Migori preacher Daudi Ojuango Mwai talks about his looks and name that have led to wide claims that he is related to retired president Mwai Kibaki.
Migori, Kenya: Pastor Daudi Ojuango Mwai is the new sensation in Migori County.
With a towering body but a cool mien, Mwai is not just a common preacher. The astute man of God commands unusual respect not only for being a long-serving church worker but also because he is a look-alike of former President Mwai Kibaki.
From his complexion, gait, body size, baldhead and height, he bears a striking resemblance to the former President. Those who meet him for the first time quickly link him to the former Head of State. Moreover, the two also share the name Mwai.
Many who have closely associated with the preacher for many years say the fact that he resembles Kibaki and the coincidence that they share a name is by all means astonishing.
On a number of occasions, the preacher has had to deal with massive public attention drawn around his personality, with people of different walks of life milling around him to seek his attention, shake his hands and hear him speak.
“When he visited here last month, word went round that Kibaki was in town. And whenever he boards a matatu or gets into a restaurant, he draws massive public attention,” says Ouma Omollo, a resident of Migori.
When The Standard On Sunday caught up with the preacher at the Reverend Samuel Ochieng’s home in Migori, he sat at a corner pensively, holding his Old Testament Bible in a tight grip.
Whenever Mwai opens his bible to preach, his mastery of the holy word leaves his audience at loss for words. He has been a preacher for more than four decades and says the fact that many of his audiences associate him with Kibaki is the least of his worries.
No roots in Central
“Long ago, it used to bother me that people mistook me for a close relative of the former President but these days I am used to it. I am not in anyway related to Kibaki and neither have I roots in Central Kenya, not that I know. I have never even met him and the fact that we are both Mwai is just a mere coincidence,” Mwai told The Standard On Sunday.
He says the truth of the matter struck him at a crusade in Likoni where some faithful openly announced “Kibaki’s arrival” the moment he (the preacher) arrived to address the congregation.
“I heard adults and children whisper that Kibaki had just arrived. It was a mixture of consternation and humour. I looked at myself and wondered if really I was a Kibaki look-alike,” said Mwai.
Even at roadblocks, police panic at the sight of the preacher. Whenever he takes the front seat, traffic officers often think the former President’s brother is on board. The preacher, however, admits his admiration for the former President, saying he hoped to meet him one day.
Reverend Ochieng of Maranatha Faith Assemblies inMigori says his close association with Mwai has led to several inquiries by those who link the preacher to Kibaki.
“Many people have had to confront me with questions regarding who Pastor Mwai really is and whether he is related to Kibaki. I tell them to feel free to come to my home to meet him wherever he is in town,” Ochieng told the press.
Pastor Mwai is affiliated to the Gospel Commission Fellowship and has outreaches both in Kenya and Tanzania. He hails from the border town of Kamageta and is married to Mary Mwai. He is proud of his Christian calling and says he does not anticipate retiring from preaching.
He started off as a preacher with Maranatha Faith Assemblies in 1965 under the stewardship of the church’s first African Bishop James Nyambuoro, whom he says prepared him adequately for church vocation.
Mwai says he has contacts across many churches in East Africa. He prides in the fact that with the help of early missionaries, he helped build the foundation of many modern churches. He has worked in Kisumu, Migori, Homa Bay among many other pastoral regions.
“I have travelled all over spreading the word of God. What more can I do? There is nothing as rewarding as seeking the kingdom of God,” he says and adds a rider: “The only problem is that modern church leaders seem to be more of politicians than ministers of the word.”-standardmedia