Sakaja: The Nairobi 'super' senator who always eats his words

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

“Mimi ni Johnson Sakaja, and together we are the Sakajas. Kuna kitu tunataka kutaja.  So keep plugged in like a charger. Because corona has come larger than NIC, CBA merger….”

In a viral video released during the Covid-19 pandemic, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja excited social media with a creative rap video featuring his two sons.

Although he appears to have gotten his lyrics right, there’s one thing that the 37-year-old  "'super-senator" has not quite mastered; watching his mouth.

His recent struggle to fight against disqualification from the Nairobi gubernatorial race has cast a shadow of a man who always eats his own words.

Not even his ‘management degree’ from Team University in Uganda would have helped him learn how to carefully manage his utterances in public. 

A few months after releasing the rap hit, Sakaja was arrested for breaking the same rules that he was encouraging people not to break.

But Sakaja is not the one who bows down easily, he vehemently denied the claims that he was arrested at Ladies Lounge in Kilimani for violating the government directions on Covid19.

“Never been arrested. Won’t be. Show me an OB Number,” he tweeted a few hours later.

After pressure mounted on him, Mr Sakaja would step down as the chair of the Senate ad hoc committee on Covid-19 pandemic and apologise for misleading Kenyans.

In his speech, he would acknowledge that he had indeed broken the same rules that he was expected to guard.

“That is not my character. If it was just about been outside after nine, which would be one thing. I take responsibility for having flouted the Covid-19 rules. I was outside my home past 9pm. It is regrettable but all of us make mistakes,” he said at the time.

He is currently at the center of controversy after it emerged that he did not complete his Actuarial Science degree from University of Nairobi as he claimed earlier. His inconsistencies in relation to his studies have exposed him to the court of public opinion.

In his previous utterances, Mr Sakaja had romanticized how he was a top student right from his high school up until the University of Nairobi where he studied his Actuarial Science degree.

“During my Form 2, I decided to work very hard. I would wake up at 4am to go and read in class. From that time henceforth my record remained exceptional. In fact if you go to Lenana School, nobody has beaten my Physics and English record,” he told Daniel Ndambuki aka Churchill in an interview last year.

His life in Nairobi Chiromo campus was also rosy, according to him, thanks to his student leadership position and his rich political networks.

“I had a salon, a Kinyozi and I employed a lot of people in campus. Sometimes I also used to wash people’s clothes. From by businesses, I would raise over 6,000 per day. By the time I was in my fourth year I bought a Mercedes Benz from Senator Moses Wetangula at the cost of 500,000 shillings. I also had an apartment in Yaya where I used to stay after moving out of Chiromo,” he said in the interview.

In another interview with musician Nyashinski in September 2020, he also narrated his education journey saying he has never studied out of Kenya.

“I have never gotten out of the country. I pursued my education in Kenya, from primary, high school to university,” he said.

It therefore beats logic how he enrolled for a degree in management from Team University in Uganda and completed it in one year.

After claims that he did not complete his Actuarial Science the University of Nairobi emerged, he again denied the allegations and termed them “political”.

“You will now hear some people saying that I was not born,” he said.

On whether he will survive the ongoing onslaught, it remains unclear.

But one thing the senator has taught is sometimes eating your own words can be bitter.

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