After losing in her bid to be the first woman representative for Kakamega County in the 2013 elections, former radio journalist Lydia Pamela Nyangala now believes that the seat is hers to lose come August 8 elections.
The popular former radio host, fondly referred to as “Senje,” Luhyia for aunt, has been criss-crossing the vast county seeking to replace incumbent Rachel Ameso, who contested the Kwisero parliamentary seat but lost in the ODM primaries.
The party has since presented her name for nomination to the Senate.
CONFIDENT OF A WIN
Senje, who is running on Amani National Congress ticket has stepped up her campaigns and is leaving nothing to chance, saying she is confident of a win having lost narrowly to Ms Ameso in the 2013 elections.
The race to replace Ms Ameso is a crowded affair having attracted six other candidates who include Ms Elsie Muhanda of ODM, Ms Fatuma Osundwa of Ford Kenya and Jubilee Party’s Mercy Luseno.
Others are Nancy Mudeheri (Federal Party of Kenya) and Irene Wanyonyi (Narc-Kenya).
USES BODA BODAS
Ms Nyangala’s campaigns have sparked interest and attention causing a stir because she conducts them mainly by hiking lifts and riding on boda bodas to get to rallies and reach out to voters in the 12 sub-counties of Kakamega.
Her campaigns recently received a boost when she accompanied ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi who was on a campaign trail in Matungu, Mumias East and Navakholo Constituency.
“I do not have much money and sometimes I approach relatives and friends for financial support to organise my campaigns,” said Ms Nyangala, a mother of seven children.
Her familiar voice has also endeared her to her supporters who turn out in her campaign rallies to listen to her.
“Nisie Senje Lydia Pamela Mwana wa Papa Nyangala (I’m auntie Lydia Pamela the daughter of Papa Nyangala),” has become her familiar way of introducing herself to her supporters during rallies.
The former radio journalist easily connects with crowds who are familiar with her voice as a presenter at the vernacular Mulembe FM before she moved to Radio Ingo.
WOMEN AND YOUTH
She is asking voters to elect a woman representative who will champion the development needs of women and the youth in Kakamega.
“I’m your daughter and if you give me an opportunity to serve you, I will give priority to the needs of women and youth across the twelve sub-counties,” Ms Nyangala said at rally at Koyonzo market in Matungu Constituency.
In 2013, she quit as head of the vernacular Radio Ingo run by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) to join politics, and has remained unbowed in her pursuit of her dream to clinch the woman representative’s seat.
Ms Nyangala says although she is not well-endowed with resources to facilitate her campaigns, she is prepared for the challenges ahead and is confident of clinching victory on August 8.
She says she was inspired to join politics by former Lurambi MP Brown Tsuma who is her relative.
“Our family has been actively involved in politics since the early 1970s and that has inspired me to contest for the position,” says Ms Nyangala.