Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has revealed a little-known detail about his childhood.
Tuju was born and raised in a polygamous family and was breastfed by his stepmother. In an interview with Nation, Tuju said his mother was ill at the time.
It also happened that his stepmother was lactating after losing her baby.
“My step-mother, I mean my mama’s co-wife, breastfed me. It happened that my mother became unwell for some time,” he said.
“Her co-wife had unfortunately lost a baby and that meant she still had her milk in her breasts. She agreed to feed me for some time.”
Tuju, who is mourning the death of his mother Mama Mary Odiyo Tuju, praised his stepmother for raising him as his own son.
He said he grew up in a loving environment, which is quite uncommon in polygamous families.
“She is the one I consult at home. She even led me to the Anglican church I attend today. She was the first one I called when mum passed on,” added Tuju.
Tuju’s mother died on November 17 aged 87 while undergoing treatment at a Nairobi hospital.
Tuju eulogized her as an independent woman who instilled useful skills in him from a young age and supported him unconditionally.
“She taught me coping mechanisms. She taught me wealth creation at a tender age. She never depended on anyone,” he said.
“We were close with her. My dad complained on many occasions that I only listened to my mother. After Dad died, I was the only one she allowed to call her by her pet names,” added Tuju.
Mama Mary will be laid to rest on Saturday, November 27 in Rarieda, Siaya County.