You are a clever man Mr. Miguna, however, talent can never compensate for strategy, but strategy can compensate for talent

This man Miguna Miguna!!

He is in the headlines…


He is no stranger to the headlines, I am not sure that it is always for the right reasons. It seems that his fate is the fate of all intellectuals who venture into Kenyan politics. It is an environment that is singularly averse to intellectuals, thinkers and most significantly men of integrity. Had he done a reconnaissance study before entering Kenyan politics, he would have quickly discovered that the Kenyan political graveyard is littered with the bones of well meaning intellectuals. Tragic characters who were caught up in the wrong places and trusted the wrong species, known as the Kenyan politician.

I believe Miguna Miguna.

When he was fished out of what he calls a successful law practice in Canada to work for Ryila (as Miguna likes to call Raila), he believed that he was coming to make a contribution to the country through ODM. He believed that Ryila was a transformative leader. He believed that Ryila was interested in working with a man of integrity, accountability and brutal honesty. He was wrong.

Very wrong.

I believe that Miguna at one time believed that Ryila and ODM will bring positive change to Kenya. He imagined that they stood for something. He took them too seriously.

Bad mistake.

He should have learnt his lesson. That the typical Kenyan politician is duplicitous, hypocritical and stands for nothing but raw power for power’s sake. He unwittingly had been thrown into the sewage pit that is Kenyan politics, a cesspool of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity, siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi.

His fate became like that of the proverbial man who fell in a sewage pit and could not get himself out. After struggling on his own to come out without success, he shouted, “fire fire!”. There was confusion, commotion and panic. The fire brigade was called in. They came and looked for the fire everywhere but could not find it. In their search, they discovered the man in the sewage pit and pulled him out. They asked him, “Why did you shout fire fire?”. He replied, “If I had shouted shit shit would you have come?”

The moral of the story is that strategy is better than talent. They say that strategy can compensate for talent, but talent cannot compensate for strategy. You do the things that work, not the things that sound clever or brilliant or even correct. Miguna Miguna was thrown into a cesspool called ODM  by Ryila, and he shouted “shit shit” and everyone in ODM seems to have run away from him. They do not understand him, Ryila supporters hate him, and the rest of us just watch him for entertainment value.

Initially, I had difficulties understanding this man Miguna. Until I read “Peeling Back the Mask”. I would not call it a masterpiece but, it is evident that the brain behind the publication is a brilliant one. Methodical, meticulous, passionate, great expression with great story telling skills. The book represents him well until he turns up to represent himself in person.  He comes off as cantankerous, boisterous and dismissive. He lets his humongous ego get in his way and losses his audience. His enemies love him for it.  They know that although he has a damning message against them, the greatest enemy to Miguna is Miguna himself. Like they say in politics, when your opponent is making a mistake, don’t interrupt them. The book describes the party, the man at the head of the party and the men around him in very unflattering terms. Unfortunately, it only screams “shit shit” and leaves Miguna in a cesspool created for him by Ryila in ODM, and Ryila has moved on. He is busy desperately trying to cobble up another tribal contraption in the name of a coalition in the hope of getting to statehouse. Finally.

The story of Miguna Miguna is the story of talent without strategy. It is the typical story of the fate of intellectuals in Kenyan politics. An otherwise brilliant man comes across as cantankerous and unhinged. He believes that intelligence is all you need to make it in life, and he erroneously believes it is all one needs to make it in politics in Kenya. He is wrong. The history of politics in Kenya has shown that you actually do not need to be very intelligent to make it in politics in Kenya. I remember a respondent in my blog asking me to explain what political theories can be used to explain Kenyan politics. I told him none. Kenyan politics is so mundane and primitive that it needs no theory to explain it. To try to be intellectual in any way to describe or to participate in Kenyan politics is applying the very wrong instrument. In Kenya, the more stupid, empty, clueless, duplicitous, tribal, corrupt, hustler-like, thuggish, thieving, delusional, uncultured, sycophantic, hawkish and unschooled you are, the higher the chances that you will make it in politics. If this be the currency in Kenyan politics, the odds are stacked against Miguna Miguna.

