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Interview with a professional

By | January 24th 2010

By Frankline Okutoyi

Esther Passaris became a public figure after she founded Adopt A Light, a company credited for lighting up the dark streets of Nairobi. In 2007, Passaris joined politics and later vied for Embakasi and mayoral seats. She is the chairperson for Driving Kenya Foundation and founder Sharp Images Ltd. Before becoming self-employed, she held senior positions at Block Hotels, Ad-venture Promotions and Africa Air Rescue. She is also a founder member of Starehe Girls’ School.


During a TV interview, you said you have not met a Kenyan man suitable for marriage. Do you hate Kenyan men?

PASSARIS: Relationships are complicated. A woman needs a man who is responsible, appreciates her and treats her as an equal. I hope you grow up to be such a man.


Why did you lose the elections for the Embakasi seat? Would you vie again?

PASSARIS: Poor electoral structures enabled my opponent to rig me out. Bias, resentment and tribalism were also to blame. I will not vie again until elections are free and fair.


Where did you get idea and inspiration for Adopt A light? How has it helped Kenya?

PASSARIS: I started the company after I realised accidents and insecurity had increased because of darkness. Street lighting has helped alleviate insecurity.


Why did you vie for a parliamentary seat?

PASSARIS: I was driven by anger at how the former Embakasi MP, Mugabe Were, in whom I had a lot of faith, was killed. I also believed it was an opportunity for me to address the Dandora dumping site issue and to create jobs opportunities as a youth leader.

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