Kipchumba Murkomen is fast rising politically and professionally. He owes a big chunk of his breakthrough to God, his family, friends. Here is his interview with The Standard's Faith Rono in today's Eve Woman Excerpt. Notable is his assertion of the admirable that is Raila Odinga's perseverance. Probably referring to the number of times the former premier has been in the presidential race.
You are quite successful; were you brought up in affluence?
No, I grew up a village boy; a son of a squatter in Embobut
forest. It was common to hear baboons barking and birds singing. I feel
nostalgic when I think of a typical evening in my village. I skipped
pre-unit; going straight into primary school.
What kind of a student were you?
I was a good performer. On my first attempt at KCSE in 1993, I
only qualified to join a district school. I decided to give the apple a
second bite in 1994 and I did exceptionally well. That was my
breakthrough. I joined St Joseph’s High School, Kitale, but I later
moved to my dream School — St Patricks High School, Iten.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a lawyer?
I did my Law degree at the University of Nairobi. I later won a
scholarship to do a Masters of Law at the University of Pretoria in
South Africa. I have also attended the American University’s Washington
College of Law.
What drew you to politics?
My love for politics began way back. At St Patrick High School, I
campaigned and was voted by students to be the dining hall captain. At
the University of Nairobi, I became the first Second Year student to be
elected the chairman of the prestigious Kenya Law Students Society. I
worked hard to bring back the student union, which had been banned at
How was it being a leader then?
I was instrumental in reforming the student union and introducing
the first Student Parliament in Kenya. I also served as the chairman of
the East Africa Law Students Society. My best stint in student
leadership was when I was elected chairman of Fellowship of Christian
Unions’ National Students Executive Council that led over 25 Christian
unions in universities and colleges.
Did you always feel that you would be a leader in government?
When I ran to be senator last year, many people who knew me were
not surprised. It was a matter of when not if. I am a product of
mentorship and training on leadership and I owe a lot of it to many
people who have heavily invested in me.
What don’t people know about you?
I can’t ride a bicycle.
What’s one thing you regret after joining politics?
I feel that politics is robbing us time to visit our family
friends. I genuinely miss spending time with my friends, including
college and professional colleagues. I try to catch up with a few of
them, but politics is not a walk in the park.
What do you do in your free time?
I watch football a lot. I played in school and was one of the
best scorers. I support Gor Mahia locally and Manchester United in the
English premier league.
Do you follow fashion trends?
I don’t have fashion sense at all. I just wear anything that
makes me look smart. My wife and I were looking at my campus album and
we agreed nimetoka mbali.
What has been the biggest struggle in your life?
Getting a good education.
Who inspires your brand of politics?
I admire the humility of Billy Graham, Julius Nyerere and Mahatma
Gandhi; the willpower and organisation skills of Tom Mboya and William
Ruto. I also admire the foresight that was in Martin Luther King Jnr;
the determination of Wangari Mathai, the persistence of Raila Odinga,
the persuasiveness of Uhuru Kenyatta and the eloquence of Barack Obama,
the perseverance and forgiveness of Nelson Mandela and the wisdom of
How do you maintain eloquence during debates?
I try to speak my mind freely. I also read fairly, especially
biographies and autobiographies. I, however, know I am still work in
What does it take to accomplish dreams like yours?
It takes God and a host of men and women who are willing to lend
you their shoulders to stand on. But most importantly, you must have a
vision: commit to the vision; have determination and focus, and the
resilience to overcome all forces of resistance.
What’s your advice to the youth?
Don’t wait for affirmative action. There is great potential for every young person to i