John Kiarie Waweru
Driven by Passion. Guided by Reason. Powered by Courage.
John Kiarie Waweru has led a life that has prepared him for public service. He has spent most of his adult life in the public limelight. While still in high school, Kj was contracted as a correspondent journalist penning the popular “head on corrishon” youth cartoon column in the Sunday Nation. At the Kenyatta University he was a part of a revolutionary performing troupe, Redykyulass, that boldly and satirically addressed social and political themes.
John Kiarie made his contribution to the youth movement in Kenya. As part of a pioneering team of young leaders, he and his comrades in the youth movement set the agenda for Kenya’s youth demographic in the new millennium. Through visioning, persuasion, agitation and thought leadership, great strides were made for the youth in Kenya. The dream for a National Youth Council finally became a reality. The concerted push for youth matters to be central in national policy formulation
As part of a pioneering team of young leaders, he and his comrades in the youth movement set the agenda for Kenya’s youth demographic in the new millennium. Through visioning, persuasion, agitation and thought leadership, great strides were made for the youth in Kenya. The dream for a National Youth Council finally became a reality. The concerted push for youth matters to be central in national policy formulation were rewarded with the formation of a youth ministry. The vibrant leadership in the youth movement occasioned a new approach to youth engagement through emerging sub-industries of media, communications, talents and information technology. Vibrant youth driven national campaigns like “Vijana Tugutuke” and “Chora Bizna” enjoyed great success in the youth civic education and youth entrepreneurship fronts.
“Vijana Tugutuke” campaign made a lasting impact on the country’s history. The youth voter registration campaign tilted the generation balance for the first time in the voter registration demographics. For the first time in Kenya’s history, the youth became the majority in the voter’s roll. This, thanks to an innovative, game-changing, sustained campaign for youth political and civic education that employed modern, trendy and impactful approaches. For this, Kj was listed among the top 100 most influential Kenyans in 2007 alongside President Mwai Kibaki, captains of industry, leaders in academia and enterprise.
In his communications consultancy career, John Kiarie has conceptualised and executed some of this generation’s most impactful media, communications and advertising campaigns for Kenya’s top corporate companies and government agencies. Memorable award winning communication campaigns under his belt include: “Mi nimeChill” youth abstinence campaign, “Mimi ni Member” thematic campaign for Equity bank, “Jaza Lorry” hunger relief initiative a precursor to the “Kenyans for Kenyans” disaster response campaign, Numerous campaigns for Kenya Power Company, “Go On Be Great” rebrand and relaunch of the National Youth Service campaign. “National Youth Empowerment Campaign” for the Presidency, “Chora Bizna” youth enterprise campaign for the Ministry of Youth and sports among many others.
In public service, at age 30, Kj was appointed by the President to serve as a director on the board of directors of the Athi Water Services Board. He was the chairman of the critical Business strategy and development committee of the board. Kj oversaw the repositioning of the Athi Water Services board and successful rebrand to Athi Water in line with the new constitution and devolution system of governance. It is during their tenure and in concert with fellow directors and the AWSB secretariat that the board was able to register great successes including:
- The development of the Nairobi Water Masterplan that is currently under execution, it is feted as one of the most visionary plans for supply of adequate water supply to a city in Africa.
- Initiated the Northern Collector tunnel project that will increase water supply to Nairobi by millions of cubic litres by increasing the collection of water to Ndakaini dam.
- Mitigated the major drought that had hit Nairobi at the time by sinking tens of boreholes and installing and equipping water kiosks around the city. Some of which are in Dagoretti South Constituency.
- Construction of the massive trunk sewer part of which runs through Lavington, Kawangware, Riruta, Waithaka to Dagoretti Ndunyu market.
- Oversaw the successful major works of reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Sasumua dam with minimum disruption of water supply to the city after after heavy damages to the spill way that caused loss of reservoir capacity by over 50%.
John Kiarie is passionate about his service to people, his community and his country and has actively been involved in community activities for many years.
Kj has served with integrity, commitment and diligence at every station in his life. While others think he made a great cartoonist penning the “Head on Corrishon” cartoon strip on the Sunday Nation, others believe he was at his best when he played the different roles on Redykyulass. While some remember him for his bold and courageous run for the Dagoretti Constituency Parliamentary seat in 2007, others know him as an accomplished communication expert with great campaigns under his belt.
Kj is a trained educator and does not propagate for a dichotomy between the sciences and the arts in education. He believes that a great artist ought to be a great scientist otherwise a sculpture would not be a structurally sound construction. A great surgeon ought to be a great artist too, otherwise a beautiful girl would suffer the indignity of never being able to wear a bikini after a botched up ugly caesarean section operation.
I believe in God almighty, I am proud to be Kenyan, I’m grateful to be a son of Dagoretti. I believe in service and I believe in the great potential of our men, women and youth of this constituency. I believe we can achieve great things in oneness and a unity of purpose.
John Kiarie Waweru