1.His roots are in Khwisero in western Kenya, but he
grew up in Mbotela, in Nairobi’s Eastlands.
2. He is an early riser; Atwoli will spend at least an
hour in the morning reading all the main newspapers
before he goes to the office at 6am.
3. Open communication has enabled him to
have a solid base among shop stewards from
affiliate member unions. He has never had two
mobile phone numbers, and his number will
personally receives all calls. “This number never goes
off. It is for any worker to call me,” he says, and adds
that his choice is the Blackberry Torch phone.
4. Atwoli does not stop doing
anything because it is late.
Workers at Cotu offices say he
can call any of them past
midnight and ask for a
document. “I have personally
come to office very late. If a
letter should be done, it must
be done when he wants it
done,” reveals Barasa his
5. Elected a shop steward for
the East Africa Posts and
Corporation in 1967, he was sacked in 1986 “in the
6. In 1994, he was elected general secretary of the
Kenya Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union after
two of his predecessors died in quick succession after
assuming the office.
7. In March 2014, he was elected the President of the
Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU); a
Pan African trade union movement bringing together
8. His lifestyle is one of the most privileged in
the country. One of his Mercedes Benz cars- an
S300 model- is said to be the only one of its kind on
Kenyan roads. The most remarkable features of his
latest car is that it changes colour with the weather.
“When you are in Limuru, it is metallic blue; it
changes to black when you approach Naivasha, while
it becomes reddish by the time you are within
Nakuru town. It marvels us,” his personal assistant,
Adam Barasa told Saturday Nation.
9. He is not just in love with the Mercedes. He has
worn gold ornaments for over three decades and, as
he says, “gold is a great material.” His watch,
bracelets and a chain are just some of the
conspicuous ornaments he dons.
10. Although he spends most of his time resolving
problems, Atwoli’s major weakness is that he
does not accept advice against a position he
has taken. “He will tell you to go to hell if you come
in between him and an idea,” revealed an aide who
has worked with him for six years.
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