By Isaac Blessings
Despite young people being the majority in Kenya, politics has largely been the playfield of the old generation. This has changed and continues to change courtesy of young, intelligent and brave youths who have decided to put their feet in the murky waters of politics and be the change they want to see. In this article, we take a look at some of Kenya’s young promising politicians.
Boniface Mwangi is an award winning photojournalist, writer, politician and activist. He is the founder of PAWA 254 – a youth led organization that believes in fighting for a better Kenya through art, media and ICT. Bonnie as he is famously known has put his life on the line fighting for the voiceless and change in the Kenyan corrupt regime. He is one man who doesn’t fear speaking against injustices, crime and calling out corrupt politicians. The 38 year old is the party leader of Ukweli party and has tried vying for the Starehe constituency parliamentary elections before.
The prolific blogger has shown an interest in politics and it is yet to be seen if he will go the whole hog. The blogger turned politician made the announcement to run for the Nyando MP seat on Radio Maisha in 2011. Speaking to Billy Miya and Mbaruk Mwalimu, Alai said of his intention:
“I am going to view for the Nyando MP seat in the coming elections,” he stated. He went on to say that it was the wishes of voters that had informed his decision to run for the parliamentary seat.
Robert Alai has in the past been consistent in fighting corruption and other social ills that bedevil Kenya.
Stephen Sang is the current governor of Nandi County and the youngest governor in Kenya. The 35 year old was elected as governor during the 2017 general elections beating big names like former minister of industrialization Henry Kosgey and former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei who were in the race. He made headlines when he was elected as senator of Nandi County in 2013 at 28 years old. He has since made great changes and improvements to the county in terms of jobs and infrastructure. Indeed this governor is one to put a keen eye on the future.
Arthur Johnson Sakaja is the current senator for Nairobi County. The 36 year old is the brain behind The National Alliance (TNA), a political party that carried President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto to power in the 2013 general elections. He is the Chairman of the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association and has been vocal in speaking about matters affecting youths in the senate. He is expected to be vying for the Nairobi Gubernatorial seat come 2022.
Aaron Cheruiyot is the current senator for Kericho County elected under the Jubilee party ticket. His leadership journey began back in Moi University as he was pursuing his Degree in Language and Literary Studies when he was elected as a student leader. He joined the political field in 2016 during a by-election when he was elected successfully beating big names like ODM’s candidate Franklin Bett. He joined the senate at 33 years only thus becoming one of the youngest senators in Kenya.
Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino is the current Member of Parliament for Embakasi East Constituency elected under ODM party ticket. The outspoken and controversial MP started his political journey back at the University of Nairobi where he served as the President of Student’s Organization of Nairobi University (SONU- a position he held for more than 7 years. The 31 year old is vocal and is never afraid to speak his mind or ask tough questions to demand the right answers. He is currently the Chairperson of East Africa Young Legislators Association.
Ms. Ann Mwangi is a third year law student at the University of Nairobi. The 26 year old made headlines when she was elected as the first female president of the University of Nairobi Students Association (UNSA) taking over from Babu Owino. She has since been vocal on issues affecting university students and demanding changes where necessary. A lot has improved at the University of Nairobi and we don’t see the occasional violent protests and strikes in the school anymore. She is one lady who has a bright and promising future in the political scene.
Mercy Wanjiku is the current Kasarani Member of Parliament. Before being elected to parliament, she served as the Chairperson of Christian Union at the University of Nairobi and later as the National Youth Secretary at the Democratic Party of Kenya. Since joining parliament, the 26 year old has brought development projects and reforms to her constituency. Water shortage is not a problem anymore and the bad roads were fixed immediately. At her young age, she still has a lot to do and achieve in the political field.
Samson Kiprotich Cherargey is the current Nandi County Senator serving for his first term after being elected in the 2017 general elections at the age of 30 years old. He took the leadership mantle from his predecessor Stephen Sang who was equally a young person. The 34 year old has since been vocal and active in the senate advocating for reforms to bills affecting his home county people. He is accredited to bringing the Coffee bill no 22 of 2020 that basically added money to the pockets of large scale coffee and tea farmers.
John Paul Mwirigi is the current Igembe South Member of Parliament. He was first elected to parliament at the age of 23 years only. He is the youngest MP in Kenya’s history as well as the youngest senior government official. Since elected, he has never stopped working for his people and he recently established a Youth Empowerment Center to nurture various talents. He has also improved the academic standards of his constituency through the Constituency Development Fund. The schools include Igembe Boys’ Secondary School and Kenya Medical Training College Maua Campus.
John Kiarie is the current Member of Parliament representing Dagoretti South Constituency elected under the Jubilee Party ticket. He is a former comedian popularly known as KJ in the popular Redukyulass show. He has been quite vocal in the parliament especially on issues affecting artists and creatives in Kenya. He is a close ally of Deputy President and is expected to vie for the parliamentary seat next year on a UDA party ticket.