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Meet the Kenyan governor using TikTok to run his country

By Irene Mugo January 27th, 2023 2 min read

Governor Mutahi Kahiga has stunned Kenyans after he went live on TikTok to engage residents on issues affecting them within their localities in the six sub-counties of Nyeri county.

Previously, he would upload videos of himself singing along to music or updating his followers on what he was up to for the day but recently, he has changed gears and started to listen to people’s needs to expedite them as soon as possible.

The live recording on Monday wowed Kenyans who reposted his page on other social media platforms encouraging other governors to emulate him, seeing he was directly interacting with people who did not have access to him.

Also read: WATCH: Comedic Kenyan TikToker Saumu Sauti reveals how her fame motivates her

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga.
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga consoles the family of Mary Wangeci, the mother to Bishop Daniel Kabono, the chairman of the association of Pentecostal and Evangelical Clergy of Kenya during her burial at Kagonye Secondary School grounds in Nyeri County on January 21, 2023. He welcomed the move by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua to meet former MPs from Jubilee Party terming it as a participatory leadership. The DP graced the event. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI


Whenever a resident raised an issue on development in their area, he would immediately raise it with the respective county executive member in charge of a department.

“I discovered that there is a new awakening and appreciation of Tiktok. One is able to engage one on one with many people. We have had very informative discussions on TikTok live,” he said, adding there are instances he is invited to join ongoing conversations on other contemporary issues.

He said that on most occasions, people are asking genuine questions about the operations of county governments, what Kenya Kwanza is doing for the youth while others are requesting for jobs and raising concerns about issues affecting them.

“Some Nyeri residents have brought many concerns to my attention on TikTok which at times I am able to solve their problems right there by engaging third parties,” he said, adding that he is on the app either posting, following or reading comments when he has a moment to spare.

Also read: TikToker Nick Kwach on reaction of real baby mama to ‘toxic baby mama’ content

Governor Kahiga said upon getting to the office at 7:30 am, he shoots a video of himself praying or passing a comment on the day’s expectations and other times just after dinner or before sleeping.

“I am studying for my PhD and sometimes TikTok becomes a nice break from the vast reading,” he said.

So far, the governor has amassed a following of 40.9k people while he is following 10, 000 people.

“This is an audience one can influence through the messages and videos one posts… it is a media platform that can be used effectively to communicate one’s agenda,” he said.

However, on the flip side, the governor said one has to put up with all manners of criticism and irritating comments.

Some of the issues people raised included streetlights not working, specific roads needing repair, poor services in some hospitals, lack of understanding on how tenders are applied for or awardee, procurement, patients held in hospitals for lack of funds, corruption and revenue leakage.

Also read: Mubabas now flock TikTok after dancing chief’s accidental rise to fame