August 10, 2022


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Former street boy to face of with Rigathi Gachagua for Mathira seat

Daniel Kiige who was born into a poor family and in his formative years lived in the streets. He is now eyeing the Mathira parliamentary seat.

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He will face heavyweights, including the current MP Rigathi Gachagua. But Mr Kiige says that does not worry him and he is confident he will win the seat.

He lived in squalor after finding himself in the streets of Karatina early in his life. But last year he graduated from university and is now aspiring to become a member of the National Assembly.

Daniel Kiige was born into a poor family and in his formative years lived in the streets before he was rescued by a well-wisher, who enrolled him in school.

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Last year, he graduated from KCA University with a bachelor’s degree in commerce, majoring in accounting. He now wants to represent Mathira constituents in the National Assembly.


Growing up in rural Karatina, Mr Kiige, the firstborn in a family of three, could not stand the poverty at home, so he found himself in the streets of the town at the tender age of four in 2003.

Speaking to the Nation about his experiences, Mr Kiige said he would beg from people, in shops, in restaurants and other places.

But not everyone was willing to help. Some were verbally abusive, while others asked him to go look for his father. His mother is not married.

Joined street boys

“To survive, I joined a group of street boys, who told me how easy it was to get food in town. But I soon learnt it was not that easy. Cartons were my blankets, glue and gum was my food and the oversized clothes and dirty, oily jackets I collected at dumpsites made my wardrobe.”

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For the next two years, he would go without food for several days and never thought of changing clothes for weeks, he says.

“It may appear that I had a choice but I could not go back home, where there was biting poverty. At that tender age, I started wondering if that was going to be my fate in life.”

But his life changed for the better one day when a couple – Mr John Mutahi and Ms Susan Chira – approached him and asked whether he would wish to go to school. He answered in the affirmative and considered the opportunity as God-sent.

“I enrolled in school with the help of the couple who, although they didn’t have much money, managed through thick and thin to see me through school at Pivot Academy in Nyahururu and Kiamabara Boys High School.”

University sponsorship

He was helped to get a full government sponsorship to KCA University, where his leadership skills were spotted by fellow students, who elected him a student leader in 2019. He also represented Kenyan universities in the East African region as a legal director under the Kenya University Students Organisation (Kuso).

Mr Kiige, who is yet to secure a job after completing university, now has a big dream of becoming the next member of Parliament for Mathira constituency as an independent candidate.

The Nation caught up with him while he was on a meet-the-people, door-to-door campaign in Karatina, where he attracted sizable audiences.

“The problems I have gone through have prompted me to seek the leadership of this constituency. I feel I need to touch many hearts as a response towards lifting the people who are constantly struggling to wriggle out of their problems,” he says.

Message to young people

“My message is that young people should not give up in life. I want to create a circle of kindness-filled constituents who help each other towards the achievement of their life goals. I particularly think that the youth have been excluded from leadership and our society should be more inclusive.”

His objective is to work with young people to ensure they get jobs.

“If elected, I want to ensure legislation is enacted to support SMEs and other businesses by providing incentives and reducing taxes. This will create employment for our youths, who will take care of the less fortunate. I want to ensure there are no families living in our streets,” he said.

He will face heavyweights, including the current MP Rigathi Gachagua. But Mr Kiige says that does not worry him and he is confident he will win the seat.

“One thing I know is that it does not matter the kind of money or the popularity one has. It depends on how you touch the hearts of your people. They have the money and power but I am sure I will beat them.”

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