• April 14, 2024
  • Last Update April 14, 2024 9:48 PM
  • Nairobi

Open letter to Peter Kenneth

Open letter to Peter Kenneth

Dear Peter Kenneth,

Or should I call you PK? Anyway, I pray this finds you in good health. To begin with, I must admit that you are one of the few Kenyans who, at face value, look as harmless as a dove. You also come across as someone with outstanding leadership skills and one who is out to do nothing but serve. I honestly covet your succinct ‘Obama-like’ speeches and your clarity of thought. That you are an alumnus of Starehe Boys School is not in question. I read somewhere that the school motto is Natulenge Juu (let’s aim high). Oh, boy! There is no mistaking that you aim high.

In 2013 you almost hit the bullseye. You almost became the Kikuyu kingpin. Almost. Before John Michuki came out strongly in support of Uhuru Kenyatta, you were the man to beat. Your defeat probably occurred because you are not a good student of history. You should remember, PK, that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

I submit to you that the 2022 presidential election, just like the 2013 presidential election, will be about succession. In 2013, Mwai Kibaki had exhausted his two terms as president and at the same time he was leaving a vacuum as far as leadership of the ‘Kikuyu nation’ was concerned. In 2022, President Kenyatta will be leaving office after his two terms as president and maybe leaving another leadership vacuum in the Kikuyu community.

Mr PK, tread wisely. Don’t be like Absalom in the Bible. Absalom was what Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju told us his deputy, Caleb Kositany, is – a megalomaniac. A person with an obsessive desire for power. Because of this, Absalom tried to dethrone his own father. I won’t tell you how it ended but I will say that if you try to dethrone Uhuru from his seat, it will end in premium tears. Your political legs will be cut out from under you.

But let us assume Uhuru will be leaving the stage for good (though there are those who believe he plans to hang on). In that case you, Mr Kenneth, will have to enlarge yourself to fit into the vacuum created by his exit.

You have been struggling to come across as a common man, and the unfortunate result is that you are looking unconfident and confused.

Having said that, I don’t believe a Kikuyu candidate has any chance of being president this time. But it is highly likely that a strong Kikuyu candidate will enjoy Raila Odinga’s ‘tosha’ magic that he deployed in 2002 and that led to Mr Kibaki’s resounding victory. This is what I mean: Whether the constitution ends up being changed or not, a strong Kikuyu candidate can hope to occupy the second most powerful position in the land. And that could be you, Mr Kenneth. But you would have to do a few things right first, starting with your public image.

Image is everything. I am sure that sounds familiar to you considering you have a background in the corporate world. In politics, this is loosely translated to mean perception is everything. You, Mr PK, have been struggling to come across as a common man, and the unfortunate result is that you are looking unconfident and confused.

Mr Kenneth, you have to be a Raila or a Kenyatta to be able to dress how you want. And please don’t take this lightly because it is partly what eroded Raila’s magic. In order not to appear as radical as the West had painted him, Raila stopped donning his kofia and casual wear, and started behaving more like a gentleman. He started wearing western suits more and speaking more like a westerner – to the point where he even became a stranger to his own supporters.

Right now you are still building confidence. You want people to see you as presidential material. Once you get there then you can show your other side. Think about it: Mario Balotelli’s Mohawk haircut would not have sent youths into such a frenzy if he was a nobody. And you had to be Kanda Bongo Man for people to see that having a gap in your teeth was a beautiful thing. First become what you want. Then, like General Obasanjo, you can visit a kibanda in Kisumu and enjoy some nyuka (porridge).

And in any case people are not fools. They can see what you are doing. Donald Trump refused to look or speak presidential. In fact, he said he could be the most presidential candidate in history if he wanted but he knew that wouldn’t get him votes. So, Mr Kenneth, who are you trying to appeal to in those shirts?

My advice to you is to start wearing a serious business suit. Put on a presidential face. Dress like a president, eat like a president and even sleep like a president. Then once you become president, you can get back into your shirts.

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