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I am the last in a family of eight, four brothers (two deceased), and three sisters. At age five, I was already involved in my mum’s trading business. My childhood was short-lived. On July 7, 1990, during the clamor for multiparty, I witnessed police brutally attack and wound our immediate neighbors.

In our culture children, like flowers, were supposed to be seen not heard. We could not question much, and our stories were expressed in the manner we understood our world. Most of my instructors in elementary school were comparable to the police I encountered on that fateful day in 1990. Teachers wielded unrestrained power towards the students. Physical violence and emotional abuse towards students was commonplace, while heedless talk and chronic absenteeism within the faculty was prevalent.

At school, I participated in Gymnastics, and I was a member of the Nakhabuka Dance Troupe, a cultural school club that promoted traditional music. In 1999, I was selected as a participant in the production of a Children’s TV program produced by the Union of National Television Organization of Africa Program Exchange Center (URTNA-PEC) in Nairobi, Kenya.

At 17, while still in high school, I watched children debating issues on the television. The Children were very young and articulate, and a part of me, watching these kids speak, knew that this is where I belonged. I visited several media houses to inquire how I could be part of this new movement that was emerging. My search took me back to URTNA-PEC where I met Tim Gitau. He was an award-winning photojournalist in one of the leading media houses of Kenya. A media consultant by profession, Tim was also the founder of the Kenya Children’s Cabinet & Parliament.

It was Tim who raised my level of consciousness about injustice. It was Tim who on a nightly basis familiarized me to the Martin Luther King, Jr non-violence strategy. It was Tim who made me believe that the world was my oyster, and it was Tim who took me under his tutelage, and made me the Spokesperson of the Children’s Cabinet that fateful weekend that I first appeared in Zawadi Mawada’s eyes on the people TV program.

At 17, I was elected Junior Vice-President of the Children’s Cabinet. This position enabled me to interact with many men and women of influence. Most notable was the Deputy Mayor of Nairobi, Joe Aketch who I had met, one week prior to his visit to my school, at a local government meeting chaired by the current President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. We had exchanged pleasantries, and he invited me to meet with young leaders from his constituency. I was not aware that my school had extended an invitation to him to speak as a keynote speaker at our annual prize-giving day; an event organized to recognize students who performed exemplary the previous year. He was taken aback when he met me at school, and our friendship stuck from that day.

In February 2002, the City Council of Nairobi dispatched me to Tanzania on my first ambassadorial visit to explore partnership in establishing an East Africa Children’s Assembly with the city government of Dares salaam. In November the same year, I assumed the presidency of the East Africa Children’s Assembly upon its constitution. My passion to right wrong, and my discord to the status quo created strife between our organization and President Daniel T. Arap Moi’s administration.

We appeared in numerous events criticizing the government’s lackadaisical approach to children issues. We decried the lack of meaningful participation of children in public policy, and agitated for greater recognition of children’s rights. Our quest for justice hit an anti-climax. The government disbanded the children’s cabinet terming it a “national disgrace.” We found solace in Kenya Human Rights Commission, and briefly operated under their legal cover after signing a memorandum of understanding with them.

Upon election of President Kibaki’s administration, the newly appointed justice and constitutional affairs minister, Kiraitu Murungi reinstated the Children’s Cabinet in April 2003. In 2004, I instituted the National Youth Parliament of Kenya. I had approached the Commonwealth Youth Parliament Association (CYP) to inquire how young people ages 18-25 that were transitioning to adulthood could meaningfully participate in democratic decision-making processes considering majority were disempowered. CYP referred me to a gentleman named P.G. Gichohi, the deputy clerk of the National Assembly of Kenya. When I approached him, he agreed to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Our organization grew exponentially. Since we were a leadership and mentorship organization, I approached the Clerk of the National Assembly of Kenya, Samuel Ndidiri, to request on behalf of NYP to use the Old Chambers of the National Assembly for our parliamentary sessions. I figured that bringing the youth to an actual parliament to debate would hone their social skills, and deepen their understanding of our parliamentary system. Mr. Ndidiri granted my request, and on May 24, 2004, the first session of the National Youth Parliament was opened by the Vice-President of Kenya, Moody Awori at the Old Chambers in Parliament Buildings.

Subsequent parliamentary sessions were held in this location throughout my tenure as Youth President of Kenya. At 23, I was nominated and subsequently elected President of the Africa Teens Federation. My passion to propel the ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr. enabled me to institute through a presidential edict, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Africa Foundation. Through the support and encouragement of Robert C. Kerr, the Foundation organized numerous non-violence workshops, instituted a non-violence training institute and trained +1,600 young leaders in non-violence.

In 2007, the U.S. Embassy nominated me to participate in the International Visitors Leadership Program administered by U.S. Department of State. I remained at the helm of Martin Luther King, Jr. Africa Foundation until 2009. I immigrated to the United States in 2009 after an illustrious public service career that spanned more than a decade.