Lily Chepkemoi Sirma: The Mama Mboga Nominated To Kericho County Assembly

In summary 
  • Lily Chepkemoi Sirma has seen Kericho town grow as she opened her grocery business in 1994.
  • She is poised to become a nominated MCA after the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party enlisted her as one of the nominees.

The work of selling vegetables and fruits in an open air market is one that has a myriad of challenges. These include weather changes, perishability of the goods and frequent harassment by various county government askaris popularly known as kanjos.

But this has been the norm for Lily Chepkemoi Sirma who has been working as a ‘mama mboga’ for 28 years. She began the venture in 1994 using a paltry Ksh 200 capital. Sirma has seen Kericho town grow from an agricultural centre to the current South Rift business hub.

Given her long stay, the resilient woman served as the chairperson for the traders in the market. The position seems to have brought good tidings as she got to interact with intricate politicians.

Sirma aligned herself with the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, which is undoubtedly the dominant outfit in Kericho. Photos shared on social media indicate that she was in attendance during one of UDA’s women’s meeting that was held at Nyayo National Stadium. The event was graced by Deputy President William Ruto.

Lily Chepkemoi Sirma in the grocery market. [Photo|Facebook]
Recently, Sirma received heartwarming news when the party enlisted her among Member of County Assembly (MCA) nominees. The news brought activities at the market to a standstill as other traders broke into songs and dances to congratulate her.

I never thought that someone will one day look at me and elevate me to be more than a Mama Mboga. God’s wonders amaze me,” she told the Standard.

One of her colleagues hinted that Kericho Woman Representative Beatrice Kemei had fought to have Sirma get nominated. Nicknamed ‘Mamayao’ Kemei is already gazetted by IEBC as the Woman Representative after she was unopposed in the upcoming polls.

“We thank God for this. We women had been neglected for many years but today God has answered our prayers. We also thank our Woman Representative Beatrice Kemei for recognizing women. We have never experienced what she has done for us,” she said.

Promises to alleviate traders’ woes 

As a woman who eked a living through one of the stalls in the market, Sirma promised that she will be at the forefront in alleviating various challenges that traders face. In order to cushion the small scale businesspeople from high interest shylock loans that have left many in cycles of debts, Sirma said she will advocate for a revolving fund.

What the traders require are places where they can borrow money at low interest allowing them to invest in their business without the fear that someone will show up and take away their goods,” she said as captured by Standard.

Sirma also said that the traders work under difficult weather conditions which are a threat to their health and also their businesses. To offer a solution to this, she promised to construct shades and sanitation blocks.

“Whenever it rains, we can’t make sales. Our children can even go to bed hungry. Therefore, my first mission will be to ensure the county government constructs a shade for them complete with sanitation facilities,” she said.

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