Presidential aspirant Felix Kiprono, 31, is the man who offered 70 sheep, 50 cows and 30 goats to marry former American President Barack Obama’s daughter. He is now offering Kenyans a monkey selfie as a symbol of his aspiration to transform the country.
From the list of over 5,000 aspirants gazetted by the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) last week, Mr Kiprono’s symbol, made up of a stern face of a monkey, stood out.
According to the city lawyer, his choice of symbol was inspired by the copyright case of famous British photographer David Slater, who once placed a camera on a tripod in a national park. Monkeys in the park later took selfies, unknowingly, using the camera.
When the case of copyright between the monkey and the photographer arose, to the utter surprise of many people around the world, the court ruled that the monkeys had the copyright over the pictures.
Drawing inspiration from the incident, he says his symbol is intended to represent millions of Kenyans who are silent.
“I will employ the monkey selfie principle in favour of the poor millions of Kenyans. Like the photographer, a few individuals in Kenya have taken away our resources. We as the monkeys deserve our rightful share since the national cake belongs to us.”
But Mr Kiprono is not the only presidential candidate who has attracted attention by his choice of a peculiar symbol to represent his political ambitions.
Former military man Nixon Kukubo chose a horn. According to him, the horn represents a call to action for Kenyans to change their leaders.
“The horn was used as a communication signal in our traditional African societies to inform people about a very important occurrence. I used the symbol to signal Kenyans that our country is headed in the wrong direction as we head to the polls, and they need to make the right choices,” he says.
According to the Chairman of the independent candidates in Kenya Stephen Owoko, the strict deadlines and stringent rules on the symbols of choice may have influenced the choice by the candidates.
“IEBC told us to submit five symbols in the order of priority. The symbols should not resemble those from other political parties and candidates. We had to come up with creative symbols and some of them are really funny,” he says.
Mr Owoko, for instance, settled for a shower head as his symbol. The shower head, according to him, is a symbol that represents his ambition to get rid of corruption in the country.
“From corruption to unfair opportunities for ordinary Kenyans, my goal is to get rid of all these evils, hence the shower head.
“It is more of a fresh opportunity for Kenyans. The same way you take a shower and feel fresh, we want to have a new beginning for the country,” he adds.