By Allan Kai
In 2017 former Mombasa County Senator, Hassan Sarai Omar was looking for a running mate in the Gubernatorial election. An extensive search was made for a partner with very specific qualifications which ended with Linda Mariwa Shuma getting the nod from the senator to be his would be Deputy.
Solomon Zully, sat down with Hon. Shuma in our weekly segment “Made In Mombasa”, where she shared with us her journey into politics and how life after the 2017 elections is for her considering people have an understanding about who she is and what she represents.
A God fearing Christian woman, active in the communities in and around Mombasa, University Graduate and an indigenous coastal woman, all of which were set out requirements for the appointment. Shuma had all these qualities and more of which throughout the campaign, her intelligence, her wit and her ideas were instrumental in driving their agenda across.
Shuma did not grow up wishing or imagining she would one day be in the political circles rather she credits her being thrown into politics as a calling from God saying, “We have so many dreams that we dream, but is it what God necessarily wants us to be?” she goes on to say, “He created us, He knows exactly what He wants to do with us and so we must be able to surrender ourselves to God the Creator so that we are able to be that which God wants us to be.”
Though their bid went unsuccessful, Shuma affirmed her friendship with Omar is still strong, and they are in touch to this day, she admits that she does look at the current leadership with a critical eye.
Because I did run for the deputy Governor position, I do look at the way things happen, and I do ask myself often ‘what would I have done different in a similar situation?’” she goes on to say she falls short of voicing her criticism “because having run against the current leadership any criticism is viewed as negative criticism as opposed to being taken with some objectivity.”
Shuma explains that she has managed to slowly slide back in to old habits but with an awareness that the way she portrays herself in public matters a lot, even joking that she has to watch how she dresses lest she finds herself in the tabloids like when the late former transport minister Hon. John Michuki was seen in public with a hole in his socks.
For now Shuma has put her efforts in to the Non Governmental Organisation she supports, where they mentor young girls and women in how to better their lives and value themselves through entrepreneurship and other ways in life.