REUBEN KIGAME: MAN OF VI­SION AND DE­TER­MI­NA­TION

REUBEN KIGAME / “When I tried out in pol­i­tics some peo­ple would even ask where a blind man would take them in lead­er­ship. But God hav­ing brought me this far I do not re­gret.”

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - MATHEWS NDANYI @ndany­i_­math­ews

Reuben Kigame de­scribes him­self as a teacher, mu­si­cian, ac­tivist, en­tre­pre­neur and politi­cian.

Born in 1966, Kigame suf­fered from an eye in­fec­tion, which led to his eyes hav­ing cataracts at the age of three - and he be­came blind.

He is fa­mous coun­try­wide mainly be­cause of his gospel mu­sic. But he says he has in­born de­sire to serve as a po­lit­i­cal leader and help to fight chal­lenges af­fect­ing Kenyans.

In 2013 he un­suc­cess­fully con­tested for the Gov­er­nor­ship in Vihiga County. But has not given up and fully in­tends to try again in fu­ture.

“I guess I was the only one with my kind of dis­abil­ity who tried it out in such level of pol­i­tics. I have this strong de­sire to serve the peo­ple through elec­tive pol­i­tics be­cause I be­lieve that I have a unique agenda as a leader,” he says.

In his younger days, Kigame would blame God for his blind­ness. But he fought off many chal­lenges in­clud­ing stigma­ti­za­tion in many quar­ters and he proudly de­clares that his heart and spirit are big enough to ac­com­mo­date all chal­lenges be­cause, “God had a rea­son to cre­ate me the way I am and he has proved it in my life. I ac­cepted the way I am and moved on”.

“When I tried out in pol­i­tics some peo­ple would even ask where a blind man would take them in lead­er­ship. But God hav­ing brought me this far I do not re­gret be­cause it has both ad­van­tages and nega­tive sides.”

Kigame owns Tilil Cof­fee House and Con­fer­ence Cen­ter in El­doret, Kigame School of Mu­sic, Fish FM, Sifa Voices Gospel band and Kigame Mu­sic Pro­duc­tions. “One ad­van­tage of be­ing blind is that if you de­cide to frown at me I will not see and hence you will be do­ing it to your­self,” he ex­plains.

He had a three-pronged ap­proach to trans­form­ing Vihiga County: im­prove­ment of health­care, ed­u­ca­tion and putting in place proper pro­grammes on poverty erad­i­ca­tion.

“I may be blind but I have a clear vi­sion in lead­er­ship not only for the peo­ple of Vihiga but for the coun­try,” he says.

Kigame de­sire is also to push for a bet­ter agenda in govern­ment for peo­ple liv­ing with var­i­ous dis­abil­i­ties.

“They keep on telling us that dis­abil­ity is not in­abil­ity but this is just a cliché which the govern­ment and oth­ers use to cover up ev­ery­thing else.”

In Septem­ber 2006 his first wife Mercy died in road ac­ci­dent at the age 37 and he got re­mar­ried to July Kigame. He has four chil­dren.

“I MAY BE BLIND BUT I HAVE A CLEAR VI­SION IN LEAD­ER­SHIP NOT ONLY FOR THE PEO­PLE OF VIHIGA BUT FOR THE COUN­TRY,”

Car­los Ghosn CEO Nis­san-Re­nault

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