A 24-year-old woman has defied all odds to defeat five men and emerge victorious for the MCA seat in Kilibwoni Ward, Nandi County, Kenya.
Ms Cynthia Jepkosgeis vied as an independent candidate and shocked many in the Jubilee Party stronghold after she emerged victorious with 8760 votes defeating her closest competitor Wilson Kiptanui of Jubilee who garnered 8354 votes.
The University of Nairobi graduate attributed her victory to low key issue-based campaigns that directly targeted voters in their homes as well as her determination despite multiple challenges.
“My mother was surprised when she heard I was going to contest. I did not take part in the Jubilee Party primaries since I had no funds to be cleared,” Ms Jepkosgei told the Nation at her home.
Her mother, Ms Hellen Muge, said she tried in vain to convince her daughter against joining the race since the male crowded field was not convenient for her judging from the Nandi cultural beliefs.
“When her father and I realised that she could not shelve her ambitions, we decided to rally behind her until the last day when she clinched the seat. We are happy she made it,” Ms Muge said.
The MCA-elect said the campaign period was rough as some locals in the patriarchal society dismissed her saying she could not be elected because she was an unmarried woman.
“I soldiered on despite the discouragements, focussing more on daily house-to-house campaigns while my campaigners focussed on public rallies,” she said.
A total of six ladies (four from Jubilee Party and two independent) were elected to the Nandi County Assembly while men scooped the remaining 24 slots.
In Aldai Constituency, Nancy Chemutai, a former radio journalist was elected to represent Kobujoi ward on a Jubilee Party ticket while Magdaline Cheptoo, an independent candidate, scooped the Koyo-Ndurio ward seat.