Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko could have added more enemies in his list after he vocally called out alleged land grabbers and mobilized youth to stop illegal development of a property on a “stolen” piece of land.
The Senator on Friday, led a group of 300 youth to a controversial piece of land originally owned by Rekha Suresh Shah located along Peponi Road near Oil Libya in Westlands, Nairobi.
The youth stopped the illegal development, saying the rightful owner of the land is Ms Shah who acquired it in 1996 and later secured a 43-year old lease renewal which is still valid.
Sonko accused the Spring Valley Police Officers of reluctance in dealing with the case even after the old woman lodged an official complaint at the station.
That is what many deem the positive side of Sonko.
Recently, the Senator was heavily critcised for referring to himself as the “acting President” when Uhuru Kenyatta was out of the country on official duty.
The above two, and many other stunts, often would cause pressure, anxiety – and in some cases, probable embarrassment – to Sonko’s children; and they would be on the receiving end for their father’s actions.
But as Saumu Mbuvi – the Senator’s firstborn daughter – had openly urged quotas in the past, she should not be attacked for her dad’s actions.
“If you are human, you work like a credit card – you have a specific limit. My limit is if I am chasing my dreams, then don’t come after it. If you are having issues with my father, keep it to you and my dad; don’t come after me. That is against humanity, and it feels so bad when you are trying to do something and someone stops you. I don’t like it,” she said in an Ebru Television interview.
Saumu, nonetheless, said she gets life lessons from the haters and that she’s developed a thick skin.
“You learn from negative people. When someone keeps on talking – yet they hardly know your move, your life or even where you started, I would keep off from that person. I see such people and tell them: ‘you talk about my dad, but you don’t know him.’”
Sonko pushed into politics
The Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) alumnus also divulged that politics was a field her dad never wanted to venture into.
“My dad was forced into politics, he wasn’t ready for it. He was actually doing business and people were forcing him to vie because it was a by-election. He was like: ‘I am too shy for the cameras; I am not ready for the people…’ He was actually pushed to it, and he did not know that he had it (leadership) in him.”
She however said that Sonko quickly learnt leadership ropes, and that she is hopeful if he competes for Nairobi’s gubernatorial seat in 2017, he will win.
“If he wants to go for the seat (Nairobi Governor, 2017), I know he will make it. He has done so much that I have never seen someone who is dedicated to his people more than him. He is too generous; every time he is out there, he is always real– he never fakes it. People would think that he is trying to show off or buy people, no! He was doing that even when he was a businessman in Buruburu.”
Sonko as a father
Saumu said Senator Sonko knows how to separate work matters from family.
“He would always come home early, tell us how much he loves us. We have never seen his political side at home; when he arrives home, he is a father. I don’t know much about him as a politician.”
Why Sonko went back to school
In July, 2015 Sonko graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Kenya Methodist University (KEMU). Saumu says it was his wish to go back to school.
“Daddy always wanted to do the best thing for himself, even before. However, until he got his wealth, we were ‘ghettofabulous’. He did not have the chance to go to university, but right now he can actually do even more. He thus went back to school and accomplished.”
The challenges that come with being Sonko’s daughter
“Advantages equal the challenges. However, the craziest disadvantage is that people always judge me for being Mike Sonko’s daughter. Let’s say if I get into an argument with someone, he gets so unfair and summarizes by saying: ‘she is Sonko’s daughter, so she is just trying to get attention.’ When people hear ‘Sonko’ they associate the name to crazy, vibrant, too wild and that we are always ready to fight; that is not the case.
“When I look for sponsorship for events that I pioneer, people get hesitant to help because I am Sonko’s daughter. However, I am a normal person, chasing my dreams.”