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Nine Kenyan entertainers who have ditched showbiz for politics

A number of candidates who made their names as entertainers have been thrust into the competitive politics following the just concluded party primaries. Here’s a look at some of them:

1. John Kiarie aka KJ (Comedian)

After several failed attempts, former comedian John Kiarie, popularly known as KJ, is only one step away from becoming the next Member of Parliament of Dagoretti South Constituency.

This will be KJ’s third attempt after unsuccessful campaigns in 2007 and 2013 with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket.

This time though KJ will contest on a Jubilee Party ticket after defecting from the ODM and going on to garner 9,793 votes against Waweru’s 9,051 during the party primaries.

The former Redkyulass comedian, who won the hotly contested primaries, now stands a chance for a successful transition from showbiz to elective politics.

“This win was due to our strategy. We were up against a moneyed opponent. We won because of the manifesto I presented to the electorate,” said KJ who rose to fame as part of the Redykyulass comedy group in the late 90’s.

2. Charles Njagua aka Jaguar (Musician)

Another celebrated entertainer who will be making his political debut. Jaguar will be remembered for literally protesting and crying his way to getting the Jubilee Party ticket to contest the Starehe parliamentary seat.

Jaguar clinched the ticket after initially have been denied in favour of the incumbent Maina Kamanda. But Jaguar, he of the Kigeugeu fame, eventually had his way after lodging a complaint with the party’s Appeals Tribunal.

“It is the people of Starehe who asked me to vie, so I will work for them. I have no personal problems with Mr Kamanda – the only bad thing he did was to try rigging the vote,” Jaguar said after being declared the winner.

3. Gathoni Wamuchomba – (Former radio presenter)

The former radio presenter surprised many by flooring Kiambu Woman Representative Ann Nyokabi, who is President Uhuru Kenyatta’s niece, to walk away with the Jubilee Party ticket.

And it wasn’t just the victory that was surprising, but her huge margin of her win. Wamuchomba garnered 374,306 votes to Ms Nyokabi’s measly 26,768 votes.

Speaking to NTV days after her big victory, Ms Wamuchomba attributed her win to her service and practicality.

“I have been a practical person, I have really been on the ground and have also provided solutions along the way. I was using my platforms like social welfare platforms where I would go probably sort out a medical case, sort out a domestic issue and pray with the family and leave,” she said.

4. Wanjiku Kibe – (Former radio presenter)

Another former Kameme FM presenter, Ms Kibe beat Gatundu North MP Kigo Njenga to the Jubilee Party ticket. Ms Kibe, an in-law of Kiambu Governor William Kabogo, is a nominated MCA.

5. Ben Oluoch Okello – (Former radio presenter)

Okello formerly of Ramogi FM won the Migori Senatorial ticket in the ODM primaries.

6. Francis Amisi aka Frasha – (Musician)

The celebrated entertainer popularly known by his stage name Frasha, is vying for the Athi River Ward MCA position on a Maendeleo Chap Chap ticket.

7. Ralph Sanda Masai aka Cannibal – (DJ-cum-musician)

Mombasa based entertainer Cannibal, who is a DJ-cum-musician, has also announced his bid to vie for the Mtopanga MCA seat in Kisauni after being encouraged by fans and friends.

8. Gakau Kabochi aka DJ Kaytrix

DJ Kaytrix, is looking for a new challenge as the next Mikindani MCA in Mombasa come the August general election. He has established himself as one of the top deejays in the country and even started his own entertainment outfit, Spincycle Limited.

9. Millicent Mugadi – (Former Big Brother Africa contestant)

The former Big Brother Africa contestant is seeking to retain her seat as the MCA for Ziwani after winning the Jubilee Party primaries days after surviving a grisly road accident that left four people dead in Gilgil.

These are just some of the many entertainers who have ditched showbiz for politics. But will they be as successful in their careers? We will only get to know after August 8.