Kenyan politicians who publicly cried
Politics frequently appears to be rough, unyielding, and unbreakable. But, every now and then, the walls break down, revealing a side of political leaders that we rarely see: their sensitivity. In the midst of the scurry and hard decisions, they shed public tears, reminding everyone that they, too, have hearts that feel.
These emotional outbursts can be triggered by excitement, grief, or the weight of their roles. Such incidents serve as a welcome reminder that beneath the power suits and loud speeches are genuine people with real feelings.
These tearful events have been big discussion topics in Kenyan politics, whether perceived as a sign of frailty or real sentiment.
Here are some Kenyan politicians that have shed public tears:
William Ruto, President of Kenya
There have been occasions when the President has been unable to control his emotions in public. A deeply affected Dr Ruto was spotted wiping away tears with a handkerchief during a praise and worship gathering at State House shortly after his inauguration as president.
His fervor was further illustrated when, following the Supreme Court’s confirmation of his election victory, he was captured on camera crying with excitement.
Another time that President Ruto sobbed was when Nina Kanana Mutheu, an eight-year-old girl, performed a moving poem titled “Uncle Willy.” Dr. Ruto, the Deputy President at the time, was overcome with emotion.
Mr. Johnson Sakaja
In June, the Governor of Nairobi was moved to tears as he spoke about the awful status of many public schools in the county.
Governor Sakaja noted incidents of schools being transformed to churches on Sundays, only to resume to their instructional duty on Mondays, and then becoming places for nocturnal vigils by dusk on that occasion, during the opening of the school feeding program at Roysambu Primary School. Sakaja halted in his remarks to collect himself as he fought back tears.
The musician-turned-politician broke down ahead of the 2017 General Election after the Jubilee coalition refused to provide him a ticket to run for the Starehe parliamentary seat. His passionate outbursts worked wonders, as the party eventually granted him the nomination certificate, while his primary challenger during the party primaries, Maina Kamanda, was subsequently nominated to Parliament. This episode, however, became him the target of internet mockery, with many netizens and fellow lawmakers mocking him.
Kelvin Kioko, also known as Bahati
The musician’s brief political experience did not leave him with many fond memories. Bahati secured the Jubilee Party ticket to fight the Mathare Parliamentary seat in last year’s General Election, but things got complicated for him when he was persuaded to resign.
It was too much for Bahati, who broke down in front of the media while criticizing the Azimio la Umoja alliance for supporting ODM’s Anthony Oluoch for the position. A tearful Bahati begged then-President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga to give him the opportunity to compete for the seat.
“I respect you, President, and I respect Raila Amollo Odinga, but please give this country’s youth a chance.” I understand that zoning exists, and Mathare has been designated as an ODM region, but for this one time, give the youth of this country a chance. “Give the people of Mathare the opportunity to choose the leader they have always desired,” Bahati stated at the time.
Bahati’s political ambitions faded, and he has subsequently returned to his musical career.