Friday, April 10, 2009

Kenya's own Barack Obama?...

This is Edwin Macharia (picture from In 2007, he ran for the Kieni seat against Chris Murungaru and eventual winner Nemesyus Warugongo.

I have seen this guy on the 'Louis Otieno Live' tv show a few times, most recently last night and he never fails to impress me.

He's very smart, knowledgeable, articulate and seems to have clear ideas about how this country needs to move forward.

Mutahi Ngunyi speaking on Capital Talk last night made a sad yet valid point in reference to why we wind up with such bad political leaders. He said that "the problem we have in this country is that the men and women of good intention have no passion but those of bad intention have lots of passion".

Hearing Edwin speak, I would say that this is a young man of good intention who has plenty of passion.

I am glad losing in Kieni did not make him give up on politics because this is the sort of leader I think we really need to have in this country.

Do look out for this guy because I genuinely think that he could be Kenya's own Barack Obama.


  1. Agree. Its a pity he was competing against Warugongo aka "mundu wa thuburia" who as the nickname suggests used to assist the local women groups and built up a vast network. I hope Macharia starts early and coins a youthful message.

  2. A good guy! Does he have a blog? If he wants to go the Obama-way, he will have to use Web 2.0 tools to make it.

  3. I don't think he has a blog. He had a website during campaigns (that was not updated regularly!) but I can't find any blog or website currently.

    I think he needs one though. I just don't know what the best strategy for employing web tools would be in the Kenyan context. It would be a good tool for reaching diaspora and Kenyans who have access to the net but that's (at this moment in time) a rather small percentage of the population.

    I agree that he needs to start early and coin a youthful message. Kenyans are hungry for a new leader and perhaps he could start positioning himself as that now. I would advise him to start working on assembling a youthful team to start an alternative movement to what exists.

    Then they need to start getting out there, mobilizing and building networks because as Maina pointed out, the person who has been seen to be working at the grassroots often has a advantage.

    If he can build a countrywide collective of young, passionate folks that work to really connect with the grassroots, especially the youth and who can sell a development and reform agenda, then he may just be able to bypass the parliament route and go straight for the big job.

    Easier said than done though.

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