By Abdi Hussein
The heavyset late Alex Magelo used to take small strides when walking, a seraphic smile on his face, and when he spoke in polished Queen’s language spiced with an American accent, he never disappointed. He became a colossal figure in Maa Nation counties politics for years.
The former Nairobi County Assembly speaker, Alex Sanaika Magelo, who was 67,succumbed to Covid-19 virus complications on May 8th after a stint at Nairobi Hospital. The father of three and grandfather of four was laid to rest in his Kipeto home on May 15th,2021.
The late Magelo dared to dream big away from tribal cocoons to excel in unfamiliar territories in politics, marriage, social life and in the sports arena. A standing ovation was in order during his funeral.
During his burial, Sir Alex, as he liked to be referred to by soccer lovers was showered with praises that befitted a Community kingpin. He came across as a patriot and de facto “peace broker” among his political class.
The late Magelo was born in Narok district in 1954 to the late Letoya Ole Magelo and the late Susan Magelo of Saiet as the first born son of 12 siblings.
He was by survived by his wife Mrs. Lucy Muthoni Magelo,his children Peter Magelo (USA), Ms.Valentine Nashipae (Rwanda) and Ms. Maureen Magelo.
The multilingual Maasai community politician of Irkitoip ageset, Ole Magelo joined the paramilitary outfit in his early days where he served in the late President Jomo Kenyatta’s special commando unit after high school. He chose to pursue a degree in Psychology in his late years.
He served as a nominated councillor in the defunt Nairobi County Assembly for 15 years before has was elected as the first speaker of Nairobi County Assembly between 2013-2017.Politics ran in his veins so much so that sometime back when he was unwell, he still used to attend political rallies albeit standing up with much difficulties.
Though he twice took a stab at Kajiado West parliamentary position and flopped ,he positioned himself as a shrewd politician forming his own “political powerhouse”.
During his burial, his son Peter Magelo eulogised him as a charming steadfast father with a warrior spirit overzealous admired by many.
“The people loved Mzee, and Mzee loved them.He was a great dad,” he said.
Narok North legislator Moitatel Ole Kenta described the late Magelo as an honest leader who never shied away from championing for Maa community rights.
“We are happy our Narok son has rested in “Maasai soil” but in Kajiado County. Ole Magelo fought tooth and nail for Mau forest. He was a friend you could confide in,” said Ole kenta.
Former Kajiado Governor David Nkedianye described him as a politician who used to shoot straight without mincing his words.
His bosom buddy former Kajiado senator Peter Mositet eulogised him as a leader gifted with wisdom and who held the Maasai community pertinent issues close to his heart.
“Ole Magelo was a colossal figure in shaping of Kajiado politics. He was always there for our people. He never favoured under the table deals a the expense of the community. We have lost a champion in Magelo,” said Mositet
In 2019, Mositet and Ole Magelo were among several Kajiado leaders who came together to form the Muungano political outfit comprising of former Governor David Nkedianye, Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko,Kajiado Central legislator Elijah Memusi,former NTSA boss Francis Meja.The outfit had become the biggest critic to Governor Lenku administration, but when the duo bolted the outfit collapsed with a thud.
Mositet was appointed Chairman of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority Board and Magelo was appointed by President Kenyatta as a member of the Kenya Leather Development Council last year.
Lately, the duo had become Governor Lenku’s key defenders. Magelo spearheaded the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) in Kajiado county in the Maa Nation team chaired by Governor Lenku.
Kajiado North MPJoseph Manje eulogised the late Magelo as the unifying factor between the Maasai Community and the immigrants especially in the Metropolitan area.
“Our late brother was the bridge between the members of Maasai community and the immigrants. He fitted in both camps and served as a unifying factor. We have lost a sincere leader,” said Manje.
Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku described him as his key political defender and confidant who meant well for the Kajiado population.
” He was a leader who had mastered how to manoeuvre in the murky world of politics. May he rest in peace,” stated Governor Lenku.
He was a lover of football and once served as Chairman of AFC Leopards and also dabbled as an interested person in the politics of Football Kenya Federation (FKF). AFC Leopards fraternity led by Dr Dun Shikanda eulogised Magelo as “Saviour” to the club when he served as the chairman.
Sir Alex was a diehard Manchester United football fan and lover of American history informed by his English flavoured with American accent and mannerism.
The late Magelo was a sucker for time. Most of the time he kept glancing at his giant watch always on his wrist. He was a political student of the late Prof George Saitoti, once Nairobi firebrand politician Fred Gumo and the late Maasai kingpin William Ole Ntimama.