By Kibisu Kabatesi
KENYA: Having worked with and for Musalia Mudavadi for decades, I still find him extremely intriguing.
Miguna Miguna in his book, Peeling Back the Mask, the Quest for Justice in Kenya, wrote that Musalia is introspective and talks very little in meetings. That instead he offers solutions. The commentator was revealing a truth only those close to him know.
My characterisation of him is that he quite reflective. The gentleman has an intellectual depth that is extensively fascinating. He is a liberal consumer of paper a ‘readholic’.
Nothing is too large or difficult for him to read through. What is outstanding is his reading speed and comprehension; he goes through material so quickly and makes comments so easily it shocks.
- 1 You're part of Jubilee mess, Mudavadi tells DP
- 2 Mudavadi accuses State of selective ban on political gatherings
- 3 Don’t target us unfairly, Mudavadi begs police
- 4 Will Mudavadi weather the storm in ANC?
And he will embarrass you by his proofreading skill!
Musalia never panics. In the most challenging situations, he remains cool and collected. He inspires confidence in people around him. Sometime back, I was fond of whining.
One day, he looked me long in the eye and said “KK, grow a thick skin brother”. I have never complained again, at least not in his hearing.
Mudavadi is a great fan of literature. In relaxed moments, he freely quotes Shakespeare. One day at a meeting with artists from the National Theatre, he ran them dry when he unlashed a recitation of Hamlet:
“How all occasions do inform against me And spur my dull revenge!
Examples gross as earth exhort me,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose mouths at the invisible event, Exposing what is mortal and unsure. To all that fortune, death and danger dare.
Even for an egg-shell, Rightly to be great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw, When honour’s at stake.”
He could have been metaphorically foreboding the sojourn in December, last year, with “a delicate and tender prince” Uhuru Kenyatta!
Musalia’s love of literature may be the reason he chooses his words so carefully journalists complain you can hardly get a sound bite from him.
His gentleness hides one unknown factor; he socialises with anybody and anywhere. He is not choosy. And he is generous to a fault; I have seen him empty his pockets to people he hardly knows!
The writer is Mudavadi’s spokesman