In June this year (2017) I had the privilege to meet Uncle Moody Awori the 9th Vice President of the Republic of Kenya. I was so excited for the meeting, I was literally falling all over myself.
I had written my first book (Kenya National Anthem Devotional) and was now in the stage of seeking endorsement from various persons. So, this one day I am in an office just outside town; I had gone to meet a certain person to seek their endorsement for my book. It was not to be, they politely declined. While there, my friend Stanley, I have known him for 20 years and counting, called me. It was a bit strange because we don’t talk on phone as often; but it was all providence. I asked to call him later because I was in a meeting. After the meeting I called him back and said I would pass by his office in town. When we met, I told him what I was upto and why I was in that office earlier. He looked through the Kenya National Anthem series on my blog and immediately said, I know the man to endorse you: Uncle Moody Awori.
I blinked. “Did you just say Uncle Moody Awori?”
He answered in the affirmative.
I asked. “And how exactly am I supposed to get Hon. Moody Awori to endorse my book? I don’t know the man apart from seeing him on TV and the fact that he was my vice president a few years ago.”
Stanley quips laughing, “I know him”.
“Oooh yeah! Wow!” I gasped.
“Then introduce me to him” I immediately said before Stanley could say anything else.
Honestly, sometimes when I listen to myself I wonder if it is me talking. Here I was seeking to be introduced to former Vice President Hon. Moody Awori and then what; Ask him to endorse my book, my first book that I was self-publishing? But what did I have to lose? I had everything to gain, so we jumped all in.
Stanley set the ball rolling through Uncle’s daughter who is his friend and the rest is history: written in indelible ink on the ‘Kenya National Anthem Devotional’ plus twice meeting up with the man himself, Uncle Moody.
The first day I met Uncle Moody, I remember calling my friend Stanley as I stood outside the office to once again walk me through my talking points: I was excited, sweating. As soon as I entered into his office, all my talking points vanished and for a moment I froze. The man is taller in person than he appears on TV; that’s the only place I have seen him live. He is a warm man, he welcomed me into his office and informed me that his daughter, had told him about me and my project: The Kenya National Anthem Devotional.
I found my voice and whipped out my laptop and began to show him the manuscript. He looked at it intensely and with genuine interest. Then he asked for a copy of the manuscript to go through before giving his endorsement. Yes, I was seeking an endorsement of Uncle Moody Awori for the ‘Kenya National Anthem Devotional‘; the sheer audacity. But I had faith, and my friend Stanley, my husband Sammy and my sister Nancy urged me on: they were convinced as I was the book would gain the favour of Uncle.
And favor it gained.
Uncle Moody Awori is fondly remembered as the shorts wearing Vice President who took over after the death of Vice President Kijana Wamalwa. I have always been fascinated by his dressing of those days, shorts and a hat. The man stands stall and is the epitome of good health. At 89 years of age, he is eloquent and sharp in mind and dressing. He smiles and has a hearty laugh, a man who is quick to make one feel at ease in his presence. This is the man that brought reforms to Kenyan Prisons and dignity to Kenyan prisoners.
The statesman he is, Uncle Moody wrote a stellar endorsement for the ‘Kenya National Anthem Devotional‘ and of me as a person. Here it is:
The young comprise sixtyfive (65%) of Kenya’s population. For our country to remain on the way forward journey of successful development the young must at all times be fully involved. Unfortunately, the young have always been viewed negatively. It is therefore very refreshing to meet Joyce Mwangi who has the qualities of what we look for in the young – serious, thoughtful and prayerful. Joyce’s devotion to the words of our National Anthem is an inspiration for us all to live by. God has blessed us with the best country in the world. Its beauty – the fauna and flora, the great Rift Valley, the great lakes, the savannah, the wildlife, the incomparable climate and the diversity of the people all make it God’s won country. We should cherish it, nourish it and defend it. Joyce reminds us that all we need to do is to take the words of our National Anthem seriously and live by them. I congratulate Joyce on her work – A. A. Moody Awori, Former Vice President Kenya
Two weeks ago (25th August 2017), I met Uncle Moody for the second time. I was going to give him an autographed copy of my first book the ‘Kenya National Anthem Devotional’. This time, I was more composed, I went with a photographer friend (Peter) to capture the moments. He gladly told me that he had read the entire draft, once again congratulated me for the project and wished me well for the future. I was at a loss for words. Grateful is what I am.
Once again, Uncle was so kind to us. Warmly welcomed us into his office. We got down to book signing and he said, “Address it to Uncle Moody, everybody calls me Uncle Moody”. I smiled and signed away.