It is a tradition that is deeply stemmed in Kenya’s history and was first started by the country’s founding father who successfully changed his names from Johnston Kamau Ngengi to the now famous Jomo Kenyatta. Presently, the most famous living politician to have successfully pulled a name change is William Kipchirchir Ruto who nowadays goes by William Samoei Ruto, after the legendary Nandi Orkoiyot named Koitalel Arap Samoei. However, below is a list of Junior politicians whose real names will shock Kenyans that are used to their political names, from Didmas Barasa to Kanini Kega.
Didmas Mutua Barasa almost failed to clinch the Kimilili parliamentary seat, after rumours began swirling around that he’s not a Bukusu but a Kamba from Machakos, and so one of the first things he did after becoming MP was to change to Didmas Barasa Wekesa. Although he has no known links to Kamba land, he nevertheless has Mutua as a surname. He has since decided to stick to his Luhya names.
Say the names Joseph Mathenge Kanini, and no body will know who you are talking about, but once you say Kanini Kega, then they will immediately know that you are talking about the Kieni member of parliament. Kanini Kega which translates to ”the tiny good one” decided to use them as his names and they’ve now totally eclipsed his true names. His, however, is a bit complicated. Early records from back in 1997 when he first vied for the Kieni parliamentary seat as a 25 year old, list him as Mathenge wa Simon. Subsequent records list him as Simon Mathenge, while his parliamentary profile has him as Joseph Mathenge Kanini.
Senator Wamatangi is popularly known so, but his real names are Paul Kimani. He adopted the moniker Wamatangi following his philanthropic activities which entailed giving out tanks.
Another Paul, Paul Ongili is the controversial Embakasi East MP known as Babu Owino.
The names Swarup Ranjan Mishra have proven to be a mouthful for Kesses residents who prefer to call their MP Kiprop which is simply just their Kalenjin name for him for endearment.
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