And now he is running for the Governor of Nairobi. To unseat an ODM honcho called Kideeero (as he likes to call him). He has also used the most unsavoury language to describe him. He has called him the Mumias Sugar scoundrel, a crook, a man with no credibility, a thief, a godfather of corrupt city hall Mafioso-like cartels, and other unprintable things. I hear Kideero has deep pockets and he also fits the ODM tribal arithmetic in Nairobi. Miguna Miguna has a long, clean C.V., does not fit the Nairobi tribal arithmetic in ODM calculations, has no pockets to speak of and has a big mouth. Ryila has picked his choice. And it is not Mr. Clean Miguna Miguna.

I believe Miguna Miguna is a good intelligent man.  Who unfortunately found himself in the wrong place with the wrong people. A tragic guest in a party “with its owners” and an adviser to the owner of the party. Someone who shamelessly steals his own party elections using men-in-black and goes around the country shouting about democracy, rule of law and free and fair elections. Miguna’s situation is best captured by a story I first heard told by non-other than Ryila himself, the owner of the party that Miguna worked for. Of a man who went to bathe in the river. He removed his clothes and got into the water. In the middle of his bath a mad man came and took his clothes and ran away with them. The man came out of the river, dripping with soap and started running after the madman. The question is usually posed, “When people see the two, whom do they say the mad man is?”. A sane barrister who strongly believed that change is possible left his relatively successful law practice in Canada to join the masters of politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi. When he realized that he had been duped and his clothes had been taken, he should have learnt his lessons and changed tact. Unfortunately for him, he decided to run after the mad men, stack naked!

Back to the man in sewage. Miguna should change tack. He is not the first victim of Ryila’s duplicity. First he needs to remember that Ryila has no respect for intellectuals. He should ask the likes of Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, Raphael Tuju and James Orengo, Miguna’s learned friend. He smothers intellectuals unless they are willing to subjugate their intellectual resources to his tribal machinations and populist power play in his desperate hope of occupying statehouse. Statehouse is the only thing he and his sycophants talk about these days. .

He should also remember that he is not the first one to fall out with Ryila. No political functionary has fallen out with more politicians in his blind and almost maniacal search for a shortcut to statehouse like Ryila. Ask Kijana Wamalwa, Daniel Arap Moi, Moody Awori, Mwai Kibaki, Musalia Mudavadi, Kaluki Ngilu, William Arap Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta, Margaret Wanjiru, Ababu Namwamba, Phillip Kisia and the list goes on and on. The next in line will be Kalonzo Musyoka. Jilted by his younger KANU brothers in 2013, he ran to form a doomed coalition with Ryila, a man who had called him Judas Iscariot, and who had shown uninhibited disdain for him as PM in the blood-soaked coalition government. Payback is coming. Yet all these victims of Ryila’s duplicity do not go around writing memoirs that shout “shit shit”. They learn their lessons and do what they must. This means looking for help by reaching out to other partners, preferably Ryila’s detractors. In short they shout, “fire fire”, and other politicians come to their rescue.

But Miguna Miguna seems to antagonize too many people, many of whom he would need to come out of the sewage he was thrown by Ryila and ODM. He seems to believe he is more brilliant than all of his would be partners put together. That may be true. But like I have said, talent can never compensate for strategy, but strategy can compensate for talent. In politics, if you could only have one, then ask for strategy. Mr. Miguna Miguna, you are a clean, clever man who was pushed into the sewage by Ryila. You will never get the help you need to get out of the sewage by shouting “shit shit”.

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  1. sele sera bwana

    All rivers flow downstream unless otherwise like Trump river of USA,in Kenyan politics one cant succeed without tribal inclination.

    • Prof. Michael Wainaina

      This is a huge fallacy. The tribal narrative has been constructed by the current political class for them to remain relevant in Kenyan politics. It is not the only possibility. Millions of possibilities exist. We have just been unable to imagine them, yet.

