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So what if I am single at 34? — A Kenya Female Deputy Governor fires back at critics

Kenyan Lawyer and Narok Deputy Governor Evalyn Aruasa, 34, is single and categorically says she is not getting herself a spouse any time soon in a chart with Nation Newspaper

In fact, she could remain a spinster for many years to come, going by her latest words.

SINGLE MOTHERHOOD NOT AN OPTION

“I don’t have any plans to get married. Being a single mother is also not my option. There are no men to marry us in today’s world.”

“Husbands are not yet born,” she adds in jokingly.

Ms Aruasa has in the past come under fire over her singlehood and it has been rumoured that she was once courted by Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ng’eno, who is also unmarried.

On this, she breaks into laughter and refuses to respond to the claims that she almost got married to the 45-year-old bachelor.

MARRIAGE NOT A MEASURE OF LEADERSHIP

“Marriage is not a measure of leadership and it is good that people now understand that marriage and leadership are two different positions.”

On June 13, 2016, Samburu Governor MosesLenolkulal joked about the matter in a public gathering, asking Mr Ng’eno to come clean on why he had failed to marry Ms Aruasa.

Mr Lenolkulal had attended a fundraiser for 25 churches at Mogondo Baptist Church in Emurua Dikirr Constituency, the home turf of Mr Ng’eno.

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo, Mr Ng’eno,  Narok Governor Samuel Tunai, Lugari MP Ayub Savula, Deputy President William Ruto’s personal assistant, Farouk Kibet, and Ms Aruasa were also present.

Mr Ng’eno had jokingly been gifted with a lady who had accompanied Mr Lenolkulal, after speakers in the meeting made fun of the MP for not been brave enough to find himself a wife.

WITTY COMEBACK

But in a witty comeback, the Samburu governor refused to hand over the lady, saying he could not give away their Samburu daughter to a man who had failed to convince the single lady next to him to be his wife. He meant Ms Aruasa.

Ms Aruasa, the first chairperson of the Council of Deputy Governors, says her life in the political limelight has not been easy.

 “You don’t know the pain of giving birth. What do you know about family and children? Get married first and learn what it is to be a wife and mother before asking for such positions,” she recalls the painful words from an opponent in 2007.

And the insults came thick and fast.

“We cannot risk giving leadership to a lady who is single. After all, she will be married elsewhere and forget us,” an elderly man said to her.

She says empowering girls through education gives them an opportunity to be better people in the society.

She condemns cultural practices like female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriages that are the major hindrances to girls’ education.

“I was lucky not to undergo FGM, being the only girl among five boys. This has helped me to be a strong woman and fight for other women in society.”

On December 10, 2015, she sent her supporters into a panic when she collapsed as she read a speechon behalf of her boss at the third graduation ceremony of Maasai Mara University.

The incident left her supporters and those of her boss, Governor Tunai, worried. She has remained silent about the incident. Mr Tunai took it upon himself to dispel fear among their supporters, saying she was fit.

But in this exclusive interview with Nation.co.ke, Ms Aruasa says she fainted out of fatigue and that before she took the podium, she had felt suffocated and dizzy.

‘I’M WELL’

“I’m well. You understand how politics can at times be strenuous.”

“My mind is very clear, and the lies peddled about me do not bother me at all. The falsehood is not written on my face that I should go worrying that people are reading them.”

Ms Aruasa is said to be the pillar behind Mr Tunai’s leadership, and has been retained for the running mate position in the 2017 general elections.

This is contrary to the situation in other counties, where most governors dropped their running mates.

Her talkative nature complements her boss, a former government spy who is rather soft in his politics.

She says it was not easy for her to get the position considering she was only 30 in 2013.

In October 2007, when she was 24, she suspended her studies at Kenya School of Law to contest the Narok South parliamentary seat.

She had just graduated from Moi University, where she was studied law. But she later went back to school and now has a master’s in international criminal law from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

She says all she wanted was to be Narok South MP contesting against political giants, among them current Narok Senator Stephen Ole Ntutu and former MP Nkoidilla Ole Lankas.

Ms Aruasa lost the seat to Mr Lankas, but with only about 2,000 votes.

Her father, Humjoli Aruasa, supported her plunge into politics while her mother, Eunice Aruasa, protested her decision. But they both now support her, now that she has proved that her dreams were valid after she became the first deputy governor of Narok.

On whether she will vie for the governor’s seat in 2022, she says, “For now, I am supporting the governor to successfully complete his term. Like any other leader, I wish to progress. I will definitely pursue higher seats in future.”

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