Winnie Asiko: Kakamega County deserves a vibrant senator like me

Winnie Asiko

Winnie Asiko, 29, has tossed herself into the Kakamega senatorial race. If she wins, she will be the first woman to clinch the position in her county. 

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

I joined politics because I saw the need for the youth to be part of the decision making processes, policy creation and implementation.

“In the Kakamega Senatorial race, I am contesting against individuals especially men who are not only older but also who have been in the field for years.  When people hear about my resolve to contest, they wonder if this makes me lose sleep. I don't.

Over the years, I have built a name for myself as a youth activist, political analyst, model, wife and a mother. There are dozens of lessons and experiences acquired from all these titles. Age or gender will not interfere with my quest.

I was born and raised in Khwisero Sub County in a village called Mulufu. Like most children of humble beginnings, my childhood was tough. I am the first born and many times, I had to sacrifice my interests and hobbies to take care of my younger siblings. I am from a polygamous family and this birthed many challenges such as the lack of basic needs.

My childhood dream was to become a doctor. Fostered by this ambition, I really worked hard in school and excelled in science subjects. Unfortunately, I did not meet the required points for the course so I ended up pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Community Resource Management at Kenyatta University.

I joined politics because I saw the need for the youth to be part of the decision making processes, policy creation and implementation. As a youth I want to be part of the decision making process because for a long time we’ve been at the periphery. In 2017, I vied as an MCA for the Kilimani ward on a Jubilee party ticket but I didn’t win and although I was on the top of the gender list, I didn't get nominated.

This time round I have decided to go for the senatorial seat because my agenda can only be pushed through the senate. Also, I want to bring a new atmosphere into the Kakamega senatorial leadership and ensure my people are well represented.

With the usual political atmosphere in the country especially while approaching the general elections, it is expected to be a very bumpy ride for me.

Already I have started coming face to face with all those challenges associated with vying for a political seat, especially for a woman. For instance, there are times I have been threatened. Sometimes people abuse me.

My coping mechanism is getting focused and not stopping for everyone who’s throwing stones at me. I have formed a habit of ignoring the naysayers and always believing in myself. Also, as a family we are emotionally and psychologically prepared for anything that will be thrown at us during this period.

This has been made even easier by the support I get from my family. They have no issues with me being in politics. I am grateful to my husband for being understanding even in occasions when I am forced to go for meetings far away and have to spend nights out.

Also, he has played a major role in funding my campaigns, although a significant percentage of my campaign financing comes from my pocket. I have also been getting support from my friends, my party, as well as other organisations that support women in politics. With this kind of support, I’m positive about the outcome. 

Will politics change my character or personality? No. I will remain me and be real because I believe I need to serve people, and that way I don't need to change.

Even if I lose, I will start planning for the next election because I believe dreams become a reality when one has resilience and focus. Also, I will concentrate on expanding my business and building my brand. My dreams do not end here at the senate. I want to be the governor of Kakamega someday, probably a minister in the Government of Kenya, or even the president. That's how my future looks like. I would love to serve my people in all capacities.

Other than being a politician, I am the co-director of Ecofore, a construction company owned by my husband. I am also the CEO of Annalisa Commercial Kitchen Professionals, where we deal in selling stainless steel equipment.

Apart from that, I am a model, and I was a Runners up in Miss KUSA in 2014 (Kenyatta university). I went ahead to become Miss Corporate World Kenya, Kakamega County 2014/2015 Chapter. 

Thereafter, I formed Dreams Africa Events where we would train models, do events and offer artist management services. I decided to give back to the society by training models because I feel I no longer need the art and yes I can empower someone with it.

While in high school at Mukumu Girls High School, I learnt German, where I scored an A- in the subject. I teach the language to children and young people from the slums.”

Saturday Magazine will be covering first-time women politicians who are vying for positions of MPs, Women Representatives, Senators, Governors and Presidency from across the country. If you are a first time female politician, please send to us a small brief on yourself on [email protected]


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