I PICKED UP A CLIPBOARD AND I’M RUNNING FOR OFFICE.
“What? Why are you in politics? Aren’t you young…maybe in 5 years? What makes you think you can change the system? What does your slogan doing it right even mean? Comb your hair…the natural look isn’t professional enough? Politics is a man’s world will you survive? Why aren’t you in a big political party?
Do you know people, like real people with real money to pour into your campaign? You will lose you know that right? You’re just crazy? Are you idle? Are you looking for popularity? Seriously, what are you doing? A sample of all the reactions I got from the people I told about vying for public office.”
My name is Samantha Maina. I am a 26 year old female, final year student studying Business Administration at Daystar University, seeking to serve the people of Kileleshwa ward in Nairobi as a Member of the County Assembly (MCA). The decision to a join the political space wasn’t easy, especially as a young woman, the cons outweighed the pros. They still do even now, but I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, in a moment of outmost disgust with our political leaders I decided to pick up a clipboard and run for office like Obama once said. Yes, all the questions I’ve been asked are legitimate and sometimes I ask myself the same thing “AM I INSANE?” Then I switch on the television and see the everyday abnormality that has become our new normal. It is like Kenya has normalised the dysfunction and everyone else who is clear of thought and has a sense of right and wrong is automatically INSANE.
I can feel the disconnect in which the news of theft is reported, the lack of direct connection with the daily lives of ordinary Kenyans, the ambiguity in which stories of national lawlessness is aired or shared with no solution in sight. With friends we would complain and insist on how we need legitimate public servants, people who are in public office for the good of the people. We would paint ideal pictures of people we needed in office to get things done, we would speak with confidence and certainty of how they would be and act, but it ended simply at that and we went back to our lives and complained some more. This was the cycle for my friends and I plus I know for so many other Kenyans until I made a resolve to change this cycle.
Last year around September I said I’m done with all the nonsense, I will plug in, I’ll be an active citizen and I will run for public office, I’ll vie for member of county assembly Kileleshwa and I will be the change I want to see. Don’t be fooled, it wasn’t as easy as just saying I’ll run because the voices of doubt only got amplified, the naysayers got louder, the critics grew in number and fear became stronger. My decision to run wasn’t easy but it is the belief that we deserve better things, we are worthy of good leadership and that there is no superwoman/man coming to save us that keeps me on this path. Collectively we need to believe that we are the people we have been waiting for literally.
My candidature is new to many even to myself and I have found encouragement from people I didn’t expect. I do not come from money nor affluence neither do I have a big name to flaunt around all I have is my burning belief that together we can be the people who do right by this country. I need your support to do right by my people in Kileleshwa I cannot possibly do it alone if I could I would. There’s absolutely nothing more terrifying than this but I am determined.
However small the change I can make I’m willing to work towards it with the hope that it will cause a domino effect and we begin to see change all around Kenya. This is our country let it be our challenge to build it, let it be our desire to create better and let it be our commitment to support those of us who’ve stood up to pave the way. I am the new face of Kenyan leadership join me and together let’s do it right.
By Samanthah Maina
MCA Aspirant Kileleshwa Ward
We have 3 main areas of focus which we shall be working on during my term as MCA Kileleshwa Ward.
We purpose to ensure that we have Eco-friendly, low cost kiosks for the mama mbogas within the ward in strategic areas. Facilities such as public washrooms for the general public and the traders will be made available for use in the same vicinity as the kiosks. This will go into improving the traders’ working conditions and the overall ward appearance.
We also purpose to rehabilitate roads, pavements and walkways within the ward, with ample street lights all around.
We shall also work on having a social hall within the ward, more specifically in Waruku. This hall will act as a youth center where the youth of Waruku can have an opportunity to participate in building activities at the same time serving as a place where the Kileleshwa community can donate books for the library, computers for the incubation hub to enable the youth to seek online jobs; an initiative put up by the Ministry of Information and Communications in Kenya.
We purpose to install garbage disposal bins within the ward to discourage littering and encourage recycling. Us working together with the relevant offices within the county, will ensure timely collection of the garbage and operational sewerage and drainage systems.
Planting of trees and flowers will also be done to enhance the appearance of the ward.
We shall ensure placement of rescue and help centers for gender violence victims and patients of mental illnesses. These centers will offer assistance in coping with the psycho-social issues. We intend to work with the various bodies that tackle such issues and offer a safe haven.
Our intention is for the Kileleshwa community, not only to have a beautiful outdoors, but appreciate that emotional and psychological support is vital for wholeness.
Join me by supporting my campaign. You can donate, volunteer, share ideas on our social media platforms, email, text, if you are registered in any of the following polling stations:
- Kenya High School
- Kileleshwa Primary School
- St. Mary’s School
- Consolata School
- JKUAT Westlands Campus
To volunteer, feel free to fill in this form and be a part of the campaign team.
I need your help in getting me in office to achieve that which I have said I will do.
All events will be posted here and all of my social media platforms, where you can air your ideas and views for a better Kileleshwa Ward.