Meet Karungo wa Thang’wa the spirited MCA who was a DJ in china

By Pharis Kinyua: Jamhuri News

If his name is mentioned, it first strikes the notion of a firebrand politician who has for the better part of his tenure as a Kiambu MCA engaged in heated battles with the powers that be.

Karungo wa Thang’wa is the man, the MCA from Ngewa ward where he has represented his people without a shred of fear whatsoever.

He is the man who has ruffled feathers with Governor William Kabogo, disagreeing with him on almost everything he does in his administration.

Just recently, he thrust himself in Kiambu Senatorial race. He put up a brave face to garner more than 170, 000 votes, closely edging to his competitor, Senator Kimani Wamatangi who emerged the winner with 202, 000 votes.

But who is Karungo really?

The 36-year old politician and a father of two was born in Githunguri and first shot in the limelight when he threw his hat in radio.

But his is a long journey in the media industry. While working at Kameme in 2001, he changed his mind and flew to China to study the Chinese Language.

Upon getting to China, he again saw an opportunity and abandoned his studies to become an English teacher at a Forestry University in China. He later flew back to the country in 2005 and returned to Kameme Fm.

But after sometime, he felt his job was limiting as he wanted something more self fulfilling and he applied to a number of foreign radio stations that broadcast in Kiswahili. Only two of them, China Radio International, and Germany Radio got back to him replying that his application would be considered.

However six months later, China radio contacted and informed him of an opportunity in their sister station in Beijing. The opportunity was that of a disc jockey (Dj).

With no experience in deejaying, he set out on learning it before he flew to Beijing to start his job. But when he got there, the job description was much of radio production which he had done in Kameme than deejaying.

However, in 2007, Kameme FM got in touch with him and proposed what he says was a good deal and he again returned to Kenya with his wife and his first born daughter.

But life took a turn for him after the deal proposed by Kameme back when he was in China hit a snag. He was told that it could not be held since there was change of guard at the station and those who had made the deal were long gone.

With savings he had, he opened a printing press which did not do very well. He shut it down and secured a job at Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS) as a part-time lecturer. Sometime later, the institution gave him another job as their brand manager.

During his stay in China, he would translate the draft constitution for 2010 and got to understand how devolution works. It is this notion that drove him to politics in 2013.

He says he scrutinized those who had expressed interest in the seat from Ngewa ward and realized they had no idea what devolution was all about. This was his game changer.

He successfully vied for Ngewa ward representative seat in 2013 and became the county’s premier lawmaker. Once again, he passed off as a true servant after setting up his ward office underneath a tree since he had no office immediately he was elected as Ngewa MCA.

But in his four-year tenure as an MCA, Karungo has almost seen it all in ‘bad politics’. At one point, he was disgraced by Kabogo at a public function with the governor saying he does not exchange words with people who have no beards.

In addition, he has seen hard times with the Kiambu County Public Service Board after it took him to court over remarks he allegedly made painting it as incompetent in hiring ward administrators across Kiambu county’s 60 wards.

He has been attacked by a fellow colleague at the assembly buildings for being a staunch anti-Kabogo politician.

But this has not deterred Karungo from speaking against what he has always termed as bad governance.

He says his bid for Senate has been informed by demonstration from incumbent Senators that they have failed in their jobs.

The sharp looking MCA says that though he was trounced in what he says was broad daylight rigging, he will vie for the seat on August 8 as an independent candidate.