Talk claiming it would be taboo to elect a disabled woman according to Maasai culture did not deter voters from electing Janet Teyiaa as their woman representative.
Ms Teyiaa, 34, who was nominated by Jubilee Party to the 11th Parliament in 2013 to represent the disabled in the county, garnered more than 186,085 votes to beat Orange Democratic Movement’s Esther Somoire, who managed 104,486 votes. Teyiaa beat six other women.
Speaking to The Standard, shortly after she was announced the winner, a jovial Teyiaa thanked county residents for displaying their trust in her.
“I’m so happy that I even cannot explain what I feel,” she said. “I will dedicate my win to the people of Kajiado, who trusted me.”
She said residents ignored the propaganda initiated by her opponents about her physical disability, adding that she held no grudges and would serve all equally, regardless.
“This is a day I will never forget. Kajiado people have spoken and I have heard them. I’m therefore very thankful to them for participating in this exercise and electing me to represent them in the next parliament,” she said.
“As a person living with disability, my duty in Parliament will be to champion the rights of my people, who have sometimes been ignored,” added the former adult literacy class.
Teiyaa lost her ability to walk after she contracted polio aged five years.
“My parents thought life had come to an end because of my problem… But I thank them for their support and for even taking me to school,” she said.
Teiyaa said she had hustled and fought for the disabled, women and youths across all levels, and intended to expand her vision for them.
She said a lot had been said and written about youth and women empowerment that had been ignored by previous regimes.
“Even though the Constitution guarantees youths and the disabled an opportunity for employment both in the national and county governments, there is still much to be done.”
Among the first people to congratulate Teiyaa was outgoing Kajiado West MP Moses ole Sakuda, who lost his seat to George Sunguya.