17 Things You Didn’t Know About Uhuru Kenyatta

By Keren Mikva AFKI Original Published: August 20, 2014, 12:02 pm
En.Wikipedia.orgEn.Wikipedia.org

Uhuru Kenyatta has served as the fourth president of Kenya since his inauguration in April 2013, but he has been a prominent member in Kenyan politics for much longer. Although most of his private life has remained private, here are 17 things you didn’t know about Uhuru Kenyatta.

Sources: En.Wikipedia.org, SoftKenya.com, BornRich.com, StandardMedia.co.ke, Africa-Confidential.com, Mashable.com, Diasporamessenger.com, Nation.co.ke, BBC.com, News24.com, Allafrica.com.

Forbes.com

Forbes.com

“Uhuru,” is Swahili for “freedom”

The son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s founding father, Uhuru Kenyatta was brought up in a world of political awareness and participation. His name was given to him in anticipation of Kenya’s then-upcoming independence from the U.K.

SABC.co.za

SABC.co.za

Kenyatta played rugby growing up

While attending St. Mary’s, a Roman Catholic school in Nairobi, Kenyatta played winger for the school’s rugby team. He attended St. Mary’s until he left for the U.S. to attend university.

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk

He studied political science at Amherst College in the U.S.

While it is common knowledge that Kenyatta attended Amherst, little more is known other than he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics in 1985. The lack of additional information about his time there has led to an enormous amount of rumor and speculation.

commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org

He started his first company in 1980

Right after his graduation from Amherst, Kenyatta returned to Kenya and started a business, Wilham Kenya Limited, which served to source and export agricultural produce. It is said that Kenyatta used to go and fetch produce for export personally with his pickup truck.

ghettoradio.co.ke

ghettoradio.co.ke

He married Margaret, his school-years sweetheart

Margaret Wanjiru and Kenyatta met at St. Andrews School, and became sweethearts. They married in Nairobi in 1989. She is the daughter of Njuguna Gakuo, former director of the state-controlled Kenya Railways Corp.

kenyacentral.com

kenyacentral.com

Margaret ran in the London Marathon

Margaret Kenyatta made history in April of 2014 as the first-ever African first lady to run and complete the London Marathon. She finished with a time of 7:05:28, with President Kenyatta waiting for her at the finish line.

TheGuardian.com

TheGuardian.com

He threatened to quit politics

Kenyatta campaigned in the election for the 1997 Gatundu South Constituency Parliamentary seat and was shocked when he lost. He’d gone in with a strong foundation of supporters and name recognition — the seat was formerly held by his father — but lost to a little-known Nairobi architect, Moses Mwihia. Kenyatta retreated to work in the family business for a time — an empire that dealt in hotels, airlines, and commercial farming.

CNN.com AP Photos/Sayid Azim

CNN.com
AP Photos/Sayid Azim

Former President Moi’s assistance to Kenyatta came at his own expense

Kenyatta was appointed as the Kenya African National Union presidential candidate in 2002, a feat said to have been accomplished only through the political maneuvering of then-President Daniel arap Moi. Several senior party figures who saw their own ambitions thwarted resigned and set up the Liberal Democratic Party to oppose Moi and his administration.

KenyaDailyNews.Wordpress.com

KenyaDailyNews.Wordpress.com

Kenyatta is often viewed as one of the country’s most tech-savvy politicians

In the midst of Kenya’s budget discussion in 2011, Kenyatta invited Kenyans to tweet their views and opinions to the government in an effort to broaden public participation in the country’s political process. While it endeared him to many, the move did not resonate with the majority of the country’s population who did not have access to the Internet.

commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org

He was the Minister of Finance for three years

While also balancing his role as deputy prime minister, Kenyatta was made minister of finance in 2009. He resigned from that role in 2012 after the International Criminal Court charged him for crimes against humanity.

Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk

He was elected president following allegations of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court

In 2010, Kenyatta was named in connection with alleged crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court over the violent aftermath of the 2007 election in Naivasha and Nakuru. The charges were confirmed in January 2012, but Kenyatta still managed to win the presidential election in March 2013.

