NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 8 – In the last two US Presidential elections, a spotlight was cast on US President Barack Obama’s African hometown of Kogelo; his late father’s birthplace.
As the votes came in, images of his kinsmen — eyes glued to large screens set up in the town square — were broadcast live around the world.
On Tuesday, they may not have been a centre of focus given the son their claimed as their own was serving out his last days in office but nonetheless, they made their voices heard in a mock election of their own.
And it wouldn’t take a genius to correctly guess who carried the day; the man or more accurately in this case, the woman, who had the backing of their most accomplished son: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Luo nation, not known for its shortage of colour, did not disappoint and put on quite the spectacle on Tuesday as American’s themselves got down to vote.
Two make-shift ballot boxes made out of masking taped cardboard boxes were assigned to the candidates: Clinton and her Republican competition Donald Trump and adorned with posters of the two to differentiate them.
A ‘presiding’ officer was stationed behind each of the boxes and were themselves a sight to behold.
Both adorned t-shirts emblazoned with images of the candidate whose box they stood behind; one red, one blue.
Clinton’s backer kept it American with an American flag wrapped around his cargo shorts while Trump’s backer mixed in a bit of Kenya with bottoms and a bandana in the pattern of the Kenyan flag.
Behind them both however, was a replica flag of the United States and what could only be a ‘secret service’ agent in a dark suit replete with the trademark sunglasses.
But perhaps more surprising was the line that actually formed ahead of them as people actually queued to cast their ‘ballot’.
Make-believe though it may have been, the sentiment of the remote town made famous by its association to US President Barack Obama was resounding, a landslide victory in favour of another American first: the first female nominee of the two major political parties to contest for the Oval Office.