Powerful Leaders Whose Parents Used To Brew Changaa To Educate Them

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Brian Odhiambo




A lot of stories-mostly negative- have been bandied around about the effects of changaa. For beginners, changaa is an illicit gin that is brewed at home. This traditional homeward moonshine has a rich history dating back in the colonial days. Then, the colonial masters banned the potent drink and this did not change even after Kenya gained independence. We take a look at leaders who were educated by proceeds from changaa.

DP William Ruto

The self styled hustler admitted during former Minister Shoita Shitanda funeral that his father brewed changaa and busaa to raise money to educate him and his siblings. He was quoted as saying: “Before he received salvation, my father’s home was brewing alcohol ….but we don’t want to return to that path of brewing chang’aa and busaa for our children to get money for education.”

Babu Owino-Embakasi East MP

The controversial Embakasi East MP Babu Owino’s is a man who tells it as it is. He told a leading online news outlet of helping his mother brew and sell changaa for their survival in the sprawling Nyalenda slums. But that’s not all-Babu admitted to being a partaker of the illicit brew. “I remember we struggled so much.My mum used to sell chang’aa and she raised up through that and up to now I still drink Chang’aa because that is where I came from….”Babu was quoted by edaily as saying.

Boni Khalwale-Former Kakamega Senator




The former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale is a man who doesn’t shy away from his past. The outspoken legislator hailed his mother, Shinangoi, for educating him to upto the level of a medical doctor from changaa proceeds. He has a history of bailing out changaa brewers from police cells.

Shoita Shitanda-Former Minister

It was Khalwale who told the world that Shoita Shitanda mother was a changaa brewer during his funeral. He said at the time: “Soita’s mother, Nasumbu in Butali village, brewed chang’aa whose proceeds educated Soita to become a minister. My mother Shinangoi used proceeds from chang’aa to educate me to the level of a medical doctor.”

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