Martin Kamotho, the ‘githeri man’ who broke

On Tuesday, August 8, Martin Kamotho Njenga queued patiently, awaiting his flip to vote on the Imara Primary School polling station in Kayole while unexpectedly, hunger pangs struck. He left the queue and requested the ones around him to ‘watch’ his function in the queue as he could be returning shortly.


Mr. Kamotho emerged moments later with a polythene bag of gathering. He munched his gather quietly minding his commercial enterprise, now and again craning his neck as if to test how long the queue became. Unbeknown to him, a hawk-eyed and tech-savvy fellow voter was thrilled enough to capture the funny scenario and shared it on Facebook.

The image went viral on social media and even offline.

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Within hours, Mr. Kamotho, now famously called “their guy,” turned into catapulted from mundane obscurity to country-wide reputation.


“I become doing my task— sweeping and slashing grass in Dandora— on Thursday morning when my aunt was known as me,” he instructed the Nation in an interview on Thursday. “She advised me that the media changed into searching out me,” he went on. “What did I do?” I asked her. She stated that it becomes about me either. The 41-year-antique father of 1 work as a sweeper on the Nairobi City County office in Dandora. He became unaware of how famous and famous he became until the media confirmed up, shoving cameras in his face, capturing questions, and thrusting him on stay television.

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Only moments in advance, he had visible the viral memes— doctored photos— that cheeky Kenyans had made him appear in unique situations. “I noticed that they had positioned me in the back of Trump disembarking from a plane, making it look like I was his bodyguard. Another one put me next to the Pope there has been added one in every of me, in State House, in among Uhuru, Ruto, Raila, and Kalonzo,” he says. Mr. Kamotho, who seemed intimidated by way of the eye he became commanding, was genuinely amazed at how it changed into feasible to impose his photo after the Pope. He is now a nearby superstar in his home region in Kayole’s Thawabu estate.


When we observed him, curious crowds had gathered around him, keen to see their man “Mato” and why the media changed into so interested in him. Perched out of the sunroof within the automobile led a convoy to his polling station at Imara Primary School in Kayole. It all commenced; Mr. Kamotho loved a hero’s welcome as excited citizens of Kayole stopped to take images of him with their mobile telephones.

Martin Kamotho

Dressed in the identical garments from the viral photograph; a frayed black and white blouse, an oversized jacket, and matching trousers, Mr. Kamotho wiped his sweaty brow and readied himself for an interview, his mythical either clutched in his left hand. He laughed shyly as he obtained accolades from neighbors, some of them who have been shouting “NYA ma Zeni Kamotho anyone” (please be quiet, Kamotho is speaking to me).


“I came with my gathering to the queue due to the fact I did now not need all of Martin  Kamotho man to take my role inside the queue. I wanted to make sure that I voted, whether or not or no longer I became hungry,” says Mr. Kamotho. Mr. Kamotho explains that sporting his either to the queue seemed the great alternative as there had been no motels open at that point to promote the usual tea and mandazi. When his picture first hit social media, Kenyans were excited at the chance of comedian alleviation that served as a welcome distraction from a rather aggressive election.


For a few hours, no one could put a call to the famous photo, and it regarded that Mr. Kamotho might remain nameless. Even local agencies challenged Kenyans on social media to find either guy for a prize. After the interview, Mr. Kamotho has whisked away from the prying media, and the curious public and speedy shoved into the again left of a waiting Toyota Mark X. It turned unclear where he became head to, with a rumor that he would soon be meeting the head of state. Later that afternoon, Mr. Kamotho changed into an interview stay on a local television station.

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