Wajackoyah: Once A Street Kid In Kenya and A Grave Digger in UK

Wajackoyah: Once A Street Kid In Kenya and A Grave Digger in UK
Wajackoyah: Once A Street Kid In Kenya and A Grave Digger in UK

Prof George Wajackoyah grew up in rural western Kenya, and after his parents separated he ended up living on the streets of the capital, Nairobi. He was rescued by worshippers at the Hare Krishna temple, who were feeding homeless people.

Prof Wajackoyah lived in the temple and became a Hare Krishna priest. He was sponsored to complete his secondary education and later joined the Kenya police, rising through its ranks to join the intelligence unit.

Though he has been vague on details, Prof Wajackoyah says he ran into trouble after picking up sensitive information about one of the most high-profile murders in Kenya, that of Foreign Minister Robert Ouko in 1990.

Prof Wajackoyah says he was arrested and tortured and after being released he fled Kenya with the help of the US embassy in Nairobi.

Mr Ouko’s murder remained a mystery to the public until a parliamentary inquiry in 2010 revealed that he was killed at one of the official residences of then-President Daniel arap Moi.

After fleeing Kenya, Prof Wajackoyah found his way to the UK where he did menial jobs and sought an education at the Soas University of London, University of Warwick and University of Wolverhampton.

While studying in Wolverhampton he also worked as a security guard, a grave digger and a washer of dead bodies in order to earn a living.

The jobs “humbled and matured” him, he told the Daily Nation newspaper.

He says balancing school and work saw him score a third class honours in law. It is not regarded as a good pass.

He was involved in political campaigns in the UK to push for change in different parts of the world – and worked closely with Ghana’s former President Jerry Rawlings, who took power in a coup in 1981 and ruled until 2000.

Prof Wajackoyah later relocated to the US, where he met his African-American wife. The couple reportedly have three children.

He has also studied at various US institutions, including acquiring a PhD from the online Walden University.

He claims to have a total 17 degrees, mostly in migration, international and refugee law, prompting Gaitho to cynically remark that he boasts “more university degrees than the time required to actually sit through all those courses”.

Prof Wajackoyah returned to Kenya in 2010, declaring that he wanted to run for president.

He abandoned his ambition at the time, only to revive it in this election to become what one of Kenya’s leading newspapers, The Standard, has called a “sensation on the campaign trail”.

In other controversial campaign promises, Prof Wajackoyah says he will improve work-life balance by introducing a four-day week, giving Muslims time off to worship on Fridays, Adventists on Saturday and other Christians on Sunday.

Prof Wajackoyah has also pledged to bring back the death penalty, and says those convicted of corruption will have the choice of being executed by firing squad or by hanging “after eating some ugali [corn meal, a staple in Kenya]”.

By Evelyne Musambi



Wajackoyah: Once A Street Kid In Kenya and A Grave Digger in UK

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