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Nyangweso: Hardwork and resilience was my gate pass to greatness


By Collins Matubwi and Andrew Ombuni

  • Nyangweso went to school on barefoot and empty stomach
  • He didn’t study in Form Three as he didn’t have school fees
  • Nyangweso worked as a turn boy for two years and then involved in a tragic accident
  • He has also worked as a driver and now he is an influential businessman in Kakamega
  • He wants to vie for Butsotso Central MCA seat and replace Lystone Ambundo, the current ward rep
  •  Nyangweso said Senator Cleophas Malala is his mentor, the reason he is joining politics
  • Nyangweso believes Ayub Savula should be the next Kakamega Governor after expiry of Oparanya’s term
  • Predicts Bishop Titus Khamala will be the next big thing in Western region politics

Juggling from home barefoot to Ebuchinga Primary School (now Mwangaza) in the 90’s was the order of the day for Daniel Andabwa Nyangweso, 34, on many occasions he used to go to school on an empty stomach.

Coming from a humble background did not deter him from pursuing his dream in life, which according to him, was the only miracle to get him and the entire family from abject poverty until 2002 when he sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and secured a chance to Mwanga.

Butsotso Central Ward 20202 hopeful Daniel Andabwa Nyangweso distributing food to vulnerable families in the ward last month

At the same time, his father, James Amwayi who was the family’s breadwinner was battling prostate cancer.

 In an interview at their home in Shibuli village, Butsotso  Central ward in Lurambi constituency, Nyangweso said when he joined form one at Mwangaza Secondary School back in 2003, it was the first time he started putting on show.

“Students from well off families used to discriminate against us. It was not easy for us to freely mingle with them as they belonged to a different class. This discrimination was evident even in the class to an extent we could not sit next to them,” said Nyangweso.

Nyangweso who hails from Omushimukoko clan said despite the suffering he went through, he was determined to work hard, get a good grade that can enable him secure a direct entry to The University of Nairobi (UoN) to study an Engineering Course.

Butsotso Central Ward 20202 hopeful Daniel Andabwa Nyangweso distributing food to flood victims in Matungu

 “I treated the word impossible as nothing more than motivation. What I know, whatever your dreams have today, just dream even bigger, wherever you have set your sights, raise them even higher and prove your distractors wrong,” said Nyangweso.

He added: “The future is full of challenges but there are even more opportunities waiting for you. The most important thing I learnt is that we are not born with a certain amount of resilience but when committed to achieve something, we can achieve it when we allow ourselves to be guided by the almighty God,”.

According to Nyangweso, during break time, students from middle class families would congregate at Ebru hotel for breakfast but for them, they will meet at the school’s playing ground and have a chat.

“I could not afford Sh2 to buy a mandazi or Sh5 for a mixture of Githeri and Mandazi. I used to survive on school meals but sometimes my uncle Collins Ingutia and Zadock Makokha would come for my rescue and give me pocket money,” said Nyangweso.

Butsotso Central Ward 20202 hopeful Daniel Andabwa Nyangweso distributing food to flood victims in Khwisero sub county

In Form 2, his mother started selling molasses in a bid to put food on the table as well as cater for their school fees but that too did not work for them, saying he could spent a whole term at home due to lack of school fees but this didn’t dampen his spirit of joining UoN.

“My darkest moment was when I joined Form Three. My father who had been eaten up with cancer took me to the principal to plead with him to allow me continue with my studies as he looks for ways of paying the school fees,” said Nyangweso.

He added: “The Principal ordered us out of his office and went ahead to announce on the parade that I should not be seen within the school precincts unless I have cleared all the arrears I had before being readmitted. I felt dehumanized and started crying loudly,”

Daniel Nyangweso (left) during his high school days

That year, 2006, Nyangweso stayed at home and his class teacher recalled him in 2007 and asked him to register for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), which he obliged. He said he was out of school in second and third term and only went to do exams.

Nyangweso said he did not manage to secure a grade to take him to the university given that the cutoff university entry was B + (plus).

After Form 4, he stayed at home for a year and that Bitwan employed him in early 2009 as a conductor (turn boy) company, a firm that dealt with the production and selling of molasses. “After six months, I had saved enough money and went back to clear my school fee arrears,”

He said while at Bitwan, he went for his driving lessons and in 2010 he got a Driving Licence but again life came crumbling down when he was involved an accident though they survived death by a whisker. The owner of the lorry declined to have it repaired and subsequently was rendered jobless.

Daniel Nyangweso

And in 2012, Phanice Wendo bought a lorry and hired him as a driver. It is the same year he met his wife who they are blessed with five children. His father, Mr Amwayi succumbed to cancer in June 2013.

“Prior to my father’s death, he ensured I married my wife by helping pay her dowry. He told me that he wanted to see his grandchildren before he died. However, he did not get the chance to see them, as he passed on two months after I got married,” said Nyangweso.

He attributes part of his success to Ms. Wendo  whom he worked for until 2017 when he quit starting his own business in the sugar industry, saying the people who have helped reach where he is today are his friends.

“I thank God for answering my prayers, my future looks bright. He gave me good friends who have helped me grow and helped make my first Sh1million in 2018,”

Nyangweso is now the talk of town and after declaring his ambitions in Butsotso Central ward come 2022. He wants to vie on the Amani National Congress (ANC) under the steady leadership of Musalia Mudavadi.

Nyangweso will be battling out with Lystone Ambundo, the current MCA who he supported both in 2013 and 2017 elections.

“I campaigned for Mr. Ambundo together with my fellow youths in the ward and won on an UDF ticket and disappeared until 2017 when he looked for us. He told us that between 2013-2017 he was in the opposition, the reason he didn’t help us,” said Nyangweso.

Lystone Ambundo, the current MCA Butsotso Central

 According to Nyangweso, Ambundo told them that he was joining ODM, a party where Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya is the party leader and that he will help them now that he is in government and again after being re-elected, he disappeared.

“Am prepared to face him (Ambundo) in 2022 and I know I will defeat him. He should be prepared to go and allow us  work for the people the way am doing now and yet am holding no elective seat,” said Nyangweso.

Lurambi MP Bishop Titus Khamala

Nyangweso said Lurambi MP Bishop Khamala has done a commendable job as compared to his predecessors, saying inside three years, the MP has built many schools, opened the road network and gave bursary to students in schools. “If Bishop Khamala will continue with his style of development, he is the next big thing Kakamega County is going to produce in the region,”

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala

He said Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala encouraged him to join politics after seeing him rise from a mere play writer, then MCA for Mahiakalo, elected Deputy Speaker and then went to Senate where he is the Deputy Minority Leader.

Lugari MP Ayub Savula

Nyangweso further said Lugari MP Ayub Savula is better placed to replace Oparanya as the second Governor of Kakamega and Musalia Mudavadi as his choice for the country’s Fifth President.



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