Joseph Kubende was a Kenyan gifted Bukusu language orator, published author and political operative.
Who is Joseph Kubende
Joseph loved to call himself Kubende Wa’Wekhomba. In his health, Wa’Wekhomba loved to dance kamabeka and sing to the public. He had a voice full of life which he was not ashamed to make use of, be it when mourning a close friend or on the campaign trail doing the bidding for one politician or another.
Kubende age and date of birth
Joseph Kubende belonged to the omusawa Bukusu circumcison age set (sisingilo). This places his birth date to somewhere in the late seventies and early eighties. Precisely, in March,1981.
He hails from Kimilili constituency in Bahai near Matili.
Kubende education background
Thanks to a troublesome youth, Kubende’s education path wss somewhat unclear. Some reports place him at Bungoma High and Kimilili Boys; though in his autobiography, he talked of being suspended more than twenty times.
Joseph Kubende career
Kubende described himself as a professional teacher of English who taught African Literature at the Kigali Institute of Education in Rwanda.
He was also known as an author, playwright and drama teacher who loved visiting schools, from Misikhu Primary to Moi Girls Eldoret, teaching students the ins and outs of drama and narrative arts.
He was also a former employee of the county government of Bungoma, though it is unclear in what capacity he served the Lusaka administration.
In the past years, Kubende served as advisor (personal assistant) in the office of Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.
Kubende in politics
Joseph Kubende working alongside the late Grace Namuleyi Wasike is widely credited for setting the stage for Wycliffe Wafula Wangamati‘s ascent to power as Bungoma county’s second governor.
During the 2017 Kenya General Elections, Joseph Kubende worked to great success as the crowd soothsayer or if you like, snake charmer during Governor Wycliffe Wangamati’s successful campaign for governor. So effective were his beck-and-call songs dissing the then incumbent Kenneth Makelo Lusaka that he was attacked by political goons in a bid to silence him. The attack by a gang of five took place in Satellite, a suburb in Webuye town, Bungoma.
Kubende’s only mistake was deploying art to mock at the runaway corruption in Bungoma. We condemn in the strongest terms possible an attempt on his life. In the present day and age, we cannot, for a second, entertain the culture of seeking to silence our critics, especially not in the manner in which Kubende was attacked.Hon. Moses Masika Wetangula, then Bungoma Senator and Ford Kenya party leader condemning the attack on Kubende.
In the 2022 Kenya General Elections, Joseph Kubende, served a similar influential role during Wangamati’s campaign, becoming part of former Rift Valley County Commissioner George Natambeya successful campaigns to become the second Governor of Trans Nzoia County.
Kubende personal life, wife, family
He came from the infamous Basombi clan whose famous clans include Elijah Mwangale and Lukowa Titi. Born to teacher Priscah he was one of the six boys in a family of ten. Little is known about his personal life. This is a remarkable feat that given his public persona, Kubende has managed to keep his wife and children away from the limelight.
Joseph Kubende Death
Joseph Kubende passed on Thursday, March 23, aged 42 years, after falling from the fourth-floor of GM Apartments in Roysambu, Nairobi. According to The Star, Police and other witnesses said Kubende was alone at the time of his fall on Thursday evening and had landed on his head becoming unconscious. He was rushed to Jesse Kay Hospital on Lumumba Drive before being evacuated to Radiant Hospital, Pangani where despite doctors best efforts, he succumbed to his injuries.
In search of gold
In Search of Gold is a book authored by Joseph Kubende. It is an autobiographical text set in his early life in the village and troubled youth years. Its simple English in 105 pages makes it recommended reading for all ages.
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