  2. This man is already down though he may not know…in Africa men who are already down shd not be beaten…leave him alone coz the ego is to the sky and he likes it that way. Then politics in kenya are for those who don’t say what they know.

  3. So you want Muguna to be sycophantic like you ‘Notice he has the brain of western people where they call
    a spead a spead. .’Trim call hillary all names and latter won the election. .because he was truthful. .My vote is for Muguna for his integrity and being truthful. .You be satisfied thieves who stealing the money of medicine who could give health to your family ‘and jobs to your brothers. .shame on you.

    • I have been following your comments and articles Mr PhD. .baseless and too much mediocrity. ..In what you called Kenya politics and leadership ‘Notice that Passaries came with the mindset of attacking muguna ‘stripping necked down but unfortunately things went the other way round. .that what happened when you attack intelligent people who think fast or than you.

    • Thanks professor ‘as young generation we need to stand for the truth and light if we care about about Kenya .somebody like Muguna are the best leaders and brain that can rescue Kenya from black slaverys ,thieves,and corrupt rotten tribal kings that has rapped our nation and robbed women and children better health ,better education and food ,for the shake of their stomach ,big houses ,big cars,and their children.,Muguna has chosen to risk his life and confront them with truth.,you may not vote him and choose people like kideros and sonkos ,passaries and the rest but he has sown you the truth and the light you need.and also look closely his manifesto compare it with the rest if there is any and you will find that the guy has a healthy brain and vision.

  4. Another political gossip by the good professor. In his typical turn coat narrative, as usual you may be deluded that his focus is Miguna, but it is not long before you realize he is shooting aimlessly at the enigma Raila. Except its vociferousness, the article is hollow and lacks any intellectual merit

  5. Wycklife

    I identify with a majority of your views in this piece. I, however, think that history is also replete with cases of those who had strategy with or without wit but still fell by the roadside. That said, I think Ja Nyando is well aware of the stakes; he has, however, and proudly so, decided to go against the grain. He may well not succeed but the votes he will garner, however little they will be, may be the springboard to launch new political pads in Kenya’s fold. I would rather vote Miguna than the cartels; we need new breeds of political thinkers around and this paradigm shift can only be heralded if someone cared to TRY. Last, you are being overly mean by suggesting that Peeling Back the Mask is not a masterpiece. Hehe.

    • Prof. Michael Wainaina

      Biographies, autobiographies and memoirs are rarely masterpieces. They typically are recollections and recollections are necessarily selective. Always there is a single voice and muted alternative voices and therefore there are always to be read very carefully. I however said it is a well written book, witty, detailed and but hardly deep enough to be a masterpiece. I hear you on the need for a new breed of thinkers and actors.

  6. This is a pure piece of truth in Kenya’s politics. That’s why likes of “Hons” Kihika Kimani , Mulu Mutisya, Ezekiel Bargatuny, Sharif Nassir, Polisi Lotodo,…. all survived in Kenya’s political arena for so long regardless of Kenyans questioning their academic credentials… True Prof….in Kenya politics none survives when they become right thinkings like Tom Mboya, JM Kariuki, Robert Ouko or Martin Luther King… These gentlemen were brilliant, fought for the truth but were so much hated by the political machinery. I agree…. Become a thug to survive as a politician in Kenya…. Kenya Iko shinda !!!

  7. I think Miguna Miguna is measuring up well to the Kenyan politics that need no civility. The more rude and uncivil you are, the more your popularity rises among the electorate. This means that even though Miguna lived amongst the cultured, politically courteous and urbane Canadians for many years, he had nothing to import home. Join the local politics, be as vulgar and uncivil as you can and you will have the whole world (African context) in your hands. Go baby go…..

  8. Hehehe prof,that analogy about the man shouting shit! Shit! Contextualises Miguna’s situation, I also think his lack of tact and ballooned ego won’t take him far away from a point. But good advise for him. Maybe if he would swallow his pride,u wld give him a lesson on your previous article about Having A Political Narrative, than just finding himself in band wagon.

