One Karigu Keru still recalls the day she kicked off her campaigns. It was on a sunny dusty day when she drove herself to Naivasha, parked her small car and spent the whole day at Karagita Market.
Armed with a plastic paper bag in one hand, Karigu Keru plunged into the unknown waters of political campaigns. She would say hi to people, tell them she was vying for the women rep seat and give them the handbills she had in her black paper bag.
Karigu spent the entire day at Karagita market. Talking to people, answering questions and learning the tricks.
By the end of the day, she had throngs of people following her mostly consisting of bodaboda riders. As fate would have it, another Women Rep contestant was having a rally in Naivasha and the riders took her to the meeting. That was to be the first time she addressed a political rally from the podium.
One of her most memorable days was again in Naivasha. She had been advised to visit a place called “Bunge” where apparently, Naivasha Town politics was shaped.
On that day, she arrived in Naivasha at around 6 PM in the evening and headed to Bunge. She got there as the young people were crowded watching the evening news. After the news, she cleared her voice, said hello and revealed her plans.
“Am Karigu Keru. Am here to ask for your support as the women rep in the coming general elections,” she introduced herself.
There was a momentary silence as her audience took in the news. Then someone laughed, followed by another and then another. Every one of those people had thought she was joking. Fortunately, they lent her their ears and she got them listening and engaging her.
By the time she was through she was so parched in the throat and hungry looking that someone in the audience decided to buy her tea and mandazi.
Throughout the campaigns, Karigu says she met a lot of well-wishers.
“Every now and then I would have someone offer to chauffeur me. Other candidates allowed me to join their rallies and one gentleman from Naivasha once gave me his pickup for a whole two days. That was the most humbling gesture. The businessman from Naivasha gave me his fully fuelled pickup, sound system and a driver to take me around Naivasha for two good days ahead of the nominations,” says Karigu.
“That to me was a huge boost on my morale,” she adds.
Although she lost in the Jubilee Primaries, Karigu stayed within the campaign trail. She had made a good showing garnering 55,000 votes coming second to Hon. Liza Chelule.
Never the one to tire easily, Karigu spent the rest of the campaign period on campaign trucks and rallies rallying her supporters behind the Jubilee party and jubilee candidates.
Her joy and happiness could not be contained when Jubilee emerged victoriously.
Karigu was not ready to get out of active politics even after the campaigns.
“I’ve always admired the Deputy President. He’s one of the most hardworking politicians I know and the fact that he came out of very humble beginnings to be where he is today has always inspired me,” reveals Karigu Keru.
For the past one year, Karigu has remained a strong supporter of Jubilee but more so the Deputy President. She has never missed a single event graced by the DP in the county and sometimes she even goes to the neighbouring counties when the DP is visiting.
Her dedication, loyalty and passion have not passed unnoticed. Two months ago, the DP while attending a church function in Nakuru East Constituency announced that he would offer her job.
“I was simply overwhelmed. The DP is truly a man of his word,” she says.
Karigu Keru has this week started her duties in Harambee House, Nairobi. She however hastily adds that Nakuru has not seen the last of her.
“I’ve no intention of getting out of active politics. And I’ve no intention of deserting the thousands of supporters who stood by me and voted me,” says a bubbly Karigu.
Karigu will be working as a senior ICT officer at the Deputy President’s office and will be based at Harambee House.
“Am going through my orientation this week and from Monday I formally take on my duties,” she says happily.
However, this is not the end for her. It’s definitely a culmination of a difficult two years of struggle, running up and down and sacrifice but more so, the real beginning of her political career.
“I am extremely grateful to the people of Nakuru for their prayers, support and goodwill. I could not have made it this far without them and I will forever remain indebted to them,” says Karigu Keru as she gets ready to tackle her new assignments.