Nairobi News


CITY GIRL: I have finally bought into “Sonkoism” and these are my reasons

By NJOKI CHEGE August 18th, 2017 3 min read

As a city girl, I can finally say that I am proud of my incoming governor.

I know that it is still too early to make favourable judgements about our leaders, but I have to tell you this: Mike Sonko just demonstrated that he does not need a swearing-in ceremony to start working.

Days after he was elected Nairobi Governor, Nairobians are already feeling ‘The Sonko Effect’. Instead of rushing to plan a lavish swearing-in ceremony or an over-the-top homecoming party, Sonko is already getting his hands dirty and cleaning up a city that was left forlorn for so long.

A massive cleaning drive is already taking place at Wakulima market. Members of the Sonko Rescue Team and county staff have been removing the eye sores that are the election campaign posters.

Tens of lorries are moving the heaps of garbage in the city. I have a feeling by the end of this year, Nairobi will have a remarkable change, thanks to Sonko, a man many laughed at simply because his English is not refined enough.


I must admit that it took me a long time to buy into the Sonko euphoria. It is not a secret that some of his antiques did not impress me much. The old Mike Sonko’s horrible sartorial decisions did not help his situation either.

But I am loving this transformation. The new, sober Sonko is eager to prove a point to his detractors, particularly to those who wrote him off and rubbed his bleak past in his face.

I have a feeling that Sonko will surprise all of us, if he hasn’t done so yet. You see, this is the thing about people who are under-estimated and their abilities under-rated. They use that belittlement from others to build themselves and use the barbs as motivation, consequently proving a point to those who undervalued them.

This is the kind of leadership we need. Leadership that is devoid of hubris, self-centeredness and self-aggrandisation.

We don’t need leaders screaming all over the television stations insulting others and calling their opponents “functionally illiterate” as if they are the only ones with an education in this town.

If Sonko pulls this off — and I am praying that he succeeds — he will prove wrong the notion that we have held for so long: that we need educated, sophisticated technocrats to solve our problems.


Leadership is not about education or fancy degrees or a good command of English. It is about getting your hands dirty, delivering for the people who braved the cold on August 8 and just getting the job done.

Mike Sonko, even with a dismal performance in the televised debates, managed to win the hearts and minds of Nairobians, not for anything else but because he promised change and service delivery.

It is interesting to note that the so-called ‘sophisticated technocrats’ who boasted of their impressive grasp of issues and their degrees are nowhere to be found in the list of winners. It show you what we, the voters, care about. Question is, can you deliver? Can you restore our city’s former glory?

I sure hope and pray that Sonko does not disappoint. If you are reading this, Sonko, keep up the good work, and please deliver on all your promises. We are rooting for you and waiting on you to make this city what it is supposed to be; a world-class metropolis. I hope that I will not come back here five years from now, dejected and heartbroken by the state of Nairobi.

I have finally bought into “Sonkoism”. I am sorry I came a little late to the party but I wish you the best and God’s strength to deliver to the people of Nairobi.

Meanwhile, thank you Nairobi for showing that no matter how many times one insults and belittles one’s opponents, it will do nothing to advance one’s political career.

It has come to my attention that there are several Facebook pages purporting to be mine, and using my name to make political statements.

No matter how flattered that makes me feel, I must let you know that first of all, I am not on Facebook and implore you to disregard any communication from any Facebook page with my name on it.

Secondly, I try to stay out of politics and lastly, the long WhatsApp message/article doing rounds supposedly written by me is fake news. That is not me either.

My only social media presence is on Twitter (@njokichege), where, interestingly there are also some imposters. Stay awake dear readers, don’t fall for fake news!