The destiny of Kenyan politics seems orange

What brought Uhuru and Ruto together theoretically favours Raila

In Summary

• Lessons from primary school art class come in handy in interpreting political scene

Strange bedfellows
Strange bedfellows
Image: OZONE

I didn’t spot it back in 2012 when the alliance between URP and TNA was first mooted, but the other day when someone posted an “in happier times” picture of the leaders of the two election vehicles, it was crystal clear to me the answer was always Orange.

If you are lost and wondering what I’m going on about, allow me to take you back to my very early primary school days, when the teacher was teaching us to mix paints in a palette.

When we were not busy painting our clothes and each other, as seven-year-olds are bound to do when let loose on colourful water paints, the teacher took time to show us the magic of mixing paints.


I was never much good in art class and spent many years sitting at the back of the classroom, disrupting my more studious friends. But one of the lessons that stuck with me was that if you mix yellow paint with red paint, you can create orange.

Had I paid closer attention when URP and TNA were hooking up to create Jubilee, I would have noticed then that the URP’s main colour was a lemon yellow and TNA’s was a strawberry red, and that their merger would produce a zestful orange.

Of course, had I kept that in mind, then recent political events, which seem to have an orange glow about them, should have come as no surprise. Way back in 2005 during the referendum on the proposed constitution, the group that brought together Kanu’s Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto and LDP’s Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka was the orange “No” campaign, which would later evolve into ODM.

The difference now is that the yellow factor is being forced out by the TNA red, which shook hands with the ODM orange. There is also the red of Kanu to contend with.

Later in my school life, before I was allowed to drop art as a subject, we were taught that red is a primary colour and orange is a secondary colour. 

We also learnt that when you mix red and orange together, you technically get the colour called red-orange, which is what it seems the new coalition bringing the President, the former Prime Minister and the senator from Baringo, might look like. Of course, the more red you add, the redder it will get, and the more orange you add, the more orange it will get.

All that remains to be seen now is whether the red, white and blue of the Wiper Party will turn part of the, dare I say it, grand coalition, magenta, which is what you get when you mix red, white and blue together.


There is always the risk that someone might throw a green watermelon in the mix  (if you know, you know), and by so doing, turn everything brown.

With our love for mixing things up, don’t be surprised if when everything is brown, the yellow comes back and turns it all amber, which in some light appears orange.

Edited by T Jalio

ODM delegates at Bomas
ODM delegates at Bomas
Image: FILE