Juja MP Francis Waititu Wakapee died last night on Monday 22 February after a long battle with brain cancer.
Waititu was popularly known to the people of Kiambu as Wakapee, perhaps to differentiate him from Kiambu’s other famous politician, former Governor Ferdinand Waititu.
Many, however, did not understand the origin of the nickname whose phonetic pronunciation resembles the word Kikuyu for a little boy.
The name, however, was a corruption of the word, Wakapay loosely translated to mean whoever pays.
He had earlier revealed that he got his nickname while working at a coffee farm owned by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family.
Late Juja Constituency MP Francis Waititu addressing a congregation at a past event
In an interview the late MP gave five years ago, he revealed that he received a good salary working for the Kenyatta family. Therefore, when going out with his friends, he always offered to pay the bills.
The late MP started working on coffee plantations in 1979 after graduating from Jacaranda College, Ruiru, where he learned coffee farming. He added that his first salary was Ksh800 bob.
“It was a lot of money back then and so when I left work I would ask my friends for a drink and I would always offer to pay, I would tell the waiter I would pay, and so I became Wakapay. “. he remembers.
He was elected MP for Juja in 2013 and was re-elected in 2017 despite his illness. Until his death, the legislator represented the people of Juja in the National Assembly.
He was a Gor Mahia fan and often attended football games in his constituency where he urged young people to take the sport seriously and not to take drugs.
During his life, the MP was involved in many projects aimed at helping those most in need, warning young people about the effects of drugs and raising public awareness about cancer.
After being diagnosed with cancer in 2018, the MP urged TBEN and MPs to get tested as many had the disease and did not know.
He revealed that he decided to get screened for cancer after his mother and sister tested positive for the disease. He fought the disease until yesterday Monday 23, date of his death.
President Uhuru Kenyatta praised Wakapee as a trusted, dedicated and progressive leader. The president congratulated the late legislator for his contribution and his commitment in the fight against cancer.
“We have unfortunately lost a very progressive, trustworthy and committed leader whose public actions have always reflected the interests of his constituents.
“It was because of the confidence and love the people of Juja had for Hon Waititu that they gave him a second term in a very competitive election despite his illness,” the president said.
President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks at the National Cargo Deconsolidation Center, Nairobi, Wednesday February 10, 2021