7 Men Behind the Success of Female Governors-Elect

  • A collage of governors-elect Kawira Mwangaza, Gladys Wanga and Fatuma Achani.jpg
    A collage of governors-elect Kawira Mwangaza, Gladys Wanga and Fatuma Achani.
  • It is quite apropo that a woman is hailed for her efforts and work in a man's success. This is referenced by the long adage: Behind every successful man, there is a woman, which puts the whole narrative into perspective. 

    However, in the just concluded August 9 polls, history was written with more female politicians raking up leadership positions and in the process, staking their claim in the male-dominated sphere. 

    During their victory speeches, the seven female governors, in particular, attributed their achievement to somehow,  a special man in their lives. Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at the men behind the insurmountable success of the female-governors elect - men who deserve a standing ovation.

    Governor Anne Waiguru and Her Husband Lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo
    An undated photo of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru (right) and her husband Kamotho Waiganjo
    Anne Waiguru/Twitter

    Anne Mumbi Waiguru- Kamotho Waiganjo 

    "I want to sincerely thank, from the bottom of my heart, the very best of husbands someone can have, Kamotho Waiganjo. If it was not for him, I wouldn't have made it past these five days," Waiguru stated during her victory speech after retaining her Kirinyaga seat for her final term. 

    The duo has shared a twelve-year relationship, and the Kirinyaga governor-elect characterised her marriage life as enjoyable. 

    During a past interview, Waiguru highlighted that she lives in separate homes with her husband, a seasoned constitutional lawyer. She stays in Kihingo village, Kitisuru while Waiganjo lives in Runda. 

    She noted that this was because of logistics of politics, security and safety concerns. 

    "Actually the reason we run two homes is the logistics of combining. Every time we start, it is too much work. Think about it, you choose the furniture, let's start with the living room, whose stays and whose goes? I am attached to silly things and he is attached to his stuff," stated Waiguru.

    From left to right: Meru governor-elect Kawira Mwangaza, president-elect William Ruto and Kawira's husband Murega Baichu.
    From left to right: Meru governor-elect Kawira Mwangaza, president-elect William Ruto and Kawira's husband Murega Baichu.
    William Ruto

    Kawira Mwangaza - Murega Baichu

    A new entrant in the prestigious gubernatorial club, Mwangaza managed to edge out seasoned politicians including Mithika Linturi and Kiraitu Murungi, garnering 209,148 votes to clinch the Meru governor seat. It was a humiliating beating for the two political giants.

    She previously noted that her role in her husband's TV station, Baite TV, helped her to connect with the electorate.

    Mwangaza also stated that through the station, she was assigned various roles in different rural areas, helping him connect better with the electorate.

    The duo also co-owns an online TV station, Mwangaza TV. 

    Cecily Mutitu Mbarire - Dennis Apaa

    United Democratic Alliance (UDA)'s Cecily Mbarire outwitted her competition to be counted among the seven female governors-elect, thanks to Embu county residents.

    This is after she garnered 108,610 votes against Lenny Kivuti who came a close second with 105,246. 

    Her husband, Dennis Apaa, is a renowned businessman who has a wide range business interest in Nairobi. 

    The former nominated lawmaker is now set to take over from the outgoing governor, Martin Wambora. 

    Gladys Atieno Wanga- George Wanga

    While launching her quest for the Homa Bay gubernatorial slot in February 2022, Wanga introduced her husband, George Wanga, in public for the first time amid cheers from the crowd.

    The governor-elect showered praise on her husband, noting that he had stood with her through rough times. 

    "The man standing next to me is called George Wanga, he is the man who went through all the troubles to come to our home in Kano, a place where sometimes we are being swept away by floods, and rescued me. I can't leave his man because of the great things he has done for me," she stated. 

    Fatuma Achani - Ali Kanga

    In her historic rise to Kwale county's top seat, Fatuma Achani was able to edge out her fierce competition, garnering 59,674 votes against ODM's Hamadi Boga's 53,972. 

    While giving her victory speech, she attributed her success to the pivotal role played by her husband, Ali Kanga. She also thanked the incumbent Salim Mvurya for his nod of approval to take over the helm of the county. 

    "I want to thank Mvurya for the support that he gave me. I also want to thank my husband. This was a rough journey but I am happy I made it through," she stated.

     Susan Kihika -  Sam Mburu

    In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, August 9, Nakuru Governor-elect Susan Kihika walked alongside her husband, Sam Mburu to  Ngomongo polling station in order to cast their votes.

    Days later after outwitting her competition, Kihika noted that her husband has helped her through the trenches for to clinch victory. 

    "I take this chance to thank my husband. He has really supported me, you all know I am quite a fireball so for a husband to put up with me may not be very easy," she stated. 

    In November 2020, the two tied the knot in a traditional wedding ceremony. 

    Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika (left) and her husband Sam Mburu.
    Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika (left) and her husband Sam Mburu.

    Wavinya Ndeti- Dolamu Henry Oduwole

    Wavinya Ndeti is no stranger to the political scene as she amassed over 15 years of experience. In 2022, she made history by succeeding Alfred Mutua as the next Machakos governor. 

    Despite holding various positions in government prior to vying for the role, Ndeti has in the past attributed her grit and strength to her husband, the late Dolamu Henry Oduwole. 

    While sending an emotional tweet in 2020, she reminisced about the anchor that her husband was during her most trying times. 

    "If there is one person I really miss in my life is my husband, Prince Henry Dolamu Oduwole. This gentleman was a loving husband, father and real man. Rest peacefully darling till we meet again," she stated.