Less than one year ago, 25-year-old Joyce Anyiso, was an of Information Technology student at Mount Kenya University. Full of hope that she would become an IT expert someday, becoming a Member of County Assembly was the last thing on her mind.
Today, Joyce’s IT degree lies at home while she spends her days making legislative laws at the Nakuru County Government. Her struggles looking for a job are gone; here comes her entrance into the political scene.
She speaks to Nation.co.ke about her transition.
INTEREST IN POLITICS
When I completed high school, I simply wanted to succeed in life. I wanted to work and accomplish something in life. But then again, I didn’t just want to work. I wanted to change people’s lives. I was the head girl while in high school and so I believed I had what it takes to become a leader. After high school I joined then governor hopeful, Hon Lee Kinyanjui’s campaign team in 2013. When he didn’t become the governor, I joined campus to pursue studies in Information Technology.
REGAINED ACTIVE INTEREST IN POLITICS
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology in 2016, I revived my interest in politics. I had gained so much in campus after all. I had become a leader in various university groups and sharpened my leadership skills. I contacted the then hopeful Lee Kinyanjui’s campaign team and asked if I could join them. When I was accepted, I began to mobilise young people and women in my local area of Gilgil to campaign both for Lee and President Uhuru Kenyatta. I committed all my energy towards the campaign process such that almost every woman and young person I met rallied behind me. I became a popular figure both among the area residents and in the Jubilee campaign team.
GETTING ONTO THE NOMINATION LIST
Since my primary goal after I joined politics was to fight for the rights of young people and women in Gilgil, getting nominated to be a Member of County Assembly representing the youth and women came as a surprise. Of course I was excited and thrilled but I never expected to make it to that list.
LIFE AS ‘MHESHIMIWA’
I really can’t call it change, but rather transition. I’m still the fun loving, friendly, talkative, movie addict I was but my roles in life are a bit different. Today, my job description is to make laws that can help young people and women in Nakuru County. I receive calls from the people I represent every day. They all have high expectations of me. I am here to serve them anyway. Besides representing the young and women, I have a role to oversee the county’s executive. Officially, the county assembly shall be opened on October 3, but I look forward to achieving all that I promised the youth and women of this county.
Life as an MCA is short and unpredictable. I am only here for five years so I have to work harder than everyone else to ensure that I accomplish as much as possible before my term in office is over. I may not deliver everything the youth expects of me, but for the next five years my promise to them is to fight for them as hard as I can.
A PARAGON OF PEACE
Currently, and for as long as I have been in politics, I have always advocated for peaceful politics. My message to the youth I lead, particularly now remains the same; whatever you do, maintain peace. I am a pacifist and I believe that politics doesn’t have to be synonymous with violence and bad behaviour. I believe that my strong advocacy for peaceful politics is one reason I have been able to resonate with numerous other peace loving Kenyans in Nakuru County.
ROLE MODEL TO GIRLS
If only I received a reward every time someone asked if a girl can become a leader, today I would be super rich. Gone are the days when only money and status got you into politics. Gone are the days when only men became leaders. I am a young woman with no status and money, yet here I am. I believe in gender equality and in women becoming powerful leaders in our country. My message to young girls, therefore, has always been that they could achieve whatever they wish to be in life as long as they are passionate about it and can work hard to accomplish it.
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