ROSALINDA SOIPAN KUDATE: A CHAM­PION FOR ALL MAA­SAI WOMEN

ROSALINDA SOIPAN KUDATE, NAROK WOMEN REP­RE­SEN­TA­TIVE / Soipan said that be­ing one of the few women in her Maa­sai Com­mu­nity with a Masters de­gree due to the op­por­tu­nity she got early in life, she has been work­ing hard to en­sure that girls from her com­mu­nity

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - ED­WIN NYARANGI @Ed­winN­yarangi

Rosalinda Soipan Kudate joined pol­i­tics in 2012 hes­i­tantly, fol­low­ing im­mense pres­sure from her sup­port­ers, who felt that she was the best can­di­date for the Narok County Women Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the 2013 gen­eral elec­tion.

Soipan who is a daugh­ter of for­mer Narok South MP Sam­son ole Tuya was ap­proached by mem­bers of her com­mu­nity to vie for the seat im­me­di­ately af­ter she re­turned home from the United States of Amer­ica, where she had gone to pur­sue her Masters in Law De­gree in Sus­tain­able In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment from the School of Law, Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton.

Soipan said that fol­low­ing con­stant per­sua­sion by her sup­port­ers she con­vened a meet­ing at her par­ents’ home in 2010, where she told them un­equiv­o­cally that she was not ready to join pol­i­tics at the time and would in­stead use her aca­demic qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­pe­ri­ence in law to serve her peo­ple.

She said that cam­paign­ing for the seat was not an easy task given that her older op­po­nents felt that she was too young to be en­trusted with a lead­er­ship po­si­tion. How­ever she went round all the six con­stituen­cies sell­ing her poli­cies to the peo­ple of Narok, who were con­vinced that she would serve them well af­ter which they over­whelm­ingly elected her.

Soipan said that be­ing one of the few women in her Maa­sai Com­mu­nity with a Masters de­gree due to the op­por­tu­nity she got early in life, she has been work­ing hard to en­sure that girls from her com­mu­nity get qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion. This is so that they can be in a po­si­tion to com­pete ef­fec­tively with their coun­ter­parts in the rest of the coun­try since they have the po­ten­tial to ex­cel.

The County Women Rep­re­sen­ta­tive said that she was lucky enough to have es­caped Fe­male Gen­i­tal Mu­ti­la­tion. This en­abled her to pur­sue ed­u­ca­tion to the high­est level pos­si­ble. Most girls in the Maa­sai com­mu­nity have failed to con­tinue with their stud­ies af­ter un­der­go­ing FGM - be­cause once they un­dergo the rite, they are con­sid­ered as suit­able can­di­dates for early mar­riages.

Soipan says that she has spon­sored the train­ing of over 800 women groups in fi­nan­cial man­age­ment in the en­tire county. This is in­tended to em­power women eco­nom­i­cally so that they can ex­pand their busi­nesses to get more prof­its so that they can be able to cater for their fam­i­lies’ well be­ing.

Soipan is mar­ried with two chil­dren and is a strong sup­porter of Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta and Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto. She feels strongly that they de­serve to be re-elected for a sec­ond term so as to en­sure that they com­plete all the cru­cial projects they have started in their first term in of­fice.

CAM­PAIGN­ING FOR THE SEAT WAS NOT AN EASY TASK GIVEN THAT HER OLDER OP­PO­NENTS FELT THAT SHE WAS TOO YOUNG TO BE EN­TRUSTED WITH A LEAD­ER­SHIP PO­SI­TION.

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