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Julie Wang’ombe: Uhuru Kenyatta's speechwriter

By // Kenya News | Julie Wang’ombe: Uhuru Kenyatta's speechwriter
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By PHILIP MWANIKI pmwaniki@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Sunday, March 17  2013 at  02:00

What was going through your mind when Uhuru Kenyatta was reading the victory speech?

The only thing on my mind at that moment was, “Please teleprompter, don’t fail me”. I did not have the time to let it sink in because if the autocue jammed, then it would have been a disaster.

There were no tears being shed?

By me? No. I was running around and at the same time trying to remember if there was a typo I was supposed to have removed but forgot. But I knew the speech was good because he (Uhuru Kenyatta) had gone through it countless times and liked it.

No. I love the reaction it got and how well it came out, but it still hasn’t sank in that I had a role to play in writing the speech; but make no mistake, I am very proud of what we accomplished. The whole campaign team was young and very energetic.

When did you start writing the speech?

You never know how many speeches we had written, remember Uhuru and Ruto had said they would concede if they lost… I’m just saying!

So you had the speech ready two weeks prior?

Not really. That’s when someone said that we start preparing it but even as he left Bomas after picking his IEBC certificate, I was still going through it and adding a comma here, removing a word there... I literally had to be peeled off the computer.

I wasn’t changing the speech, just making sure everything went well and he came off as presidential as possible. Something as simple as a comma could have changed the speech.

Did you work on the speech with Uhuru Kenyatta?

Yes. We were several, we were working on it at his office and we would draft something, take it to him, he would make a few changes here and there and we would take it back. It was a back and forth process.

Did he rehearse it alone or with you as you wrote it?

He would read it aloud so that we could get the feel of it but he is a good orator so we did not have to do a lot of rehearsals, thankfully.

Were there things you had to include last minute?

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