How Kenyans reacted to Ruto’s ‘bus ride’ in London

How Kenyans reacted to Ruto’s ‘bus ride’ in London

By Joshua Cheloti

President William Ruto was among at least 500 high-profile world leaders that attended the funeral service of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

The funeral service was held at Westminster Abbey in London, United Kingdom, with at least 2,000 mourners attending.

Ruto jetted out of the country on Sunday, September 18, 2022, for his first international tour that included attending the funeral service.

But while the big news was the final send-off of Queen Elizabeth II, a photo of the President with other African leaders riding on a bus to the venue of the funeral service is what has caused the talk on social media in Kenya, and perhaps across Africa.

In the photo, Ruto is pictured smiling while on the bus alongside his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu, among other African leaders.

This was a sharp contrast to that of the President of the United States of America Joe Biden who arrived at the same venue riding in his armoured vehicle, full with its convoy.

Kenyans, and by extension Africans took to their social media pages to express mixed reactions over the contrasting treatment of African leaders compared to President Biden.

“African Presidents have hundreds of bodyguards in Africa but in the west, they feel safe without them. Why do our leaders fear fellow hewers of wood and drawers of water?” tweeted Ja Loka.

“African presidents are in England getting the treatment they give us here and I love it,” added Droid.

“African Presidents attending the Queen’s burial being ferried around in a bus like high school students from my home town Mbarara going for a trip to Didi’s world (amusement park), Kansanga,” noted a Ugandan journalist Canary Mugune.

For some cheeky Kenyans on Twitter, they used the photo for all sorts of memes.

“All African Presidents Lining Up For Lunch In England,” Mandre tweeted using an old photo of Ruto lining up with primary school pupils for lunch.

“Next week! Journalists at the airport Journalist: how was the UK Trip? African presidents:” popular chips mwitu vendor Bevalene Kwamboka tweeted another meme.

The manner in which African presidents and leaders were treated in London might arguably remind them of their place at the international level.

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