26 April 2017

Kenya: Awori - I Wrote Biography So That People Don't "Tell Lies" When I'm Dead

Former Vice President Moody Awori says he wrote his biography to set the record straight so that people don't "tell lies" when he is dead.

At the launch of the autobiography on Tuesday night, the octogenarian who served as Kenya's 9th vice-president said he had been appalled at how people abandon truth when a famous person dies.

"The reason I wrote this book is simply that every time a public figure passes away and there is a funeral, people come and tell lies," he told a chuckling audience at the Michael Joseph Centre in Nairobi.

"I thought that before my time comes (to die), let me tell people what actually happened."

Mr Moody Awori, often referred to as "Uncle Moody", was Kenya's second vice president during the Mwai Kibaki administration, but the 9th since Kenya's independence in 1963.

His autobiography, Riding on a Tiger, published by Moran Publishers is a story about his personal life, his family and his experience in politics as Funyula MP since 1982 (when it was known as Busia Central) to 2008 when he lost to Dr Paul Otuoma and subsequently retired from politics.


At the launch of the book, the former VP said it was a depiction of how his family and friends helped him rise to fame.

"My story, frankly, is a story of people. Good people. I always made friends and it was through friends that I was able to progress," he said.

Moody, once famed for wearing shorts and a hat, has been an influential personality in defending the rights of the disabled and prisoners. As Home Affairs Minister, he helped to bring some reform in jails after prisoners were allowed to watch TV and take part in other entertainment events like sports as well as family visitations.

But as a politician, he received stick for staying around for too long. Some say he should have retired long before Dr Otuoma humiliated him in the 2007 elections.


Yet, the 88-year-old said his time as one of the early black African students at Mang'u High School enabled him to live with people from around the world.

"Our generation refused the curse of tribalism," he argued, citing his marriage to a Kamba wife. One of his daughters married a Muslim, despite coming from a staunch Catholic background, another married a Kikuyu while yet another got married in Luoland.

One of his brothers married a Liberian and his family has connections in East Africa, around Africa, Europe and America, he said, stating his family is a true" United Nations."

"How can I not just be a Kenyan? My book just shows the question of how someone should live in this world," he said.

While he paid tribute to his friends, he argued "I get a lot of inspiration from family, from the nest."

The book will be retailing at Sh3,400 for the hard cover one and Sh2,000 for paper back.


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