Leadership is a challenge in Kenya. A quick glance at social media will tell you that most Kenyans are disappointed in the leaders they chose. It takes a lot to turn campaign promises into tangible development on the ground.
The MCA of Roysambu ward, Sospeter Githahu Mumbi is working hard to change that narrative.
Being raised in Jua Kali slum in Marurui gave him the impetus to change things around him. He was orphaned at a young age and had to depend on casual work for survival. That’s before World Vision, where he volunteered, came to his rescue and sponsored his education through high school.
Together with a few friends, they started Marurui United Youth Organization (MUYOG), a Community Based Organization (CBO) through which he wanted to replicate what he had learnt and seen at World Vision.
Garbage collection was their first initiative, then computer training for the youth in the community, then cooking and selling mandazis, then a community library.
A visit by Kipruto Arap Kirwa, then minister of Agriculture, was their turning point. He was thrilled at the initiative of Sospeter and his group and went ahead to acknowledge them in a public function. He even invited Sospeter to the podium to give a speech. Later, he donated a computer, printer and gave a grant of 1.3 million shillings for the group to establish a project.
Today, that computer training initiative has grown into a center that has trained over 5,000 youth. A space where young people can do online jobs is also running as well as a cyber café. There’s a vocational center where they train hairdressing and beauty. The hand pulled carts for garbage collection have been upgraded to a lorry. Community clean-ups are organized thrice a year and a feeding program at Marurui primary school has been active since 2014.
That’s the power of initiative and visionary leadership.
Today, Sospeter is the MCA is Roysambu, a seat he won against all odds having vied on an independent ticket. He says he needed a bigger platform to bring change to his community. You can watch more of his story in the interview he had on the Jam 316 program on Family TV and Family Radio 316.
Watch how he decided to live in the slum after losing his mother against the wishes of his extended family. How did that play into his purpose, which he believes is God-given? How do we know the right leaders to elect? What’s the criteria? More in the interview below.