This would partly explain why when he stopped drinking in 1920, he announced his decision before witnesses. Actually he was accused by the church of two “sinful” crimes, namely marrying without Church rites and drinking liquor. He pleaded guilty to both and solemnly promised to reform. He was further ordered to get married before a European magistrate. The strict church then finally accepted him back in 1923 (after about 3 years of carefully observing him) and in being accepted back at a ceremony Jomo promised to refrain from liquor for the rest of his life (a promise he did not keep).
It would appear that his life looked up considerably after he stopped taking alcohol. For instance he turned part of his Dagoretti home into a provision shop which he called Kinyata Store. Then in 1922 he went on to secure a job at Shs 250 per month (an absolute fortune in those days when a blanket cost less than 50 cents) as stores clerk and water meter reader with Nairobi Municipal Council where John Cook who was his protégé at the church was Water Superintendent. The colonials considered Kikuyus thieves and murderers in those days and this kind of profiling prevented many of them from getting jobs that required very trustworthy people like a stores clerk or meter reader. There is little doubt that the only reason Kenyatta got this opportunity was because of the influence of John Cook and his link with the church at Thogoto for a long time.
Kenyatta bought a motorbike and also built a house at Dagoretti in the same year (1922). He went on to start an active role in politics by becoming a member of the Kikuyu Central Association in the same year. Interestingly the meter-reading job exposed Kenyatta considerably and he met many Asians who would later be key allies and supporters including the owner of the printing press who went on to print his newspaper, Mwigwithania.
With this kind of background it is not surprising that in the speech I carried earlier in this chapter, he spoke out so strongly against the taking of alcohol.
So the question we must busy ourselves with answering now is how this meek old man of the church turn into the feared president everybody wants to remember? Young folks change all the time but Kenyatta was at least 68 years old when he became Kenya’s first prime Minister. How does such an old man change from what he has been all his life?
(excerpts from the amazing book; Dark Secrets of the Kenyan Presidency. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and get this important book NOW for FREE. No Kidding).