By Prudence Minayo
Mathew Adams Karauri is the father of Sportpesa founder and Kasarani MP-elect Ronald Karauri. He was a legislator and minister, a direction his billionaire son has taken. He was among the powerful KANU politicians and served as the party’s Meru chairman.
He is also a literary critic who has written several works.
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Some of his well known works include:
- The Way I Am- Autobiography
- The Devil You Know
- Rulers, Leaders and People- a philosophy
- Waiting for New Dawn
- Traveling Gods- Poems written between 1972 and 1999
- Beautiful (Sic) People
- The Last of the Ameru: Baithile, an Epic Story and other Stories
His first published novel was The Devil You Know, which nearly got him into trouble as the powers that be at the time thought he was criticizing the leadership of the late former president Daniel Arap Moi. He was even called by the security council but they managed to defend the book as just fiction.
Here is his career journey as told by WoK.
Born in Kinduri, he was once an athlete who participated in the 100m, 200m, and long jump races. In high school, he always came first and would represent Eastern Province in the national competitions. This is what made his name famous among Kenyans.
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He ventured into politics soon after completing university in March 1973. He got into politics quite accidentally as he harbored no ambitions of taking that direction. He played a pivotal role in the ouster of the then chairman of the coffee society who turned bursaries from the institution meant for needy cases into loans. The removal of the chairman led him to believe that he could do something worthwhile for the locals. He was employed as a teacher at Chogoria in May 1973 but resigned after two months to pursue his political ambition.
In September, the same year he graduated and taught in Chogoria, he was campaigning to become the Member of Parliament. At the time, people from Tigania living in the constituency and around the country or in America could cast their votes. He received more votes than his competitor from those living in Tigania but not a single resident living outside the constituency voted for him. At the time, the District Commissioner served as the returning officer and he suspected the DC interfered with the results.
Upon complaining to the chairman of the electoral board, Tigania was split into two. He went on to become the Member of Parliament for Tigania East in 1997. This became a bit of an issue since people didn’t believe it was wise to split the constituency. Nonetheless, he believed it was a good idea since the constituency now received two CDF(s) which benefited more people.
Having majored in Literature at the University meant that his interest in written word kept burning even as a politician. During their university days, they were supposed to read and critique the works of every African writer. Thus, even while serving in parliament, he continued to write fiction.
Mathew Adams Karauri lost his seat in the subsequent elections and became the Managing Director at Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB).
In 2013, he wanted to vie for the Meru senatorial position but was unable to get the chance. Soon after, he resigned from active politics.