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The People of Medellin Adored Pablo Escobar.

Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (On the left) admired by the people of Medellin

By Deborah Auko 

..with the money he made from drugs, he gave them alms, built churches and a hospital..They christened him loyal were they, the elected him to congress in 1982..and when he was being hunted they hid him amongst themselves.

The systems in Colombia were riven, citizenry desolated. He discovered and foolproofed the art of reverse trafficking and tokenism as a stair path to the people’s souls and to a vantage position in representation.

The people of Medellin did not conceive that they were tax paying citizens who deserved a working system as a right and not favors from a criminal.

The rise and pander of token carousel leaders is a result of bad governance..leaders rushing to slums that have been razed to the ground with milk and ‘unga‘ and cameras….when we should have planned sustainable dwellings. The culture of tokenism or populist machineries needs to abort and replaced with election of sober leaders.


Mike Gideon Mbuvi | File Photo

Khamisi Kabumba..or better known as Gideon Mbuvi, son of Kioko Kivangulya… 
..Scanty until he started residing in Buruburu Phase 5 around 2002…the Matatu culture had caught on..he would drink in pubs at shoppe..revellers noticed his braggadocio and never ending cash conveyer belts…he would pay the whole pub’s bill..earned himself many followers in a certain pub I will not name but that’s next to a ‘veve‘ (Khat) kiosk..the pub would be closed so no one else enters after 10pm… Buruburu shopping pubs especially the front area was a hub for Makangas and a drunken stupor they challenged him to buy a Matatu to compete a certain matatu SACCO boss who owned the most Matatus..he started off by buying 4 Matatus, placed them in the 58 route..58 when we were young, was operated by touts from Umoja, Kayole, Jericho, Kariobangi South, D, Marish and Poi and so his fame as an employer first hit these areas..Aside from these Matatus..Mike was big on would be at Mesora eating street meat balls and find a group of youths lining up being handed 500 Notes..soon the Mungiki menace hit Nairobi Matatu routes, started demanding taxes not only from Kayole/Dandora routes but extended to route 58.

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..the handouts developed into a sort of recruitment fee to deal with Mungiki groups harassing his matatus..Mike soon formed his own cartel called concord, who would perch inside his Matatus guised as clients and would pounce on Mungiki ruthlessly..they resisted Mungiki successfully, Mungiki vacated the 58 route and this sprung him to fame in the 58 route, he bought more Matatus and at some point had up to 25 Matatus plying the Buruburu route each coming fresher than the last..the older ones being refurbished at Masha Auto Buru Phase 1.
(Masha died from a single bullet near Harambee Estate through his car window..story for another day)

Members of outlawed Mungiki sect

The Matatu culture, the handouts, the employment he provided endeared him to the youth and his name started finding place in households all over Eastlands- Nairobi’s sprawling slum. This is around the same time the ‘sheng‘ for ‘Mdosi’ metamorphosed to ‘Sonko‘ and so he was christened Mike Sonko.

Due to our begging cultures..soon mothers joined in..and Mike started funding chamas, widows and small women groups….the idea that Mike could become an MP was birthed in that same pub when Castro told him..”round hii hatutaki Ndolo.. alishindwa kudeal na Mungiki tunakupeleka Parliament”..his ambition went from securing a route to the quest for representation.

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A lot of us that spent our early 20s in Buruburu have seen and have been with Mike as he rose from a Matatu don to MP to Senator to Governor..have gone from excitement, to speculation to fear as he rose by the dint of sheer cunning understanding of beggar behavior, public relation stunts, handouts, euphoria, feel good apparatus and williness of a street operator..but not the analytical intelligence of an academic..his mental landscape is a jumble of half learned lessons, gutt convictions desperately lacking in structure and discipline..totally out of his depths and not humble to admit..when it comes to leadership his boredom threshold is high..if someone offers a nice easy solution he will seize it and like many people with limited education will not know when to let go.


In this life…you need to understand that times change..and so should you..even our bodies take cue and change..when he made it to MP I was excited for him..I expected him to realise where he had come from, sober up, clean up and do what needs to be done..we have seen people who started dirty but cleaned up their act and delivered.

Understand your potential, your summit, your limitations and when to stop.

The higher you goes, the harder you fall..his summit for me was the MP..just maintain Makadara, serve the people and earn the little you can to sustain yourself..this is what we call horizontal hibernation in the corporate world..ever seen these stuffs who decline promotions?..there is light you don’t need, but he stared directly and blinded himself.

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Photo Courtesy of the Standard Newspaper

In this life you need to learn to listen. Illiterate people are insecure..overly suspicious, they think everyone is coming to get illiterate person in power is hard to reason with, you will talk to Mike, he will either record you or take your advise with a pinch of salt..or forget anything you said when the door closes.

Vet your company..the truth which is hard to accept is that different seasons of your life will demand that your company metamorphosised. Team concord was okay to fight off Mungiki but not to record you as you rap and smoke a joint in office….loyalty is good, and keeping old friends is even better..nobody knows that more than me..but you need to understand that once you step into an office that demands certain disciplines, you need to acquire experts to assist you manage,..keep old friends but get the right guys beside you for the job..balance.

In this life you need to have one or two people you respect who will give you their true and earnest opinion without glossing things over or tell you what you want to hear.


The sycophants who are crying over Mike, all that praising of the King Midas when he was naked amounts to this.

Governor Sonko recording callers

I hear you are planning to demonstrate on Monday. Repair yourselves to your daily problems, times are about to get tough…baseless threats of shutting down Nairobi..most of you are Nobodys’ we grew up with in Eastlands, we know only care for your stomachs and not even Mike.

Mike Sonko has no constituency to run back to, they say “beggars are only loyal to aid.”

About Whispers from the North

Whispers from the North is an online platform that appreciates the ecological, cultural and socio-economic diversities of Northern Kenya. We also acknowledge that the lives of the communities of northern Kenya has been shaped by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which have led to complex challenge that calls for a multifaceted approach.

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