Githeri man returns 5 years after 2017 General Election fame

A picture of Githeri man alias Martin Kamotho during the 2017 General Election.

Five years ago, Martin Kamotho woke up early like all registered voters to cast his vote in the 2017 General Election held on August 8.

To beat the long queues normally witnessed during election day, Kamotho carried his breakfast; a mixture of maize and beans, commonly referred to as Githeri in Kenya.

Packed in the now banned polythene bag, Kamotho chewed his Githeri, oblivious of the attention he was getting from fellow voters.

One of them took a photo of him with their smartphone and shared it online. From there, thrilled Kenyans shared it further, earning Kamotho the tag ‘Githeri man’.

He became an instant national sensation, attracting even the attention of the highest office on the land.

For days, ‘Githeri man’ became a symbol of the 2017 election, despite the Supreme Court annulling the Uhuruto win, throwing the country into an historic repeat poll.

Despite this, ‘Githeri man’ was growing by leaps and bounds. Uhuru Kenyatta went on to win the rerun which was boycotted by his closest rival Raila Odinga, and this ushered in ‘Githeri man’s first silverware.

He would go on to find his name among those listed for presidential awards, awards given to Kenyans who have excelled in different spheres of life. His was patriotism.

With the Head of State Commendation (HSC) came a token of appreciation from the president himself, Ksh100,000.

Then there were other rewards like a piece of land in Ngong Hills, endorsements from different companies who were keen on utilising his now popular image, and, sadly, joyriders who took advantage and earned from his image without parting with a penny.

A man who loved his bottle to near destruction, Githeri man needed urgent rehabilitation to normalise his way of life and make him a better citizen. President Uhuru organised one for him, for six months.

When it ended, he relapsed.

Hours to the 2022 general election, Citizen Digital caught up with to relive the 5-year-journey.

At his humble aboard deep in Kayole area of Nairobi, ‘Githeri man’ says nothing much has really changed in his life despite the fortunes that knocked on his door. In fact, where the fame found him, is the same place it left him. ..

“Maisha iko sawa tu hata kama hayo yote yalitendeka. Mimi na bibi yangu bado tuko hapa na tunaendelea kung’ang’ana. Tulipewa shamba Ngong, tukapewa KSh100k na tukapelekwa trip Mombasa,” Githeri man says.

Looking a little tipsy, Githeri man says he relapsed after rehabilitation because he did not receive some of the things he was promised, and that some of the people working in the presidency then short-changed him.

Of the 100k he received, he says he bought his late grandmother house furniture, unfortunately she did not live to enjoy it.

“I loved her. And that is why my wife and I agreed to buy her good furniture. Unfortunately, she died days later,” he adds.

He also says the piece of land in Ngong is lying idle because the people who promised to build them shelter did not honour their promise.

On the Tuesday election, Githeri man says he will pull yet another stunt, this time conscious of what he is doing

“Nitaenda kwa kituo na ugali na uji. Round hii hivo ndivyo nimejipanga.”

He urges Kenyans to be peaceful during the election day, saying one should go home and wait for the results once they have cast their ballot.

“Enda nyumbani subiri matokeo kwa TV. Yule atashinda maisha yetu iendelee kama kawaida,” he concludes.



Githeri Man President Uhuru Citizen TV Citizen Digital Martin Kamotho 2017 Elections

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