    • Professor Michael Wainaina – PhD , but there could be a competition in/of ignorance and we may measure who between Miguna & you would fair better? I bet you would at least gathering from your piece above.
      At face value your (Professor Wainaina) separation of competion and education is at best a truism.
      But never mind. Answer this analogy if you wouldn’t condenscend to. Is it not more likely for a skilled athlete (i.e. the one more educated in the art of racing), to excel than a more amateruish one if the two competed in the same race?
      On the other hand, it does not become of any authentic professor (or master of some sort of erudition) to delve into a subject without giving proper definition of core terms. You go off without stopping to tell your readers what talent and stategy are in themselves. And how each of the terms is distinct from the other. In my simple opinion, authentic (as opposed to sham) strategy and talent are both subsidiaries of Knowledge – each drawing inspiration from their mother source (Knowledge). Correct me if I have flounders. 🙂
      If you will answer my simple questions, I will be grateful. Otherwise, your piece seems a fallacy and which would justify yo reservations to meet Miguna Miguna as suggested by Manu Pesa.

    • Professor Michael Wainaina – PhD perhaps your PHD status is of no avail if you would not invest a little effort in explicating the part(s) of my commentary above that escape(s) your mental grasp.
      Otherwise, if I may suggest, you are better off stating from the part that seems less cogent to you. At least that would be some concrete ground for helping each other. Thanks.

  9. Miguna Miguna needs to have done research ln people like P. L.O. Lumumba. Kenya is not like the USA where both smooth, eloquent speakers like Obama as well as rough nasty ones like Trump are given the same measure!

  10. Proffesor, is he a Trumper then, if not a buffoon, I find him intruiging, however he is such a stickler. If he didnt sound facist, he would pass for Dr. Stockman, the Enemy of the People!!

  11. Miguna u r almost turning into Carcas becoz of foolish Sentiments made in madie u even discourage young generations from Haveing desire for PHD becoz u r jxt a crude .We Jubiliants cant share Nyama with Crudes

  12. I have repeatedly gone over the article for the deeper meaning Prof. I have absolute respect to you for I have severaly seconded your thinking. …political fallacies have handcuffed our liberal minds and turned change into sycophancy….Miguna practices ideological politics and that’s why he has oftenly been misunderstood. …As chief advisor to the then Prime Minister and in book Peeling the Mask he encourages Raila Toa sue him for any misinformation. …recently he told Pasaris to sue him. …he’s one who does constitutional research before leeping.
    His politics can do him favor in US….I’m afraid.

  13. Wainaina’s analogy on Mr.Miguna Miguna is uninterlectual and shows how shallow he is.Any good student would come to debate with clean mind but not with adulterated mind like this.philosophers would tell! Why always glorify bias?

  14. Agik l

    Miguna, might be using a different strategy that you have not seen, the reverse is true. But I think he should tone down on the insults as we count down to election. I am sure the least person in the slams of Nairobi has known Miguna to the disadvantage of the other contestants.

  15. Miguna miguna or njuguna njuguna! I like him on two things; his boldness n talking with facts altogether indipendent candidate for gorvenor post not in kenya with its tribal party politics. Maybe canada

  16. I watched this Miguna being interviewed with Esther Pasaris and i actually loved his intelligence to put together words to form sentences n paragraphs.Unfortunately, his intelligence is overshadowed by his sexually tormented brain.I also got to love his manifesto full of impossible exaggerations,no reality but illusions.He loves demeaning women the way he did to Esther……. i pity his woman.

