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Tibim, tialala and minji minji slogans, Githeri Man spiced up elections

Memorable slogans, parables, jokes, memes and songs spiced up deadly-serious, high-stakes campaign for State House.

After the heated campaign and contested vote, President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner, defeating NASA’s Raila Odinga.

NASA had first launched its campaign slogan “#10MillionStrong” to convince voters that Raila would garner 10 million votes from the 19 million registered voters.

Afterwards, Jubilee countered with #45MillionStrong to signal it would serve all 45 million Kenyans. The Jubilee’s slogan was anchored on services.

Apart from the game of numbers, Raila injected a fresh slogan — “The journey to Canaan” — that injected humour before, during and after the polls.

Raila, commonly known as Baba by his followers, branded himself as a reformist and prophet Joshua, who would deliver Kenyans from “Egypt” (Uhuru’s administration) to the promised land – Canaan (prosperous leadership). The Opposition leader, known for humorous sayings, had asked his followers to abstain from sex the night before the General Election, lest it be a bad omen and distract them from victory.

He told Homa Bay — and other — residents to only engage in sex after the announcement of the results by the IEBC. “Chieng cha en odichieng’ mapek. Chieng’no onge nindo. Jowuoyi nindo mana oko. Wang’ni adwa ka chieng’ go ombulo chiegni to onge ngama nind gi ng’ama dhako” (“August 8 will be a historic day and no vote will be left without being cast. Men will sleep outside. When the day comes, no man should sleep with a woman”), he said in Dholuo.

Tibim and Tialala is an unforgettable meme that originated from now Embakasi East MP-elect Paul Ongili, commonly known as Babu Owino.

Nasa hao (nab them) and bindu bichenjanga (things are changing) were frequently used by the NASA principals to urge their supporters to vote out Jubilee.

Tuko ndani, ndaani, ndaaani kabisa is a phrase that originated from Kanu secretary general Nick Salat while addressing of NASA supporters. Salat expressed the sentiments saying the country’s oldest party was fully fronting Raila to battle with Uhuru.

But fearing political suicide, Salat withdrew his position and declared his support for Uhuru. The phrase became popular and was widely used, especially on social media.

In Kirinyaga and Kiambu counties, women candidates used the name “minji minji” to galvanise their political bases and woo voters.

Kirinyaga governor-elect Anne Waiguru was nicknamed minji minji. Minji means peas and in this contest, the female candidates were referred to as being attractive.

Then Wiper’s Machakos governor candidate Wavinya Ndeti used the phrase, “Yaliyondwele sipite”, which generated unforgiving social media criticism and the #WavinyaChallenge.

Tension over the outcome of presidential results was eased after the photo of a man who was eating githeri while queuing on the Election Day. The photo went viral with Photoshop experts having a field day under the hashtag #GitheriMan.

Martin Kamotho, the Githeri Man, won accolades countrywide after being spotted absentmindedly enjoying his meal packed in a plastic bag.

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