On Monday, January 23rd, human rights activist and former political candidate Boniface Mwangi opened up about the impact that his political endeavours have had on his personal life.
During an interview with journalist Mark Maasai on his YouTube show, The Social Newsroom, Mwangi shared his candid reflections on the challenges he has faced as a result of his political involvement.
Mark Maasai, the host of the show, has recently been a victim of unfair dismissal from Nation Media Group, one of the largest media outlets in Kenya, where he had been working as a journalist.
He was among the high earners that were targeted in a mass redundancy exercise that took place in the company.
The loss of his job forced him to venture into the online world, where he is still struggling to make inroads.
Mwangi, who had previously been a vocal critic of politicians on both sides of the aisle and had avoided aligning himself with any particular political party, decided to support former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the 2022 general election.
However, Odinga, running on the Azimio La Umoja coalition ticket, ultimately lost the election to President William Ruto of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
Mwangi revealed that his political activities have had a negative effect on his children.
“There is a lot that you lose. I have raised very smart kids. My kids could do commercials and adverts, but when my kids go for auditions they get cancelled,” he stated.
He also shared that his children have been kicked out of places due to his political activities and that they have faced difficulties in finding work or participating in projects because of their association with him.
Mwangi further explained that his political involvement has made it difficult for him to find employment, stating, “I would ask for a job but when they learn it’s my name I get canceled.”
He also shared that he has faced challenges in finding an office for his business due to his political associations.
Mwangi also reflected on the corrupt nature of politics in Kenya, revealing that he had failed to win in the past because he refused to bribe voters.
“Politics have to change, the way they are, is a no for me. I vied with a small party but never won because voters want money. They want to be bribed. They vote for the people with money but after being elected they don’t serve them,” he lamented.
During the 2022 general election, Mwangi’s party, Ukweli Party, made the decision to replace him with Nduko O’Matigere, a prominent figure in the civil rights movement.
O’Matigere’s background and experience in human rights activism made him a strong candidate to take on the role of leading the party.
Mwangi acknowledged this decision and expressed his support for O’Matigere, recognizing his qualifications and dedication to the cause.
Once he had cut ties with Ukweli Party, Mwangi decided to join the Azimio la Umoja coalition as a volunteer campaign, having been a strong supporter of the then-Azimio running mate and NARC Kenya party leader Martha Karua.
He felt that her political platform align with his beliefs and he wanted to contribute to her campaign efforts. He was open about his support for the coalition and the candidate.
Despite the challenges he faced during his political journey, Mwangi says he does not regret his decision to support Odinga and would make the same choice again.
“I would do it again, I believe it is important to support a candidate who you believe in and who you think can make a difference.”
Unfortunately, Mwangi’s political affiliations also led to some dangerous consequences, including an attempted bombing on his house in Machakos.
The interview with Boniface Mwangi on The Social Newsroom provided a unique insight into the personal and professional challenges that come with being involved in politics.
If you are interested in watching the full interview, you can find it under this post.
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