Given Sonko’s skills, how about a recording studio at City Hall?

Wednesday March 18 2020

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko celebrates Idd-ul-Fitr at Nyayo Stadium on June 4, 2019. He has a penchant for recording phone conversations. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The greatest impediment to Kenya’s journey to becoming a first world country is the lack of a merit-based employment system.

If you want to design a scientific experiment to test this long-running hypothesis, all you need is to walk into your nearest science lab with the profile of Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko.

There is no denying that Sonko has risen up the rungs of political leadership by sheer willpower and undiluted hard work.

He deserves everything he’s enjoying right now because he worked for it, unlike those pampered politicians who owe their clout to a family name, or a mighty political godfather. For coming this far, Sonko deserves an ‘A’ for effort.

However, there has been a continuous debate among Kenyans regarding what professional skillset Governor Sonko brings to the various leadership positions he has been entrusted with over the years.

There is no denying that Sonko has fashioned himself as an unhinged loudmouth more abrasive than a pumice stone.


He is also a philanthropist who takes pride in having served rice at various prison facilities in the country during his stint as a hardcore jailbird.

And let’s not forget that to the people of Eastlands, he is Robin Hood.

And so, after a long and agonising search for an appropriate title for our dear governor, Kenyans have finally had their eureka moment: all factors held constant, there is incontrovertible evidence that Sonko fits the profile of a professional recording artist.

It’s hard to understand why the governor of Nairobi City County would be attracted to politics when his real talent rests in the studio recording people’s calls.

Sonko records everything he gets in contact with. He probably has an audio file of his domestic cat each time it purrs over spilt milk.

There is nothing Sonko’s phone cannot record. It can record a phone call, a WhatsApp call, a Skype call, a short call, and even a long call.


Just two months ago, Kenyans were treated to a livestream of Sonko recording someone pissing in the urinal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), in an apparent expose of the derelict state of the toilet facilities at the international arrivals terminal.

It was a spectacle to behold, with Sonko interviewing the urinal users, cleaners and facility in-charge.

For those of us who only see JKIA on television, it was the closest we ever came to boarding an aircraft.

You should have seen him giving us a panoramic view of JKIA like the video production guru that he is.

Sonko has proven beyond doubt that his talent lies elsewhere, and it is time the Nairobi County Assembly debated and passed the Supplementary Budget that would go into refurbishing the governor’s office to turn it into a recording studio.


The move would be a necessary step towards paving way for the renaming of City Hall to Bonehead Records (Bure) and, in a few months’ time, should be open to all upcoming artistes who have talent for recording private conversations meant for use in public blackmail.

You wonder what the County Executive Committee (CEC) member in charge of culture and the arts has been doing if they couldn’t even spot the talent right inside the governor’s office.

He needs a sit-down with his boss to convince him to convert his craft into a money-making venture.

The other question that has been lingering on the minds of Kenyans is why anyone would still call Sonko knowing very well their angelic voices will be replayed to a national audience.

Surely, there can’t be a deal so important that only Mike Sonko can sort out, is there?


It’s not like you consulted the witchdoctor and he told you only Sonko has the jerrican of alligator urine you need to overturn that generational curse your long-dead ancestors bestowed upon you at birth.

There are people who have been asked for rarer antidotes but you’ve never heard them pick up their phones asking for an audience with Bonehead Records.

I know someone who has been looking for snake feathers and frog saliva since 1963 and he hasn’t bothered to dial Sonko’s digits to help him locate these rare items.

I might be wrong, but there is no record of Jesus saying that before he ascended into heaven, would leave the Book of Life at City Hall for us to make a beeline seeking audience with the current occupant.

If you’re going to call someone who is going to expose you in public, then be exposed for discussing honourable things — like seeking financial support to clean the Nairobi River, or testing a phone app that converts the president’s words into actions.

Otherwise there are better ways of gaining public ridicule, and calling Sonko isn’t one of them.

The author writes on topical issues, [email protected]