May 10, 2021


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COVID19: Three outstanding leadership qualities from Joho

4 min read
He is known by many titles such as "Sultan, and 001" but what makes this man Hassan Joho unique from the rest? What leadership qualities can we learn from his recent outstanding steps in Mombasa to fight Covid19


For much of his public life, Ali Hassan Joho has been navigating between people who think he is not qualified to be a leader and people who think he is at most too qualified and smart enough.

The former group speaks mostly in the field of opinion polling, innuendo and focuses on proxy issues to emphasize Joho’s manifest difference: his birth certificate, His education, his supposed adherence to ODM, his flamboyance. This can be summed up as symptoms of “Joho Derangement Syndrome” — a disorder whose underlying theme is more often than not: Joho is too smart.

Mr Joho has one big thing going for him: Kenyans seem to like him personally, and many remain loyal to him despite all forms of dog-whistle political under currents. He is a certified Kenyan politician and the current Governor of Mombasa County affiliated with the Orange Democratic Movement. For many years, many of his and his party’s opponents sought to cast him as ill-prepared for the governorship and perhaps eventually the presidency.

During the 2007 Kenyan parliamentary election, Joho was also elected to represent the Kisauni Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya.

He made history on 4th March 2013, during the general election to become the first Governor of Mombasa when he easily defeated his closest rival Mr Shahbal garnering 132,583 votes. Shahbal who came second with 94,905 votes went to court alleging rigging, but his petition was denied. He later went to court to block Joho’s swearing in.

In 2017 General Elections in Kenya, held on 8th, 2017, Joho victoriously defended his seat on an ODM ticket. Despite ostensible politically architectural setbacks, Joho emerged triumphant by winning with 221,774 votes against his opponent former senator Hassan Omar who vied on a Wiper Democratic Movement ticket and got 43,000 votes.
He is known by many titles such as “Sultan, and 001” but what makes this man Hassan Joho unique from the rest? What leadership qualities can we learn from his recent outstanding steps in Mombasa to fight Covid19

  1. Visionary:
    The governor is good at creating a vision, articulating the vision, passionately owning the vision, and relentlessly driving it to completion. Joho is not afraid to take the lead. In the resent Covid19 pandemic, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho apologetically advocated of total lock-down in the fight against Covid-19 in Mombasa. He has taken the lead in the fight in a way that has caught many by surprise. He is the first governor to launch a sanitizing spray booth prototype in Mombasa when others were busy complaining. This would end up saving thousands of lives who use the ferry. According to the governor, the units are not only fixed with sanitizing disinfectants but they are also fixed a thermal camera to check temperatures of those using the busy channel.

According to the World Health Organization, other than a dry cough, a common symptom of COVID-19 is a high fever occasioned by abnormal body temperatures which can be anything above 37 degrees.

  1. Master at handling Problems:
    The bottom line is that if you become a master at handling problems and overcoming obstacles, what can stop you from success? The answer is nothing! And if nothing can stop you, you become unstoppable! Joho displayed the epitome of mastery in solving problems during the covid19 pandemic. He did not become a selfish showy sluggard, he involved even his political opponents in finding a solution. The booths were installed in a collaboration between the Hassan Joho Foundation, the Suleiman Shabhal Foundation, the Technical Univesity of Mombasa and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce(KNCCI).

One leadership quality of a great leader is the ability to solve problems. Leaders face challenges all of the time so they must be able to assess the challenge, find possible solutions (and consequences associated with those solutions), and select the best possible solution.

  1. Strategic Planning:
    Great leaders are distinguished through their strategic planning. It’s another one of the more important leadership strengths. They have the ability to look ahead, to anticipate with some accuracy where the nation and the its people are going. Creating an action plan through Covid19 strategic planning has given Mombasa governor the highest rewards for his efforts and is the starting point in getting the best out of himself.

Great leaders come from all walks of life. Seldom do they follow some predetermined path to leadership. While a few of them may have been “born leaders,” in most cases great leaders weren’t even picked to be “Most Likely to Succeed” in their high school yearbooks.Almost all successful leaders overcome obstacles and failures a long the way. For many, that’s what defines their leadership style and drives them.

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