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KOT and the nicknames they have given Kenyan politicians

By Wangu Kanuri September 15th, 2022 2 min read

Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) are known to coin nicknames for media personalities as well as politicians with the names sticking and trending rather than their birth names.

Below are some of Kenya’s politicians who now bear nicknames

President-elect William Ruto having a cup of tea minutes before his inauguration
President-elect William Ruto having a cup of tea minutes before his inauguration

1. William Ruto alias Doyen or Uncle Willy

President Ruto got the name Doyen for his believed aptness in the political arena. Doyen is an English term meaning the most respected and prominent person in a particular field.
There was an era where Dr Ruto was also referred to as Uncle Willy, after a young girl recited a poem titled ‘I’m I not lucky’ to him coining Uncle Willy as his pet name.
“Everyone calls you your excellency William Samoei Ruto but I’m the only one who calls you Uncle Willy, I’m I not lucky?” She recited.

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UDA Presidential running mate Rigathi Gachagua fields questions from the panelists during Deputy Presidential candidates debate at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa on July 19, 2022. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT

2. Rigathi Gachagua aka Riggy G

Thanks to freedom of speech and democracy, the newly elected Deputy President is now referred to as Riggy G in the bird app.
With the name sticking through his campaign period, even during his inauguration, Mr Gachagua still trended as Riggy G.

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3. Uhuru Kenyatta aka Jayden/ Kamwana

The retired fourth President of the Republic of Kenya was nicknamed Jayden. It is believed that the name is given to pampered children who depend on their parent’s wealth. Additionally of all the names, President Kenyatta was given, Jayden seems to last the test of time.

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4. Ali Hassan Joho alias Sultan

The former Mombasa governor Joho was nicknamed Sultan when the then Coast regional coordinator Nelson Marwa blasted Joho for proclaiming he is the region’s Sultan.
Marwa who was speaking in Kwale argued that Joho proclaiming himself as the Sultan of Mombasa brought back painful memories of the slave trade associated with the Omani Arab rule.
But according to Joho, the genesis of the name was an attempted name tarnishing gone wrong. However, while at the launch of the second devolution sensitization week in Makadara Grounds in Mombasa, Joho said that his political enemies wanted to derive an agenda by branding him as the Sultan so as scare people not to vote him as the governor, but instead, people endorsed the name, Sultan.

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Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO | COURTESY

5. Gideon Mbuvi Kioko alias Mike Sonko

Thanks to his flamboyant lifestyle, former Nairobi governor Mbuvi Kioko earned the name Sonko.
That coupled with his philanthropic nature of caring for the less fortunate in society, the embattled governor is now known on the political scene as Sonko.
Additionally, his nature of wearing gold rings and chains plus his gold-themed former Nairobi governor’s office cemented the name Sonko on his identity.

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