In Summary
  • His confirmation as the MP-elect following the mini poll on Thursday was the icing on a cake that had been in the oven for years - since his late brother Ken assumed leadership of the sprawling Nairobi constituency.
  • Most people believe Imran started working with Kibra residents three years ago but his first contact with the people dates back to 2012 when his younger brother put him in charge of the Children of Kibra Foundation.
  • Family members say Imran’s star started to shine after he hearkened to his late brother’s call to take charge of the development projects he initiated.

Long before Bernard Imran Okoth threw his hat into the ring to replace his late brother Ken as Kibra MP, he won the hearts of residents with his involvement in their lives, directly or otherwise.

His confirmation as the MP-elect following the mini poll on Thursday was the icing on a cake that had been in the oven for years - since his late brother Ken assumed leadership of the sprawling Nairobi constituency.

Imran, as he is popularly known by Kibra residents, is an introvert and a man of few words, who does not like hogging the headlines like the regular politician.

He is averse to too much publicity so very little is known of his private life.

“I cannot tell you much about his personal life as he is a man who likes keeping his life private. He does not like much exposure,” one of his nephews, who did not want to be named, told the Nation.

TRUSTEE

Most people believe Imran started working with Kibra residents three years ago but his first contact with the people dates back to 2012 when his younger brother put him in charge of the Children of Kibra Foundation.

“He was the project manager. He was the one overseeing all the projects that Ken had back home while abroad. He trusted him with all the donor funds he sent back home to run the foundation,” the nephew said.

“He has always been the quiet one in the family but very involved. They say behind every successful man is a woman, (but) behind the success of Ken was Imran. He is the only person he trusted back home."

As a testament to this, the MP-elect has always been brief in conversations and media briefings.

Imran Okoth celebrates Kibra victory

ODM politician Imran Okoth displays his certificate after winning the Kibra by-election, at the NCC Hall in Dagoretti on November 8, 2019, flanked by Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang (L) and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

EARLY LIFE

Imran was born in Kisumu Ndogo, Kibra, more than 40 years ago, and is the third born in a family of five.

The family’s birth order begins with a sister and then comes a brother named Bob who lives abroad, Imran, the late Ken and George.

The family moved to Makina and later to Karanja Estate, where Imran now lives with his family in a house next to Kibera Primary School.

He attended Olympic and Toi Primary Schools before joining a school in Dagoretti and then transferring to another in Kisumu.

In college, Imran studied four courses, including electrical engineering and book keeping.

STAUNCH MULSIM

The nephew pointed out that Imran is a staunch Muslim while his other family members are all Christians.

He decided to convert to Islam owing to his upbringing in Kibra where most of his friends were Nubians.

“He never left Kibra. He has spent his whole life there. He settled there and is married with children. The name Imran is not an alias. That became his name after he became a Muslim.”

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