Born James Mathenge, Kieni Member of Parliament has been well known for his political nickname; Kanini Kega.
In the Kikuyu dialect, Kanini means small, while Kega means good thus his moniker means small and good or small but good.
In an interview on Jeff Koinange Live show on Wednesday, October 6, the Kieni MP explained how he earned the name that has stuck with him for more than 10 years.
“I 2007, we were three Mathenge’s who were vying as Members of Parliament in Kieni and it was a bit confusing. So because I was still small, some people somehow coined the name. They said ‘that young man is a good one’ so, Kanini Kega,” he explained.
After his first attempt at the Kieni parliamentary seat, Kanini was not elected but maintained the name.
“I adopted that, it became a household name. Anyone who calls me Mathenge is one who knew me before politics,” he concluded.
In his parliamentary records, the MP is officially identified as Kega, Mathenge James Kanini.
The Kieni MP is not the first politician to adopt his nickname in parliament and the ballot.
Other politicians who are porpulaly known for their nicknames include;
- Babu Owino – The Embakasi East MP was born Paul Ongili
- Baba Yao – Born Ferdinand Waititu, the former Kiambu Governor is well known for his nickname.
- Mike Sonko – The former Nairobi Governor was born Gideon Mbuvi but adopted his nickname.
- Kimani wa Matangi- The Kiambu senator was born Paul Kimani but he is known more by his politcal name.
- Mwangi wa Iria- The Murang’a Governor was born Francis Maingi Mwangi.
Recently, aspiring Langata MP Felix Odiwuor announced a plan to change his official name to Jalang’o Jalang’o.
The comedian was born Felix Odiwuor, but is commonly known for his stage name, Jalang’o.
“I am changing my name to Jalang’o Jalang’o because that is the name that everybody knows juu ukienda kuuliza Felix no one will know. The deed poll is already done and in the next few weeks I will show up with my new ID,” he said on Kiss FM.