Isaac Mwaura is a renowned politician who champions for the rights of people with disabilities and the first Kenyan politician with albinism. He did not let albinism define him but rather proved that no situation beyond your control should hinder you from pursuing your dreams. Mwaura had it rough being born in Kenya at a time when albinism was frowned upon for lack of awareness. Imagine the stares and gossip as people wonder where your parents went wrong! In a past interview with Citizen TV Fiona Kenga, he said people would be very mean saying he looked like a pig among other insults. As a kid, he also thought the situation was temporary and that one day his skin would be normal. For Isaac, the insults did not deter him. It seems from the time he realized his potential, nothing could stop him. He pressed on to become on of Kenya’s influential politicians.
Isaac Mwaura Maigua was born on the 29th May 1982 Githunguri, Kiambu county.
He attended Thika Primary School (a school for the disabled) and emerged top of his class managing to secure a chance at Starehe Boys High School.
The politician opted to join Thika High School instead. While at the school, he continued to portray great leadership skills and was made the school captain.
He joined Kenyatta University for a Bachelor’s degree in special needs, French and Japanese studies. He graduated in 2006.
Isaac also holds a post graduate diploma in Public Relations Management from Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) and a diploma in Theology from the Presbyterian University of East Africa.
Later, he travelled to South Africa for a Masters in Arts in Development Studies at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
He bagged a chance to study at Harvard University but instead went to the University of Leeds in the UK for a Master’s Degree in Social and Public Policy. Leeds was a better option since it would only take one year to get a Master’s Degree compared to Harvard which would have taken him two years thus interfering with his political plans.
Isaac’s father disowned him because he was born an albino. According to him, there was no way a son of him could look that way. His mom was even accused of sleeping with a white man.
After his father’s abandoning him, it was up to the mother to take care of all his needs. His maternal grandmother was also of great assistance. The mum would do menial jobs like digging other people’s lands just to support him. In an interview with Tuko news, he reveals that he owes a lot to his mom and grandmother.
“ My mother and my grandmother are my two strongest people…..My mum used to work for casual jobs….dig the shamba for other people and including our local MP…she would leave me under a banana tree she tells me….and I would crawl to her when I was hungry, or in those coffee bushes. I mean it is her that I treasure and my grandmother because when finally she found some kind of a job working at some hardware here in Githurai called Riflow…” said Mwaura in some parts of the interview
He also revealed he has made peace with not knowing who his dad was. Although, just like any other person brought about without a dad, he at some point wanted to know him. At first, he’d even parade his mom in the media to see whether his father will notice and come looking for him but it never happened.
5 years ago, he married his long time sweetheart, Nelius Mukami. The bride looked so stunning and the groom was dashing. The ceremony was attended by prominent people, such as, the president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.
The two were blessed with triplets, two boys and a girl, but unfortunately only one of them survived. When they were born, apart from the medical team, he was the first person to see them. Two days later, the girl(named Njeri after his mother) died. They stayed in the hospital for 76 days and the other boy, Mwaura Junior, also died. During the day he’d campaign, even just as a form of distraction, and in the evening he would visit his wife in hospital. The bill amounted to 11.2 million Kenyan Shillings and they went home with one son, Njiru Mwaura. It was a very terrible moment for his family, one he would not even wish on his enemy.
If there is anyone that best demystifies the saying “Leaders are born not made” then it is Isaac Mwaura. From a tender age, he displayed leadership qualities. In fact in the Tuko interview, he says his grandfather always told his grandmother that Isaac talks too much and he may one day be a politician. His grandmother wished the latter was still alive to watch his words become a reality.
While in his first year of high school, he was elected the school dormitory prefect and rose to become the school president and CU leader. He also formed new clubs in the school, that is, the environmental club, journalism club and writing club, which had not yet been formed at the time. At the tender age of 14, he decided he wanted to be a politician.
After joining Kenyatta University, he continued with his zeal for leadership. In 2003, he was elected student leader and served for a year at the university. Later, he wanted to be the chairman of the students’ body but he did not succeed and came third in the elections.
While still at University and only 22 years old, he was appointed as a board director to the National Council for people with disabilities. This had never happened, hence, he was the first youngest board member in Kenya. His next job was as a regional program coordinator with African Union of the blind and a program officer and manager with united disabled people of Kenya and Kenya society for the blind.
Mwaura believes that Anyang Nyong’o was his professor in politics since he is the one who introduced him to national politics. They met through his daughter Lupita Nyong’o when he featured in a documentary film “In My Genes” which was produced and directed by Lupita in 2009. In the documentary, he acted as an aspiring politician as he told the struggles that come with albinism.
Later, he joined the Orange Democratic Movement as an advisor to the prime minister and was a nominated member of parliament.
In 2015, he left to join The Jubilee Coalition, a move that was seen to be a slap on Raila Odinga. Some branded him a traitor but he said he didn’t just leave abruptly but sat down with the former prime minister and informed him of his decision and reasons out of respect. Plus, he will always be thankful to ODM for giving him the opportunity.
As a human rights activist and a defender of people with disability, Isaac Mwaura has done a number of things, like;
In 2006, together with other albinos, they formed the Albinism Society of Kenya. A society that seeks to bring awareness about Albinism and fight for the rights of albinos in the society. They also provide free sunscreen and protective clothing to people with albinism.
Mwaura was also able to organize the first albino pageant in the world in 2018. He has successfully fought for increase in allocation of budget for people with disabilities
He has fought for the inclusion of disabled people in the National Youth Service (NYS). Mwaura Isaac Maigua is currently a nominated senator representing Persons with Disabilities.
Content created and supplied by: MkenyaNews (via Opera News )