This is the mystery a section of Kenyans (less concerned with Andrew) are trying to solve.
Who is the woman that contributed to this pretty face?
Granted Mrs. Kenneth went conspicuously unmentioned during the launch of her husband’s presidential bid on Sunday- a momentous occasion that got Kenyans talking about all sorts of things – politics, a president and possibly, a father-in-law.
Perhaps it’s the need to find perfection in Kenneth as the country’s next leader. The presidential aspirant has a great track record and sound policies – attributes that have earned him the oxymoron title “Kenya’s Obama.”
The only problem with that title is that, according to Kenyans, an Obama-like Kenneth has got to present a Michelle-like wife, otherwise he’s not completely working the Obama attraction.
Now, I’m yet to see Kenyans vote for a leader based on his/her family values. I don’t even know what family values Kenyans subscribe to? On one side we have musicians and philanthropists coming out to proudly declare their positions as 2nd wives, on the other we have our current president consistently asserting that he has only one wife. Whatever the case may be, family values in a broad undefined sense, have never been a key factor in Kenya’s politics. Even among female voters.
Had it been the case then, we would all want to know who is partly responsible for Martha Karua’s children. But then again, no one cares whether she’s single, married or cruising past Kentmere. For Kenyans, there’s no one to compare her with. Certainly not Obama.
Kenneth’s predicament may also be as a result of our obsession with the Obama family-pictures doing rounds on Social Media. I cannot tell you how many women I have heard sigh and say “what a beautiful family.” Indeed, Obama has done a good job in presenting a picture perfect family – a factor that works for him in the United States.
Back home however, it would be unfair to impose such ideals on any of our candidates. At least not at the moment. This country has far more bigger problems and in my written opinion, it doesn’t matter if the leader that gets us out of our current mess is divorced, widowed or wed.
Does Kenya deserve a more prominent and outspoken First Lady? We probably do. Besides, the ones we have had are more assumed to exist than they are actually seen. And does that make any difference in a largely patriarchal society that expects women to know their place and stick to it (wherever that place may be – the kitchen?)
Peter Kenneth is not Barrack Obama. He is his own man. He is no less a leader whether or not Anne is by his side every time he appears in public or takes a picture for the press. We had better all focus on the issues this country needs to tackle and ask the right questions.
Move on. There’s nothing to see here.