Eyeing the Cockpit; A Young Woman’s Political Aspirations

By June 16, 2016 No Comments

Akili Dada recently held a leadership training for political aspirants in readiness for the 2007 general elections.

The political leadership training aims at equipping young female political aspirants ages 18-35 years with the knowledge and skills needed for political leadership and policy making, as well as deliver on their mandate once elected. Broadly the program will address three major components: Leadership, Economic Empowerment and Civic Participation. The curriculum will be spread out to cover key topics such as Transformative Leadership, Campaign strategy, Fundraising, Negotiation and Consensus Building, Legal literacy, Resource Mobilization, Networking, Media and Messaging. The objective of the training is to equip young women to enable them to vie successfully in the 2017 general elections.

We spoke to Florida Angila Ashitua, aspiring Member of County Assembly (MCA) for Central Bunyore constituency

Tell us about yourself

My name is Florida Ashitua. I was brought up by my elder sister after my parents past away when I was 2 years. I am the last born of four siblings. I come from central Bunyore Emuhaya constituent in Vihiga County. Also, I am a mother of two boys, one is 11 years old and the other is eight years old.

Why politics?

Political leadership in Kenya has been left for the same old and recycled politicians who have mastered the art of propaganda politics and empty promises and have missed out on key issues that affect the people.

I am sick at seeing people in my community going through same challenges over and over. Sometimes you get tired of complaining and you can’t help but get into politics.

Where are you vying and why are vying there?

I am vying in Central Bunyore as a Member of County Assembly

I was born and grew up in Central Bunyore and I have been lucky to travel around several counties in the country like Kiambu and Nairobi.  I can tell you for a fact, Central Bunyore is lagging behind in development. There are people who have never seen a computer in my village. We are totally disconnected from other counties and we lack information that would spur us to development. I would like to see my community empowered and participating in national issues as well.

What is your motivation to vie?

I am who I am today because of a few people I have interacted with and opportunities they shared with me. I believe I would have been a better person if I had somebody to inspire me at a younger age. I have come to appreciate the role mentorship and role models play in our lives and I would like to vie as an MCA in Central Bunyore to inspire many girls and young women to achieve their potential.

What is the hope you have for the community you are vying in?

I can attest to you that central Bunyore people are hardworking. Each year women and youth initiate closely to 100 business initiatives. However, insecurity is paralyzing these small efforts. Rape cases are the order of the day. Insecurity will be one of the issue that I will seek to restore. I want to ensure that efforts made by young people thrive in a secure and safe environment.

The second thing I hope for my community is good health for the children in Central Bunyore.  Over 42,000 people are affected by jiggers due poor sanitations which has negatively impacted our economy.  We even have a national jigger day!

I hope to set up treatment centers for jiggers as I pursue partnership with organizations and institutions that can educate my community on prevention measures.

What makes you the right person?

I am the right person to represent the people of central Bunyore because of the passion I have to represent and fight for the rights of the people in my area. I have also been empowered as a young woman in workshops and trainings I have attended like the Political Aspirants Training at Akili Dada. I have gained invaluable information and skills that I would like to share and put it use to transform my community.

What do you think about women and leadership?

We are beginning to reap the fruits of women empowerment especially in Africa. In the recent statistics by World Economic Forum, our neighboring country Rwanda is topping with a 64% of women representation in Parliament. Kenya has a lot to learn from that.  Even though we still have issues like culture and violence that scare women away from leadership positions.

What do you do for fun?

I use to enjoy swimming and listening to music like hip hop and bongo flava. However, I have very little time for that now because I am focusing on personal development to grow in my political career.

What would you like people to know about you?

I am passionate about art. I can rap and I used to write lyrics awhile back.

People do not know that I am a survivor of domestic violence and as a result of my harrowing experience I want to educate girls and young women about their rights and how to stand up for themselves. Also, people know nothing on the source of my drive for women rights, I am a victim of domestic violence.