New ‘Sonko’ takes Ukambani by storm
When Makadara MP Gidion Mbuvi aka ‘Mike Sonko’ swept the political scene, the country was awed by the young politician’s financial endowment.
But it seems the political scene is yet to see enough of the youthful elite in active politics.
Enter 25-year old Cyrus Musyoka, popularly known in his Kitui South backyard as ‘Sonko wiitu’, which loosely translates to “our tycoon,” who has been hailed as a promising demagogue of Ukambani youth.
The flamboyant ‘Sonko’ from the heart of Kamba land is a firebrand of youth empowerment, as seen in his entourage, which comprises of a driver, bodyguards and a personal assistant, all of whom are in their early twenties and might be mistaken for high school students on holiday.
The youngster has confidently expressed his interest in the Kitui South Constituency, which is currently held by Isaac Muoki.
His opponents are questioning the political grounding of Musyoka and how such a lad had managed to amass so much wealth.
“Octogenarians and the old fogey in the relay race of Kenyan politics have refused to accept that their time is up and hand over the leadership baton to the youth, so we will have to race with them. It is high time we, the youth stand and compete with our fathers for our rightful place in societal leadership,” Musyoka declares.
The aspirant will be battling it out with other parliamentary hopefuls for the seat that is currently held by Mr Muoki, a close ally of Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, who has expressed interest in the country’s presidency.
Being a orphan, Mr Musyoka says his ambition to represent the people is driven by the suffering he underwent following the demise of his parents.
He says he almost gave up his education after several of his bursary and grants were turned down.
He blames the current crop of leaders for being insensitive to the plight of the youth, which has led to many dropping out of school while a large population of the educated ones remain jobless and financially too weak to think of starting their own businesses
The young ‘Sonko’ says he understand the plight of the poor more than any of his opponents.
“As I offer my candidature, my heart bleeds for the youth. I missed out on my Constituency Development Fund (CDF) bursary allocations under strange circumstances.The same happened with scholarships from both the Heinz Endowments Foundation, which is run by United States senator John Kerry’s wife Teresa Heinz, and another from the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation. They were marred by hitches that I don’t understand to date,” he says.
Age, brains and money
Mr Musyoka nonetheless sat for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination at Ofafa Jericho High School in Nairobi in 2006, attaining an impressive grade A- minus. He was admitted to Strathmore University where he graduated with a degree in Information Technology.
At 25, Sonko who is married with one child is the proprietor of an ICT firm Prime Technologies, which boasts of a well-established network in Nairobi, Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa plus a printing firm; Tech City Media in Nairobi’s Tom Mboya Street.
The young entrepreneur also intends to venture into the hospitality industry and has already initiated plans to open a chain of high-end hotels in all major cities across the country. The first in the franchise is already operational in.
However, Mr Musyoka has to grapple with attacks from older politicians who often dismiss him as “a toddler dreaming of playing in the league of men.”
He jokingly dismisses the politicians who are out to criticise his age.
“What my age cannot do for me, my brains and money will always do better that any of the old chaps can imagine,” he says.
“At one time during a fund raiser, a leading politician told people not even to think of listening to my policies because I’m yet to learn how to have a proper bath which makes me stink of urine. He was telling the gathering that I still wet my bed,” he adds.
But Mr Musyoka says the people later came to apologise to him on behalf of the politician, after he tripled the parliamentarian’s contribution and offered free consultancy on how best the community would initiate better projects, a factor he said was absent in most old guard s.
‘Sonko’, who intends to seek nomination under the Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM), has launched a five pronged manifesto outlining the issues he feels are the most important for the people of Kitui South, namely: poverty reduction, road construction, improvement of health care, provision of better education and security.