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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Edith Mwirigi; Beauty and Brains?

squirrel in the choir

She is rare. You would not find two ladies her type in campus. Not unless you move around with a fine tooth comb searching in every nook and cranny. And even if you did, all you would find is resplendent ladies with no guts. Gutty campus girls on the other hand lack femininity,maturity and humility that she portrays. Lets close this paragraph  by saying that she is just rare. Rare like a gentleman's fart. Rare like a well orchestrated, violence-laden University of Nairobi worker's strike.

Edith Nkatha Mwirigi hails from Meru. It is strange that though she is from Meru, her teeth are immaculately white; whiter than snow. I thought they would be green with miraa juice. They are not. In fact as I was interviewing her, I had to cover my eyes lest the glittering sparkle from her teeth blinded me.

I wrote about Edith because I know her. I wrote about her because so many people have written a lot of untruths about her on facebook. I wrote about her because she is part of the St Paul's choir. My blog is about choir stuff. Did you see the title: 'Squirrel in the choir'  up there?

Campus rumors claim that Edith is to vie for Sonu presidency. Edith is to battle out for this seat with the flamboyant Babu Owino, Philbert Kongola and Wakoli Kunani.

I had to prove the truth about this from the horse's mouth--from Edith herself(I hope she will not 'catch' for figuratively being called a horse.)

 Edith aspires to be the first female Sonu boss. We are not too senile to forget that she recently turned tables by becoming the first female Sonu Sec gen. Before being the sec gen, she served as Sonu 2012 vice chair(Academic affairs).

Edith did not start leadership in campus. At St Marys Igoji secondary school, she served as compound prefect  and as the school controller. The school controller has a higher rank than the head girl. Well, Meru schools are funny--trust them to come up with funny leadership posts like school controllers. In a few years' time, we may hear them have attorney generals, speakers and governors. Am just saying...

Edith confesses that being a female Sonu leader is no smooth journey. One has to  be ready to stoically brave intimidation and threats. She is indeed brave. Why? It is not every day that you see a lady step out her feet into the male-dominated field of politics. Most ladies would fear soiling the pedicure on their nails, wouldn't they?

I asked her why Sonu's wave have gone down since the  2013/2014 squad stepped into power. In answer, Edith said that their leadership was not flashy. It was based on minding the interests of the students; it would be nonsensical therefore if  they lived exorbitantly while students were cooling their heels in misery.

Word about leadership

“Leadership can either be innate or learnt. Whatever the case, one needs to hone these leadership skills in a competitive environment where they are challenged to listen to others but make final, informed decisions.”

Family and politics

Mr. Mwirigi, a secondary school teacher, was at first reluctant in allowing his last born daughter join campus politics. He passed through campus and knew how soily the game could be.

The girl was adamant. Mr. Mwirigi  had to let her do what she was passionate about. He gave her his fatherly blessings but was cautious and asked for three contacts of close friends. If he lacked her, he could call these friends and inquire on where she was.

Edith's brother, the late Henry Mutembei, really encouraged her. He was a soldier who saw the potential in his kid sister and told her to soldier on.

With nolstagia, Edith remembers the last words Mutembei said as she visited him at KNH's private wing. He was bed-ridden with cancer and she would see him daily after campaigns.

“ You are going to win. You are going far,” he mumbled.

Those words were like fuel to Edith. She guzzled them in their entirety.

Pastimes and character

When Edith is free, you will catch her watching a movie or swimming. She might also be in St. Paul's singing her alto voice hoarse.

Edith is not outstanding among her cronies; she behaves like them. You would never think of her as a demigod. Being showy does not augur well with her. It would give her an indigestion, maybe.

Her conspicuousness comes only when addressing students' rights.


Edith attributes the far she has come to the likes of Winnie Mukiri, Sonu vice chair (academic affairs) 2011/2013. Fr. Kanja and Fr. Wamugunda, from St. Paul's, are also in her list of mentors. Whenever she was about to vie for any post, she would approach them for mature advice on how to carry out her campaigns.

If Edith was not a Sonu leader, she would love leading in the church.

“In the church, people give their best not for fame but out of passion. It is also  there where one could develop real friends,” she says.