• One of the key attributes that endeared him to many Kenyans is his ability to keep time. If he says he will see you at 8am, you better be there one hour before because he will definitely keep his word.
• President Ruto is also generous, and a king must be generous. This is exemplified by the many harambees of all manner of initiatives that he has attended to across the country.
Recently while in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, I was pleasantly surprised to be stopped on the streets by a random Tanzanian who identified me.
He then went into great lengths to discuss our campaigns and how Kenya Kwanza inspired them. This happened severally with different people at different times, including a delegation from The Gambia that I had the privilege of interacting with recently.
Then we have the recent Nigerian election, which has been disputed by the opposition.
The European Union observers issued a contradictory report on the election to that of the Africa Union, which was led by former President Uhuru Kenyatta. EU said the election lacked efficient planning.
The Kenyan election, on the other hand, was given a clean bill of health.
Nigeria and Kenya had a similarity whereby Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, has lost elections for a record six times, akin to Kenya’s Raila Odinga who has done it five times. People across the continent and beyond wonder how President Ruto went straight from being Deputy President to President. This is a rare feat, since there was immense resistance from his boss, who backed opposition candidate Raila Odinga.
It thus leads to curiosity about what attributes President Ruto has that we can all learn from.
To begin with, the President was very clear on what he wanted to achieve for the country, and even when he faced a lot of resistance, he never backed down.
He is famously quoted as having said that “I am a man on a mission. I have no space to retreat, and I don’t have the luxury to surrender”. This was during the burial of then Mahoo MCA Saburani in Taveta.
This statement became a clarion call in his campaigns that won the hearts of so many Kenyans across the country. Secondly, the President was able to galvanize support from so many communities and counties in Kenya, ending up winning 25 per cent in 39 out of 47 counties. This way, the UDA party, which has 140 MPs and 21 senators, became a truly national party.
One of the key attributes that endeared him to many Kenyans is his ability to keep time. If he says he will see you at 8am, you better be there one hour before because he will definitely keep his word.
President Ruto is also generous, and a king must be generous. This is exemplified by the many harambees of all manner of initiatives that he has attended to across the country.
Further, he was able to traverse the country deep in to small shopping centres/villages that his competitors hadn’t reached. In a given day, he could do over 10 meetings from 9am all the way to dusk, and this is after having met several leaders in the morning prior to the public rallies and stop overs.
The President also developed the hustler narrative that resonated very well with the masses. The fact that he was able to frame the contest between hustlers versus dynasties ensured that voters had a clear choice to make.
Further, he was able to turn any challenge thrown at him to his advantage. When the elite VIP police security officers were withdrawn from him, he welcomed the new AP officers and hosted them for a cup of tea, where they had a chat.
Further, he really connected with the common mwananchi, like the old granny from Murang’a who he built a house for. These and so many instances made the masses connect with his story and journey.
President Ruto is also hands on. He ensures that whatever he undertakes to do, he does it to conclusion. His clarity of thought on many issues ensures he gives clear directions. Further, he is keen to details, something that many leaders at times forgo in pursuit of detrimental delegation.
The President also empowered a team of young energetic men and women to campaign for him, yet even then, many couldn’t keep up with his energy. This augured very well with the young population since they could connect with him, including how he dressed up. For many Christians, they were able to see a very senior political leader genuinely seeking God’s intervention and for sure, against all odds, the President and the Kenya Kwanza coalition emerged victorious.
These and many other attributes led to him winning over the masses and being declared President on August 15, 2022.
While in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia recently, he was famously quoted as having said that “I am under no illusion whatsoever that executing the leap from scarcity to abundance, and from poverty to prosperity is as easy as it sounds. Yet I am also confident that we, dear Excellencies have what it takes not only to set out and try, but also to persist and ultimately succeed”
President Ruto is indeed a role model to many who have been inspired by his journey to greatness!