The outspoken Elgeyo Marakwet Senator is a distinguished lawyer who had a successful career before joining elective politics.

    Murkomen served as a law lecturer at Moi University and the University of Nairobi. He was also a resident political analyst for Citizen TV Kenya.

    In 2012, he quit to contest for the Senatorial seat, which he captured with a resounding victory in 2013 and successfully defended in 2017.

    1. Captain Ruweida Mohammed

    She is the current Woman Representative for Lamu. Ruweida is the Pilot who flew prominent politicians, including Raila and Joho for years. 

    She served as a pilot from 1999 to 2017 when she joined politics. She held the two careers consecutively but officially quit the flying one in 2021 to fully concentrate on politics. 

    An undated image of captain Ruweida Mohamed(left) flying a plane.
    An undated image of captain Ruweida Mohamed(left) flying a plane.
    Kenyans.co.ke
    1. Raphael Tuju

    Tuju is the current Secretary General of the ruling Jubilee Party. 

    Before joining politics, Tuju was a Television producer and a journalist. What is so interesting about him is that he was the first news anchor for KTN. 

    1. Uhuru Kenyatta

    President Uhuru studied finance and economics. Before joining elective politics, he worked at a local commercial bank as a teller. 

    Upon joining politics, he was named the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance in the President Mwai Kibaki era.

    1. Catherine Waruguru

    Cate Waruguru is the Woman Representative for Laikipia County. 

    Before joining politics, Waruguru was an ICT specialist, working at a company based in Westlands, Nairobi. She permanently quit her job to concentrate on politics.

    1. Bony Khalwale

    Khalwale is the former Senator of Kakamega County. He is a medical doctor by profession.

    However, Khalwale does not practice medicine, as he is currently a full-time politician. 

    1. Gathoni Wa Muchomba

    Peninnah Gathoni Muchomba, popularly known as Gathoni Wa Mucomba, is an entrepreneur and politician. She is the Kiambu County Woman Representative. 

    Before joining politics, she served as a journalist and radio presenter for a popular Kikuyu radio station. She quit the revered career in 2017 and venture into politics.

    1. John Kiarie

    He is the current Member of Parliament for Dagoretti South Constituency in Nairobi County.

    Previously, he worked with the Nation Media Group as a Journalist and Columnist.

    He is also a member of the National Assembly's Departmental Committee on Communication, Information and Innovation as well as Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.

    1. James Ondochi 

    James Ondochi is the Deputy Governor for Nyamira County. 

    He is a medical doctor by profession but does not earn from the career. Recently, Ondochi volunteered to treat patients for free in one of the hospitals in Nyamira due to the shortage of medics being experienced. 

    1. Dr. James Nyikal

    James Nyikal is the current Member of Parliament for Seme Constituency. He is a paediatrician by profession. 

    Before politics, Nyikal was the Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health.

    1. Mark Nyamita

    Nyamita is the Member of Parliament for Uriri Constituency.

    Nyamita is well known for investing millions in churches, and his ideology that all the leaders that are in power are God-ordained. He is a professional Engineer. 

    1. Pamela Odhiambo

    Pamela Odhiambo is the Woman Representative for Migori County. 

    She quit her career as a lecturer at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology to venture into politics.  

    An undated image of former Kakamega Senator, Bony Khalwale.
    An undated image of former Kakamega Senator, Bony Khalwale.
    parliament.go.ke