Hi, my name is Samanthah Nyambura Maina. 27 years old and in the 2017 elections I ran for public office, for MCA Kileleshwa ward. Beyond the fact that I vied for office, I am a social justice advocate, pan- africanist, feeling deeply for issues around young people, women and girls.
I enjoy reading books, purposefully, this year to read publications by predominantly black female authors. I am currently reading “We Need New Names” by Noviolet Bulawayo, I highly recommend it.
I also love me time, taking time to be introspective, safe to say i’m an introvert
In the 2017 elections, I came in 3rd place, as a candidate under the Ukweli party, the newest political party in Kenya.
A question I get frequently asked, iis why I vied, and I always respond with ‘Why not?”.
Allow me to explain, more often than not we wait for conditions to be “perfect” so that we can do things, whatever that means for you, and I came to the realization that there will never be a perfect time to do anything, simply do, start. Simple.
Feel the fear and do it. Yes it will be hard, it will challenge you but it’s worth it.
Yes, I lost my bid to be the next MCA for Kileleshwa, but I gained experience that cannot be taught and that is because I refused to be boxed into stereotypes such as
“try it in another five years”, “get married first then run”, “start a family them run”, be more “mature” then run, “align yourself with XYZ then run”.
Even if I did all that,I would still have more boxes presented to me. So listen, just start! You want to vie for office in 2022 do it. Congratulate yourself for starting and be your own cheerleader. You will have moments of wanting to quit, feel it then pick yourself up and continue.
Do not wait for the ideal perfect time, there isn’t such a time.
The time is now.
A secret I’m willing to share, when you start you will begin to have people who are for you coming your way, you will attract people who will hold your hand and guide you through the process. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I came into the game with sheer determination to be the change want to see. I came with no money, no name or notoriety. I expressed my desire to serve the people of Kileleshwa and I started. I began the journey as an independent candidate, until i came across Ukweli party, and I was sure that i wanted to be affiliated with the party.
Why? Because they wanted to be different, and build a party for the people. A party of like minded people that were tired and are tired of the status quo, and truth be told, the status quo isn’t working for me and you. Ordinary kenyans, simply wanting better for ourselves and the future generation. Building with like minded people is refreshing, I employ you to join us in building a Kenya that works for us. Beyond tribe, class, educationally background, let’s work and collaborate to make Kenya better.
My encouragement would be let us plug in now, let us not wait for 5 years to be politically engaged, let’s refuse to be used and dumped every years. Our civic duty starts after we cast our ballot.
If it doesn’t work for we the people, we don’t want it.
Keep the current leaders accountable, and let us constantly evaluate them. If they are underperforming we get rid of them.
Right now in schools, universities, churches etc, let us elevate our political discourse, when the pastor asks you to vote a particular person, ask why? Refuse to accept blank statement such as I said so, even from our parents. And, No i’m not disrespecting you i’m questioning and i should be allowed to question.
I can love you, respect you and still disagree with you.
I believe a better Kenya isn’t in the hands of politicians, it’s in me and you. Begin to create that better Kenya.
Vie for office, join a political party, I will be biased and say join Ukweli party.
If vying isn’t something you want to do, offer your skill set to a candidate, be a fundraiser, a campaign manager, plug in.
Would I consider leadership? would I consider vying again?
Yes, I strongly believe that I have something to offer, I believe I would make a good public servant. I believe that it’s not preserved for a select few and i will continue to demand for that spaces, the space we should be occupying.
I came in 3rd place, people within the ward voted for me, for whatever reasons but i believe that they believed in my leadership and that makes me feel like i can do it. If i came last, i think i’d be saying something different or maybe not.
I wanted to win, I wasn’t in the race to lose, and it stung when I lost, boy it stung, at the same time I saw my first attempt as a start and I intend to continue.