  17. Good analysis, as often. That said, me thinks the most potent currency in politics anywhere, just as in showbiz, is publicity. And as the adage goes, ‘no publicity is bad publicity’. Miguna might not yet have mastered the art of calling for the fire-brigade from a sh*@hole, but he certainly isn’t doing badly in terms of publicity stunts. And the more he comes up with, the merrier. It may be unfortunate that his paint him as a chauvinistic bigot, but hey, he gets the limelight nonetheless. Kenya may not be the USA, but if the recent happenings in the global political scene are anything to go by, the populace is watching. Quietly watching. And sieving the wheat from the chaff. Let all the political demagogues keep doing what they know best – ukora, ukabila, na upuzi (as you like to put it, professor). Such ‘strategyless’ bloated bigots who present a yet unclear narrative might just be the change we all yearn for. And oh, David only had a sling and three smooth stones to Goliath’s sword, shield and javelin. Turned out he (David) only needed one stone. So don’t fret too much about Miguna’s empty pockets to his adversaries deep ones.

  18. I am going to remain optimistic about my country Kenya.I will continue believing that one day,my fellow countrymen will start to see the forest for the trees.I am going to borrow a leaf from u.s president elect Donald trump who won an election in the midst of a storm.I will urge people like miguna to continue doing what they do until the mindset of Kenyans and the Kenyan political arena gets a total overhaul.becoming agreeable to the status quo is not the way to go

  19. Miguna’s place in our body politic cannot be gain said.We need those who do not fear going against the grain for the good of all.Iconoclast who tell the kings and the queens that they are naked.Those whose arsenal is the truth.

  20. I love the way he put his point he is good in discussion although he did not show respect to Pasaris he should have respect for other leader but to be indepented canditate in Nairobi is difficult to win

  21. Miguna’s honest arrogance won’t take him far………….politics is about singing to the tunes of the masses but not killing the characters of your opponents.
    This way, he’ll soon be in a political limbo.

  22. If Miguna has a million supporters, I am one of them, if Miguna has 10 supporters I am one of them, if Miguna has one supporter, thats me. If Miguna has no supporters that means I am no more on earth. if the world stands against Miguna, I am against the world.

    Miguna Is the solution for Nairobi

  23. of the kids on the block, some spice and pice, must come along.
    Eloquent, learned… Political arena as at now can’t play for him. Good to throw in, his efforts will raise an independent electorate along the course not now though.

  24. As a Governor of Nairobi he will require to influence MCA to buy his ideas, he lack that dirty persuasion and he should move out of politics. He can make the best ever anti- corruption CEO in Kenya.

  25. Aki as far as iam concerned…. am past aday dreamer… so dreaming of miguna wa migus becaming agavana of nai without Babas support or His mentioned …that must be abig dream…. bt it’s also very important to dream of abigger posts….like govanorship..!

    • I do not think the Raila’s support is a prerequisite. Infact as far as I am concerned it is a burden. He is a tribal tingod who has silenced all voices of dissent among his worshipers. If he endorses you, he expects you to prostrate yourself under his feet forever.

  26. After reading many of professor Michael wainaina’s articles I can conclude without the slightest doubt this particular one featuring miguna but detailing Raila is a true representation of the professor himself, with his name substituted as Raila or miguna .At last you’re are telling us about yourself professor unknowingly.

    • You can read what you may from my writing. The meaning after all is with the reader. I am very clear in my own mind what I stand for and that is why I continue to write after being called everything under the sun. I have absolutely no apologies to make about what you claim is the name of Raila in an article about Miguna Miguna. I agree. The story of Miguna Miguna in politics starts with his meeting with Raila Odinga. Read “Peeling Back the Mask”. The two are intertwined and I suspect that the succes of Miguna Miguna in politics will largely be influenced by this relationship. The next time I am writing about Migun Miguna, expect the name to Raila to feature prominently. Sorry, that is just the way it is.

    • you should then go a step further and realise that its miguna who will inherit Raila’s empire of open and straight forward politics as opposed to upunzi which you like to band Raila with the rest of the politicians.

  27. without Babas support he can never set his feet on any political post in Kenya. Believe it or not. Professor have also realized that you fear agwambo. What are some of your prophecys by the way?

  28. I think you need to leave alone miguna pro have said it all, its swell know fact that for a luo to make it to parliament a position of leadership you mast worship Luo tribal kingpin.
    why then are they crying foul if koigis and karuas did the same, hypocrisy.

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