Exclusive: Gaucho – Why I ventured into politics
Bunge la Mwananchi president Calvince Okoth aka Gaucho has said he joined politics because he wanted to save the youth in informal settlements from endemic criminal activities.
Gaucho said his resolve to address the plight of fellow youth in the ghetto is driven by the fact that between 2003 and 2022 he lived in several slums in Nairobi.
“I have lived in Korogocho, Dandora and Mukuru Kwa Njenga. I know what it means to lack. There is also the notion that the youth in the slums are social misfits. This is what I wanted to change,” Gaucho said in an exclusive interview with Nairobi News.
He said his peers believed in him and they convinced him to vie for a Member of County Assembly seat during the 2013 General Election.
“We were tired of being seen as thugs and living from hand to mouth. My friends and the women around decided to sponsor me to view for an MCA seat to change the status of the place. This is why I decided to venture into politics.”
In 2013, he decided to take the challenge and ventured into politics. But his decision only brought forth new challenges to him and his peers.
“There was a police officer who marked us as wanted. We were being hunted down by the police daily. I thought I would be killed and I went into hiding,” he said.
He also found himself in the middle of cut-throat competition within ODM, a scenario that saw him missing out on the party ticket.
“In 2013, there was an aspirant called Ratemo who was the first candidate to view for an MCA seat after Starehe Constituency was divided. He was given the ODM ticket during the party nominations. Since I also wanted the ticket, I said ODM will not campaign in Starehe. I organized my group of supporters to counter them on the campaign trail. I managed to cause chaos in the first campaign,” Gaucho recounted.
“The party leader Raila Odinga demanded to meet me when word reached his daughter Rosemary. When Rosemary called me and introduced herself I told her off and hanged up,” he said.
However, Gaucho says that Rosemary later sent two people to fetch him and he agreed to meet her. That’s how Gaucho embarked on his political journey.
Also read: Gaucho – Why Rosemary Odinga is my heroine