AfricaLegalAid.com

AfricaLegalAid.com

Kenyatta initially dismissed the ICC charges, but later chose to acknowledge them

Kenyatta appeared before the ICC in January 2012 with two other suspects — Civil Servant Ambassador Francis Muthaura and former Police Commissioner Hussein Ali. The charges were confirmed. Kenyatta had previously ignored several summons from the international court, but it is suspected that he changed his mind after realizing the evidence against him was, for the most part, underwhelming.

Afri-Culture.com

Afri-Culture.com

Kenyatta’s economic plan, Vision 2030, is a direct answer to Kenyans’ discontent

The plan, announced during Kenyatta’s inaugural address in 2013, promotes free maternal care at public health facilities for all citizens, improved standards of education, and unity among Kenyans. In his first year in office, public approval has not improved dramatically. His administration continues to struggle with the high cost of living and rising public debt.

NaiBuzz.com

NaiBuzz.com

He has an estimated net worth of $500 million

In large part thanks to his family’s expansive business interests, Kenyatta is one of the wealthiest men in his country, with an estimated net worth of $500 million USD.

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

His family’s bounty of Rift Valley land is controversial

Much of the Kenyatta fortune comes from huge swaths of land they own all over the country, including the Rift Valley, an area that saw the bloodiest clashes and more than 1,100 deaths after the 2007 elections.

fr.wikipedia.org

fr.wikipedia.org

He ordered repossession of Lamu land

In July 2014 Kenyatta ordered a half-million acres (nearly 70 percent) of Lamu County land to be repossessed. He claimed it was obtained through crooked dealings by private companies, and that it had fueled the current violence being seen in that coastal region of Kenya.

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

He met President Obama for the first time

The first week of August 2014, Presidents Kenyatta and Obama officially shook hands at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. The meeting of more than 50 representatives from the African continent was meant to strengthen ties.

Sign up for the AFKInsider newsletter — the most compelling business news you need to know from Africa and the African diaspora, delivered straight to your inbox.

Tags: , , , , , , ,
  • d18kv178

    thing number 0: i didn’t know who the hell is he.

  • Liberty

    No 10 is not true. Vision 2030 is not Uhurus plan, it was initiated by the former president Kibaki.

  • potsefu

    He smokes bhang x10

  • Jaques AArouet

    Would you expect this man to not be corrupt in the ongoing corruption of ‘black Africa” following “white’ Africa?. Few of you might recall Mau Mau as do I. Pretending to be against Mau Mau the British Government was supporting it in Boer War 2. Njomo Kenyatta was an agent of the British Government and leader of the brutes which attacked their ‘masters’..employers …and slaughtered them. The film “Simba” gobes some idea. It does not however venture into the corruption of British politics purporting support for the colonials whilst white-anting them and the police.

    Women carried Uzi’s in their hand bags. Terror was omnipresent. Slaughter by machete isn’t particularly attractive. Kikuyu natives were forced to join or be slaughtered so as not to reveal locations. The initiation ceremony when one agreed to join included 7 oaths, accompanied by the drinking of a mixture of menstrual blood and semen.

    Sorry but when you know the corruption of the so adulated and deliberately mis-represented as a fine person eg. Winnie Mendalla by the morally bankrupt “west”..(.she was also lied-about to save her in the murder charges “everyone ” knows were true ….by “Bishop Tutu” for whom I have no time at all” ) when you know that Israel ran a guinea pig service of “Poor Blacks” in Sowheto to be used in the Sowheto Hospital as experiments o chemical and biological weaponry you might get the idea that to bond against corruption you really have to research and then to act to repair those situations.

    • mumbi

      thats mau mau and its ‘Jomo’ not Njomo

  • Thanks for sharing this information about Uhuru Kenyatta

    home page

  • Kenyan

    Actually, this is not knew. But some of your information is bull

  • Kenyan

    He is my president and a good one for that matter. Give me one president in African and Whites world who is like him. He is one of those people in this world who makes me proud of being Black and African