By Prudence Minayo
Pauline Kalonzo is the wife of Wiper leader and former vice president of Kenya Kalonzo Musyoka. She is a down to earth woman who prefers to stay out of the limelight while supporting her husband’s political career behind the scenes. She is comfortable to do away with trappings of power and when she was working at the Central Bank of Kenya she would drive herself in her Toyota Corolla.
Here is her story as told by WoK.
She was a student at Mlango Girls but details on her primary and secondary education remain scanty.
Meeting Kalonzo and Marriage
Pauline got married to Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka in 1985 and the two went on to have four kids. The former vice president disclosed in an interview years ago that he met Pauline in 1972 while she was still a Form 2 student in Mlango Girls.
At the time he was in Form 5 at Meru School and Pauline was secretary of the Christian Union. They met at a Christians conference.
“Huyu mke wangu Pauline tulijuana na yeye akiwa form 2 na mimi nikiwa Form 5. This was about 1972, Yeye alikuwa Mlango Girls. Alikuwa Secretary ya Kamati ya Wakristo. Na mimi nilipokuwa Meru school tukakutana katika Christians Conference, Mama Maridadi, beautiful, tall and smart. Then after that nikaona a beautiful wife is a gift from God.” Kalonzo Musyoka said during an interview on Miasha Magic Story Yangu.
One of their sons Klein Kalonzo graduated from the University of Nairobi school of journalism and Media Studies years ago. Her Kennedy Musyoka was nominated to the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) in 2017. Her daughter Damaris Musenya has taken after her as she keeps away from the media and politics.
She is a senior employee at the Central Bank of Kenya where she has worked for a very long time. According to an article appearing on The Standard in 2018, Pauline occasionally came to work after she fell sick.
“Lately, she has not been quite consistent……….“She comes to work occasionally, though she never sticks around for long,” the daily reported.
She is also one of the directors of the Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation.
Pauline was admitted to Nairobi Hospital in 2015 from an undisclosed ailment, which was reportedly the reason Kalonzo had been missing in the now disbanded NASA political engagements.
According to Nairobi Hospital sources, she was first admitted to the hospital on 29th December 2015 after doctors advised her to stay in hospital for further checks. Doctors later said she was in a stable condition and was soon to be discharged.
She later sought medical help abroad as the former VP revealed later that she was undergoing treatment in Germany.
In 2019, Kalonzo Musyoka opened up about his wife’s struggle with an undisclosed illness that has seen her in and out of hospital since 2015.
“Pauline is stable, we thank God and that’s all I’d like to say. I thank all the friends who have been praying for us and for her, we still expect God’s miracle in her life,” he said.
She has shied away from politics and only occasionally accompanied her husband in public events. During the Wiper Democratic Party delegates meeting held at Kasarani, ODM leader Raila Odinga made a big blunder when he introduced another woman as Kalonzo’s wife.
“Mheshimiwa Kalonzo na bibi yake naona yule pale amefanya kazi mzuri zaidi, pongezi sana maa kwa yale mbayo umefanya,” he realized his mistake and corrected himself.
“Pole sana huyu sio mama, aah pole…pole…Nilikuwa nasema Mama Pauline amefanya kazi mzuri, kusimama na sisi na mimi haswa.”