Esther Muthoni Passaris is known in Kenya in the world of politics and philanthropy. Born in the coastal city of Mombasa to Greek and Kenyan Kikuyu parents, she has become a successful businesswoman and philanthropist, establishing the much lauded “Adopt-A-Light” program, which succeeded in reducing crime by increasing lighting in many poverty-stricken neighbourhoods. She also possesses a Diploma in Law from the University of London.
Ms Passaris is one of the most well-known politicians in Kenya. Many years ago, she was a runner-up for the Miss Kenya crown. In 2003 she ran for the women’s representative for Nairobi County in the general election. She was also a candidate for the Mayor of Nairobi. Up until recently, she had been running for the position of Governor, as a member of the Kenya National Congress. However, earlier this year she shifted parties, moving from the Kenya National Congress to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). Ms Passaris recently won the ODM nomination for the Nairobi Woman Representative role and will now be in the running for this position in the upcoming August 8 Kenyan elections.
She created some recent controversy when she declared that she would not be running for the post of Governor of Nairobi. In a surprise move, she conducted a Twitter poll to ask her constituents how they could “win together” and “what’s next?” Ms Passaris stated, “My aspirations for Governor are proving to be unrealistic for 2017 for many reasons and for that I am sorry. What next? Lets Win Together.”
Ms Passaris has been an outspoken advocate for women’s rights throughout her public career. Despite her professionalism and obvious commitment to the electoral process, Ms Passaris’ career has been plagued by rumors and unsavory comments. Most of these salacious stories have appeared in daily newspapers and been reported as fact.
Nonetheless, it seems that Ms Passaris is committed to remaining involved in Kenyan politics and with her constituents; if she wins her seat on August 8th, she will have the opportunity to move forward and make an even bigger impact.