Nairobi City County Deputy Governor Ann Kananu may not have been elected by city voters to represent them but you cannot just wish her away.
Born a go-getter, Ann has proved to the world that indeed there is no limit to what one can achieve. Her quick rise to greatness has not been through sheer luck but a well-earned rise to the leadership arena that comes with a myriad of challenges.
She is still young- born in Embu County in May 1980 yet she has already found herself at the peak of things in the murky political terrain at City Hall. Word has it that she was exemplary in Mathematics and Science and this can easily reflect in the way and manner she handles her affairs.
As it stands now, only a few court battles stand on her way to being the substantive county boss 17 months to the next general election. She may claim not to be a politician but the truth of the matter is that once you are the boss at City Hall, you become a politician by default
Entering the realm of politics is hard for any woman, but it is much harder for a young woman. Young women, facing cultural barriers and stereotypes associated with age and gender, usually end up in a disadvantaged socio-economic position.
A close look at events at City Hall mirrors the image of a young astitute woman leader who is very much aware of the cagey and delicate political environment she is working in; she has managed to align the working relationship between the Nairobi Metropolitan Service and the County Government on the right path, harmonized the relationship between the county assembly and the county government and most importantly, ensured that progress goes on well without too much drama.
We have seen her oversee the release of bursary funds, she is exploring opportunities available for sports development and her engagement with common citizens has been exemplary. There is no doubt that she is not new to the political demands that come with her position.
Kananu has what it takes to fight for her place in the crowded political field that has been dominated by men for quite a long time. City Hall has been home to some of the most male-dominated institutions in terms of governance. She has the opportunity to set the standards high and give hope to aspiring women leaders who want to have their voices heard.
Indeed women can help others set goals and attain them, emphasize teamwork, and invest time in training, mentoring and personal development. Women are less likely to have the “lone wolf” or “leader of the pack” mentality, lending themselves naturally to developing and helping others. This is what our deputy governor has to consider all the time.
When 2022 comes calling, Ann should be able to stand up and be counted-perhaps contest for political office or just remain in the mix. Right there with her lies the opportunity to serve city residents, grow her political and leadership dreams and most importantly, give the women of this country a winner’s mentality that blossoms with the hope to succeed.
By Erick Ludeya Editor The times Newspaper.