I regret joining politics but I’m not quitting, I now find it sweet – Jalang’o

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Phelix Odiwuor popularly known as Jalang’o took a walk down memory lane regarding his political journey, having switched from comedy and media.

He revealed that he vied in Lang’ata because that is where he resided when he first came to Nairobi until this day.

“Wengi wanasema siishi Lang’ata lakini Lang’ata ni kubwa wewe. Naishi Lang’ata. (Many say I do not live in Lang’ata but I do. Lang’ata covers a huge geographical area).”

Speaking on Radio47’s ‘Breakfast47’- hosted by Mwashumbe and Alex Mwakidei, he explained how he got an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket to vie for the Lang’ata Parliamentary seat.

Nominations hussle

“Nominations are very expensive, all the money you gave me was finished in the nomination process,” he told Mwashumbe and Mwakideu who are some of his friends who donated money to him at the onset of his political career.

He hinted at having some regrets about joining politics but asserted that he is in the profession to stay.

“In all honesty, if I knew some of the things I know now about politics before joining I would not have joined. Now that I am here, I can say it is too sweet so I am not leaving.”

Jalang’o explained some of the challenges he encountered.

“In Lang’ata for instance you have to sell your manifesto to about 20 tribes and additionally social groups like bodaboda and taxi,

“You might meet one person 10 times, claiming to be members of different groups. All these groups require money so politics cost a lot of money,” he said in jest.

Upon being asked if his brand name worked as an advantage for him in politics, he had this to say.

I was promised to be in Baba’s (Raila Odinga) communication team if he became President

“Siezi kataa, jina langu Jalang’o lilinisaidia sana. Kilichoniumiza ni kuwa sikuwa na wakati wa kubadilisha kwa deedpoll. Lakini 2027 itakuwa Jalang’o Jalang’o kama Miguna Miguna (I cannot deny that my brand name Jalang’o was a major selling point for me but the disadvantage was I did not have time to change it before the elections. I was listed as Phelix Odiwuor on the ballot paper. In 2027 however, the ballot paper will read Jalang’o Jalang’o just like Miguna Miguna.”

The first time MP also narrated how he eventually won the nominations and consequently the election.

“Tulitumwa tufanye consensus, ikakataa. Kukaitwa mkutano kubwa wa wazee ambao walikuwa wampee jamaa huyo mwingine ticket. (My fellow aspirants and I were asked by the party to reach a consensus but we could not agree. We were then invited to a meeting whose agenda was to give my fellow competitor a ticket.)

Niliambiwa kuwa Baba (Raila Odinga) amesema ni huyu na ati mimi nitakuwa kwa communication press ya baba Nikasema hio siamini sana, nitaenda nomination. Pole sana kwa wazee maanake kuna vijana wangu pale sijui walitoka wapi wakawapiga. (I was told that Baba had decided it was him (my opponent) who would be given the ticket. I was asked to step down and promised I would be on Baba’s communication team when he becomes President.)”

Has he decamped?

Jalang’o maintained that he has not decamped to UDA arguing he saw a need to work with the President for the benefit of the Lang’ata people.

“Lengo langu kuanzia mwanzo lilikuwa kufanyia watu wa Lang’ata kazi. Nilishinda Nixon Korir na kura 1,600 tu. Hii ina maana kuwa kuna chama mbili zinazotawala Lang’ata: ODM na UDA (My only goal was to work for the people of Lang’ata. I defeated Nixon Korir by 1,600 votes meaning ODM is just as strong as UDA in lang’ata),” he said.

“Mimi nilipigania chama changu, ODM, mpaka watu hunienjoy wakisema nilibeba “hot air. (I fought for my party, ODM, to the extent people still make fun of me for carrying “hot air” to the Supreme Court.”

Stating how he ended up taking the viral photos with President William Ruto that were used to convince the public he had deccamped.

“Nilikubali mwito wa Rais kwenda Ikulu. Hakuna siku alituambia tuachane na chama. Tuliongea kuhusu TVET na affordable housing Lang’ata (I accepted President Ruto’s invitation to State House, there is no day he asked us to decamp. We discussed TVET and affordable housing)”

“Rais alituambia tupige piche, na tukapigwa, ile picha ilivyowekwa mtandaoni, mambo ikachemka (The President asked us to take a picture with him but the moment it was posted online, things got heated up.”

“Siku zote Ruto akija kwangu, alikuwa anakuja na Korir na kama siku yeye ndiye alikuwa akiongea. Watu wanaeza sema ule tulimchagua tu lakini Korir ndiye anatuletea maendeleo. Siasa ni kuchunga ground yako (The President would always tag (Former Lang’ata MP Nixon) Korir along when he went to and he was the oen who would speak in my place if I was not available. The way politics works, people would end up saying they elected me but it is Korir who has brought development so I had to work with the president so that I don’t become invisible.”

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