Presidential aspirants in Kenya are expected to launch their manifestos before citizens take to the ballot in order to detail their plans for the nation should they occupy the house on the hill after a General Election.
Despite receiving a lot of attention and hype, the events are more often than not quite formal, characteristically boring, dull and underwhelming to say the least.
Roots Party presidential candidate Prof. George Wajackoyah however stayed away from this norm, throwing the said stereotypes out the window, when he launched his two-page, 10-point manifesto at KICC on Thursday, in what will likely go down as the most unconventional manifesto unveiling in Kenya’s history.
To give a clear picture of just how mind boggling the event was, the Roots Party boss disregarded all formalities by arriving to the grounds clad in an unimposing green khaki suit and his now trademark turban, while his running mate Justina Wamae rocked a traditional Kikuyu outfit.
He was flanked by a number of Rastafarians clad in rasta-coloured attires waving their rasta flag in anticipation of the launch, whose main selling point is the legalisation of marijuana for commercial use.
When Wajackoyah and Wamae arrived at the auditorium, they were met by the piercing sound of the late Reggae legend Bob Marley’s timeless hit song ‘Iron Lion Zion’, which reverberated across the entire premises, as supporters danced in jubilation to welcome their ‘de-facto’ leader.
The DJ’s playlist was notably full of pro-marijuana songs such as Marlon Asher’s ‘Ganja Planter’ among others, to which his supporters sang along word-for-word.
The celebrations didn’t let up even after Wajackoyah arrived, as a dance floor had been set up near the podium to allow his supporters to express their joy through dance as the Roots Party boss and his deputy notably followed proceedings from a raised platform overlooking the auditorium.
In between speeches, Wajackoyah and Wamae could be seen partaking in the festivities by busting moves from time to time as their supporters jubilantly cheered them on.
A local reggae band was also given the opportunity to perform before the gathered crowd as members pushed the Rastafarian agenda.
Rastafarians live on the principle of a balanced lifestyle which involves keeping long hair in its natural state, dressing in the colours of red, green, gold, and black (which symbolize the life force of blood, herbs, royalty, and the African race) and eating natural (I-tal) foods. Religious rituals often includes prayer and smoking marijuana for meditation and ‘enlightenment’.
Prior to the event, throngs of enthusiastic Wajackoyah supporters lined up outside KICC, with some even arriving hours before the event to ensure that they did not miss out on the much-anticipated launch.
Only time will tell if Wajackoyah will be successful in his pursuit for the presidency, but for now his divergent take on politics is clearly making headways across the country.