Ex Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho steps out in designer outfits. PHOTO| COURTESY
The phenomenon of wealthy individuals openly displaying their riches, seemingly unaffected by its significance, has become an obvious aspect of our society. For these individuals, flaunting their wealth has turned into a form of self-expression, a way to declare their status and command attention.
They indulge in extravagant displays of luxury, showcasing luxurious lifestyles through high-end fashion, luxury vehicles, lavish properties and exclusive experiences. The act of showing off their wealth appears to be disconnected from its true value, as if it holds little meaning beyond a mere symbol of their success.
It is as if they have become unfeeling to the significance and impact of their wealth and rather see it as a tool for validation or even as a form of entertainment. This obvious display can often elicit mixed reactions ranging from admiration to envy or even scorn as it highlights the plain difference between the haves and the have-nots in our society.
Nonetheless, the desire to flaunt wealth persists, leaving us to ponder the complexities behind this behavior and the underlying motivations that drive such flashy displays.
In Kenya, this is often the behaviour of the tone-deaf rich, not wealthy. On social media, it is easy to find new money generations and politicians flaunting expensive items and vacations to followers who are persevering the runaway high cost of living that makes food, medicine, fuel and electricity unaffordable.
This is in addition to the proposed taxes in the Finance Bill 2023 that is set to make life even more expensive for Kenyans. Nairobi News samples a handful of Kenyan politicians who have been tone dead in bragging about their riches and show no signs of stopping any time soon:
Mike Sonko – For the past few weeks, the former Nairobi governor has been making headlines where he flaunts millions of shillings and luxury items on social media as a means of insulting one of his biggest rivals, Kileleshwa Member of County Assembly, Robert Alai, and to prove that he is a rich man contrary to his detractors’ claims.
He recorded videos of him counting out Sh 52 million in dollars too, owning hundreds of pairs of expensive shoes, owning expensive foreign brand clothing, wearing Sh7.2 million gold and diamond jewelry and only wearing name brand inner wear that he had a fellow man sort out for him before having it recorded for the world.
Kipchumba Murkomen – Since his appointment as the Transport Cabinet Secretary, Murkomen has often been spotted with expensive fashion items. Last week, he shared photos of himself wearing Sh96,000 pair of Philipp Plein sneakers.
In February, he was captured wearing a Sh1.6 million Hublot Classic Fusion Ceramic King Gold watch and attending a Manchester United vs Barcelona match at Old Trafford where the tickets sold for not less than Sh100,000.
Hassan Joho – The former Mombasa governor, popularly referred to as Sultan, is one of the wealthiest politicians in Kenya. He is renowned for living a lavish lifestyle of globe trotting, driving the latest vehicles including Mercedes G Wagons, owning several pairs of watches where one costs over a million and much more.
He enjoys sharing photos of himself living the lavish lifestyle on Instagram as his followers either love or envy him from the comfort of their homes where probably some are struggling to put food on the table.
Peter Salasya – The Member of Parliament for Mumias East Constituency, who strongly opposes the proposed Finance Bill 2023, claims that he has no money left for the government to tax, yet he is often seen living a lavish lifestyle.
In one incident, as he lamented about taxes, he was drinking whiskey, while seated on a leather seat and in a large living room in his rural home. He also recently purchased a Land Cruiser V8 that is similar in color to the one Eugene Wamalwa loaned him for use until he could get his own car.
These are just a few of the Kenyan politicians who fail to read the room and adjust accordingly. They are barely affected by the high cost of living and as such, are unable to understand the struggles the ordinary Kenyans are going through financially.