One day, a finance expert, with almost zero governance experience in a political office was given a top job as a deputy governor in Kenya.
Dr. Caroline Karugu had never been in the frontline of Kenya’s politics but at times worked behind the scenes beefing up manifestos and rendering needed helpful support.
In her own words, “I was in role number four but after the unfortunate death of a governor, I was quickly pushed to role number one.”
Dr. Karugu revealed that when she became Deputy Governor of Nyeri, the Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndungu gave her advice.
“Gov. Ngilu sat down with me and told me to be strong. She told me it was not going to be easy, but I must do what needed to be done.”
“Justice Njoki called me too. She told me I have to take care of my mental health, because women in leadership have a problem with their mental health.”
Dr. Karugu holds a PhD. in Finance from USIU and Columbia Business School.
She challenges other technocrats to step up and join the seemingly murky waters of politics to directly add value in lives of Kenyans as servants.
“I call upon technocrats to get off their ivory towers, and go to the grassroots and serve the people. There is a lot that needs to be done,” said Dr. Karugu during a local FM station interview.
She, however, cautioned that for women, they usually have an uphill task when competing for leadership positions, unlike men.
Dr. Karugu said that women are viewed as undeserving of leadership because the society in Kenya and Africa is/was highly patriarchal.
She added that culture also plays a big role in making it hard for women to lead, but that should not deter any woman who desires to serve the people.
Dr. Karugu urges the society to give women a chance since they have ‘matured in leadership’.
Dr. Gakuru is also passionate about health and has participated in many initiatives touching on health.
Nyeri has a high prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (diabetes, hypertension and cancer) because of its affluence as the former headquarter of Central Province among other reasons.
Dr. Karugu also loves a well-milled, brewed cup of coffee and at any opportunity boasts and markets the Dedan Kimathi University Coffee.