Posted by:Rae Kiragu
At only 32 years old, Johnson Sakaja has had what many can describe as a successful four year political career having had his beginnings in 2013 (at 28 years old) as a nominated member of Kenyan Parliament.
What’s worth to note however is his life before politics which is testament to his success.
As stated in his highly detailed Wikipedia page, Johnston landed his first job at the age of 19 (working for audit firm Pricewatercoopers) having graduated with such a top performance that he’d been accepted to Harvard University.
While things had been looking up for this a 19 year old Johnston, new job and all, life took a drastic turn when he lost that job and had to join the ever existent army of hustling Kenyan youth.
Still the ever ambitious soul, Sakaja decided to help out his aunty run her cyber cafe during what time he found his love for music and generated a career in it, writing several songs and even playing the bass guitar.
Although his career in politics took off long before we had a chance to ever hear any of his songs, Johnston’s musical ability had grown to the extent that (as revealed in this #GMITM interview), he was the inspiration behind Sauti Sol’s now world famous guitarist Fancy Fingers.
Music and dreams of becoming a successful businessman aside (the latter of which he achieved), it wasn’t until his campus days that Sakaja’s political career began, when he had his run as Chairman of the Student Organisation of Nairobi University in SONU.
Having had a love for and been great at Public Speaking since his highschool days in Lenana, an older Johnston was able to use his position to rally youth at the referendum of the then proposed constitution, a step that unknown to him was the beginning of a life in politics.
In the extended interview posted below, we learned a lot about this young politician including his continued love for music and the various changes he would implement were he to be elected as Nairobi governor.
Having young politicians seems to be an increasing norm in our culture and while the allure of a big paycheck remains (one of, if not THE largest) source of motivation for youth to get into politics, we carried out a small survey on whether young people still find a career in politics one worth exploring.
Here are the results as well as some of the comments.