AS HIS POLITICAL STAR SHOOTS TO THE STRATOSPHERE, GOVERNOR JOHO CONFRONTS A DEFINING MOMENT
By Jackson Omondi
Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho is the man of the moment. His triumphant tour is still fresh in our minds and we still yearn for more. Yet, as his star shines, his adversaries are now alert and ready to cut him down to size. The Governor is now squarely at the enviable spotlight with a bull’s eye on his back.
This piece is an open letter to the Heir apparent and to illustrate my point, I will tell a story.
US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Britain’s Premier Winston Churchill struck a deal that appeared to shortchange a big time whiskey dealer and U.S. power-broker going by the name Joseph Kennedy.
Kennedy had hoped to land a more juicier deal but ended up getting the post of U.S.
ambassador to the UK and with that, he knew that he will never get past a diplomatic appointment.
A dissapoinnted Kennedy never liked his gig because for the first time, he bet on the wrong horse! He knew that his political star was not going to shine anymore. In dejection, he made a personal vow: one of his children must become President of the United States!
Upon returning home, he embarked on an aggressive grooming scheme that included making sure that all his children went to the best schools and established a mystique about the Kennedy name by elevating them to upper echelons in the society. Having seen the significance of military service in politics, he made sure that his sons joined the military and when they came home, he feted them with exclusive galas.
His first target for elective office was his eldest son Joseph Kennedy Jnr, whose public service trajectory was tragically cut short while on duty.
Joseph Kennedy Snr turned to his other son, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and never looked back. The first mission was to get him elected to Congress and on this mission, he would later brag that given the amount of money he spent in the campaigns, even his butler would have been elected! JFK would later run for Senate and then the presidency in 1960!
At some point in 1961, Joseph Kennedy Snr was the most powerful father in the United States! His son JFK was President of the United States, his son RFK was the Attorney General of the United States while his son Teddy Kennedy was the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts! He achieved all these with a well coordinated public relations machine and a ruthless political operation. To this day, despite all the tragedies, the Kennedy family still dictate how their history is written and they remain an iconic American family.
Mr Governor, you are the man of the moment and judging from a recent interview on TV, you don’t come from a political family. But now you are a star and whether you like it or not, political enemies are unsheathing their swords ready to slay you. I urge you to embark on a third mission.
You have made it clear that you want to accomplish two things ( RAO 2017 and JOHO 2022), but I would like you to add selling a personal narrative as a third mission to your priority list.
I am sure that by now you know that being RAO’ s deputy comes at huge price and if you think that the degree certificate thing was pathetic and low, think again! Remember that was way before you rocked Nairobi! After your triumphant takeover, expect a more determined Jubilee with more outrageous claims.
I will be blunt. Expect the debunked ‘narcotics’ smear to resurface and they didn’t waste anytime. Jubilee operatives are now peddling propaganda hinged on pure conjecture in a bid to tarnish your name. I urge you and your press shop to nip this in the bud before it gets a life of its own.
The status quo loves assigning derogatory narratives to any perceived threats to the throne. Your mentor, the indefatigable ENIGMA, was tied, derisively and falsely to a 1982 coupe and since then, every little piece of creature that hit the planet earth after that year regurgitates the coupe story like a parrot! It’s a methodical indoctrination.
Sir, you can’t afford that. You must start telling your own story for we in the consulting class know all too well that if a candidate doesn’t tell his story, we will gladly and gleefully tell it for him and he is not going to like it.
Other mundane innuendo have been thrown your way and I will not validate them on this piece by mentioning them, but I beseech you to start taking a closer look at your political path and make the necessary adjustments.
You already have the people behind you, all you have to do is show them the way and in doing so, you must also give them something to work with by way of solid narratives to speak about. In the face of false stories, Jubilee’s Goebbels-like narratives tend to stick and after decades of litigating the 1982 coupe, we in the change movement would like to have our own cudgel.
Give us the story of your life. Let your strategists emphasize Joho the family man, the businessman, the philanthropist, the soccer lover, the leader, the next door neighbor, the charisma is palpable and of course Kenyans now know Joho the political mobilizer.
Define yourself before they define you.
The author is a Pythagorean Strategist