LUCY NDILAI: SHE LEFT TEACH­ING FOR POL­I­TICS

LUCY NDILAI / RE­TIRED PRI­MARY SCHOOL TEACHER AND BUSI­NESS MEN­TOR - Once elected, she says, her ma­jor role as woman MP would be to ad­vo­cate for easy ac­cess to wa­ter for the peo­ple of Ka­ji­ado and com­plete abo­li­tion of fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion.

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - KUR­GAT MARINDANY @TheS­tarKenya

A ca­reer teacher, Lucy Ndilai has de­clined the many pro­mo­tions that have come her way be­cause she wanted to have more time with her pupils.

Ndilai loved her pupils, and, as such, she wanted to be close to them all the time. A pro­mo­tion, she feared, would end with her los­ing touch with her pupils.

“The de­ci­sion to re­main was borne out of a strong de­sire to un­der­stand my pupils well,” she ex­plains.

That was her way of prepar­ing for a fu­ture elec­tion to lead­er­ship.

“This is the rea­son I even be­lieve today that for one to be a qual­i­fied leader, that per­son must un­der­stand his/ her sub­jects very well,” adds Ndilai.

As a teacher, she is also an ac­tive mem­ber of her Cal­vary Covenant Church in Ka­ji­ado and spokes­woman for the women mem­bers.

She also tops up as the Church’s mo­ti­va­tional speaker, the po­si­tion she cher­ishes most.

Ndilai plans to suc­ceed the cur­rent MP, Mary Seneta, who has de­clared she will not de­fend her seat.

She will run on the Or­ange Demo­cratic Move­ment, a plat­form of her de­vel­op­ment achieve­ments and her hu­man rights ac­tivism.

Once elected, she says, her ma­jor role as woman MP would be to ad­vo­cate for easy ac­cess to wa­ter for the peo­ple of Ka­ji­ado and com­plete abo­li­tion of fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion.

“We have had lead­ers who are in their elec­tive po­si­tions and they have failed to ad­dress the is­sue of FGM. They have failed to stamp their au­thor­ity on the mat­ter for fear of los­ing votes.

We can­not af­ford to al­low our girls to un­dergo ret­ro­gres­sive rit­u­als such as FGM be­cause tra­di­tions have stated so,” she ar­gues.

She de­cided to join pol­i­tics af­ter she con­cluded there is “a com­plete dis­con­nect” be­tween the cur­rent lead­ers and the peo­ple they rep­re­sent.

“Some of our lead­ers are preach­ing wa­ter while they take heavy wine. I want to fill the miss­ing link and di­rect our peo­ple to move in the di­rec­tion of up­lift­ing their lives,” said Ndilai.

She ar­gues the Maasai peo­ple of Ka­ji­ado can no longer be sus­tained by the tra­di­tional mode of live­stock keeping be­cause the range­land is shrink­ing each day.

She has been at the fore­front in fight­ing for women at the grass­roots to be fi­nan­cially em­pow­ered. In 2004, she made a trip to the United States, where she con­nected many lo­cal com­mu­nity-based or­ga­ni­za­tions with donors.

She has helped many women’s groups in Ka­ji­ado to ac­cess bank loans and build their busi­nesses for the last 10 years.

“THERE IS A DIS­CON­NECT BE­TWEEN THE CUR­RENT LEAD­ERS AND THE PEO­PLE THEY REP­RE­SENT.”

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