It is not everyday you hear of a grass to grace story involving a house help who grew up to be a political powerhouse.
In Kenya, there is a nasty stereotype that to make a breakthrough in politics, you should have one of two things – influence or money, or both. Interestingly, the current MP for Ganze constituency Teddy Mwambire had neither while growing up.
The enthusiastic legislator opened up to Briefly.co.za in an exclusive interview where he bore it all on his background and unlikely rise to becoming a lawmaker.
Mwambire grew up in the typical humble family in the coast and because of the large family, he had to be quite patient to acquire an education.
To get money for upkeep, he and his siblings had to make do with some odd jobs to keep the family afloat.
At some point in his youth, the MP became a houseboy in Malindi, earning a meager KSh 400 a month before graduating to hawking juice.
His is a tale of serendipity because as he told Briefly.co.za, he would have gone on with the small businesses had he not fallen sick and returned home.
“Thank God I fell sick. I tried my level best but I couldn’t get well so I went back home and I ended up going back to school and eventually I completed my Class Eight,” he divulged.
In high school, Mwambire developed some leadership skills by taking up several co-curricular activities which proved pivotal in his journey to politics.
He began as a law firm clerk before leaving his post to become a human rights officer as he strategist with his close colleagues which eventually led him to clinching an MCA seat.
“Poverty is terrible but it also helps people to think outside the box. If you fight like a wounded lion, there is nothing impossible for a willing heart,” he remarked.
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