Aside from his political career, Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba is known for his public display of affection. His wife Priscah Mwaro-Ababu lets us in on their love story
Who is Priscah I am Priscah Mwaro-Ababu, aged 32. I work in the energy sector in the human resource and administration department of Kengen and also serve as a Trustee of the Ababu Namwamba Foundation (ANF).
How did you meet Ababu and what is it you saw in him that convinced you to be his wife?
It happened in 2003 when I was attending a certain event in Budalangi, which he was also in attendance and as the rest as they say is history. He was and still is smart and I must admit I got enthralled by how intelligent one can be, yet so amiable.
He had this beatific smile to die for and when I talked to him, I discovered that he has a kind heart. Knowing the kind of man he is, you would agree with me that it would be difficult as a woman to let him slip by, given a chance.
How has your relationship been before and after he joined politics?
We met before he got into politics, and tied the knot in 2007 at the height of his first bid for Parliament. Our marriage life has been amazing. But you can’t expect it to be easy all the way.
The beautiful thing is that neither of us is a quitter, and we invest in our marriage daily, striving to make it better and stronger each day. We draw strength from each other during those low moments and celebrate, count our blessings and thank God for every bright spot in our life.
Ultimately, prayer, tolerance and patience make our marriage stronger. And our five children have decorated our union beyond measure, giving even deeper meaning to marriage and family.
How has him being a politician affected your lifestyle as a family?
It has made us stronger. It has strengthened our charitable spirit, motivating us even more to volunteer and give back to the community. But he travels a lot.
However, when he’s away he fascinates me the way he is always the one who calls to wake us and wish us a good day and at night, he calls to read the children bed time stories and wish them a good night. He also takes us on holiday often to different parts of Kenya and the world and also goes with us to many political functions, which we enjoy.
He is not shy to show his family. How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel good, special, loved and cherished. A man who loves his wife wholeheartedly will show off his wife to the world.
For a while, he took leave to take care of you before and after you gave birth. Describe this period.
It was a difficult pregnancy, but he was there for me from day one to the arrival of our little boy. My first trimester was tough. I lost a lot of weight due to nausea and throwing up.
The second trimester featured internal bleeding necessitating bed rest. And in my third trimester, I developed asthma, which caused our baby to be born with transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN), or wet lungs. After one week, the baby got jaundiced.
You can now understand why my hubby had to be by my side this whole period. He was at every ultrasound scan to monitor the baby’s progress in the womb. He checked me into labour ward and waited every single minute until our baby arrived.
After birth, he was there, helping to change diapers and take turns to watch the baby while I had some rest. He was also watching over the older children including attending to their schooling needs. I do not know what I would have done without him.
What is his mantra?
My husband is a stickler for principled existence anchored on the simple yet profound biblical teachings of virtue. He holds dearly the belief that if you stand for nothing you fall for anything.
He believes that leadership should be devoid of Mahatma Gandhi’s famed “seven social sins”: politics without principle, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.
What attributes do you admire most in him?
He is just real. What you see is what you get. Ababu simply doesn’t know how to pretend.
Do you support his recent political move to resign as ODM secretary general and also quitting the party?
I do stand by my husband, whatever the circumstance. I believe in him, no matter what. Whichever road he opts to take, I will cruise alongside him. I do believe in his decision and I know he had good reasons for resigning as ODM SG. It was on principle.
Away from Ababu, the politician, how is Ababu at home, the husband and the father?
If I was given a chance to choose I would, even with closed eyes, never have chosen any better father for my children. He is the epitome of the best of all – caring, generous, kind.
What else is he involved in?
Ababu is a philanthropist. He endeavours to uplift his people, and by people I do not mean family, but even total strangers. That is his charitable self. Ababu Namwamba Foundation, which we all run together as a family, means so much to him and the rest of us.
He is also a sailor and fisherman, true son of Budalang’i, the land of waters and lions. He still loves his law practice, engages in some shrewd business ventures, and is a keen investor in stocks and shares.
Any pressure from Team Fisilets, considering he is young and successful?
(Laughs) Well, if there are any women that are after him, I am not aware as he has not given me any ounce of doubt in him. I trust him fully.
His stars are truly bright and his presence in the limelight certainly attract hoards of admirers. I see it everywhere all the time, but I’m not worried. I know he chose us and thus he is by my side and our children.