Senator Edwin Sifuna’s recounts how he courageously quit a well-paying job
Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna says he once quit a high-paying job so as to protect his mental health.
In a recent interview with TV47, the youthful politician shared his personal journey and the pivotal moment when he chose his well-being over lucrative perks.
He recalled his excitement when he initially secured a role as a legal affairs manager at an advertising firm, a significant step up from his previous job that paid him a modest Sh40,000.
The new position came with a Sh150,000 monthly salary on top of a company car and other benefits.
“I hear people say, ‘a job is a job.’ a job is not just a job. There are positions that can transform your life, as well as the lives of your family and community, and there are jobs that can take a toll on your mental health,” he explained.
The transformative aspect of his employment was evident as he transitioned from living at a servant’s quarter to occupying a spacious three-bedroom house.
However, this transformative job had a significant downside, in the frame of the presence of what he humorously described as a ‘boss from hell’.
“I know he is watching me now because he has become my friend. He used to exert immense pressure on me. By 2013, I had decided that this job was not conducive to my well-being. I was earning Sh400,000 at that time, which was good money. But I had to ask myself whether it was worth all the stress.”
The breaking point came when he realized the toll the job had taken on his mental health.
He recounted how he used to sleep with his phone under his pillow because his boss would call at any hour to assign tasks.
However, the day he resigned, Sifuna switched off his phone and experienced the bliss of a peaceful night’s sleep.
After leaving the demanding position, Sifuna said that he ventured into private practice as a legal practitioner.
During this period, he found himself in a booming economy, offering legal assistance to clients involved in chamas (self-group), land purchases, and business registrations.
Setting a target of earning Sh50,000 per month from his private practice, Sifuna aimed to cover his rent and car expenses.
“I was able to sustain myself for some time.”
With more free time on his hands in private practice, Sifuna gradually entered the world of politics.
He had initially crossed paths with Azimio leader Raila Odinga during his university days.
Still, his first formal audience with Raila occurred in 2013 when he visited Raila’s office—a moment that would significantly shape his political journey.
Sifuna, unsuccessfully vied for the Nairobi senatorial race in 2017 but lost to Jubilee’s Johnson Sakaja, the current governor.
In 2022, he won the Nairobi senatorial seat.