Health is wealth, a common adage goes. Arguably, Kenyans are paying more attention to their health more than before if the droves of photos of people hitting the gym are anything to go by. Celebrities who’ve chronicled their fitness journeys on social media include Nyashinski, Khaligraph Jones, Cheroo, Tallia Oyando, Njugush and many more. Politicians have not been left behind either, with their motivation varying from fighting off lifestyle diseases to maintain a youthful appeal, a key consideration by voters. With the youth being a vital voting bloc, politicians strive to appeal to them with shows of physical strength and fitness. Just recently, Presidents John Magufuli and Yoweri Museveni engaged in public shows of strength by doing push-ups, which could be perceived as sending a message that they still have the strength to lead their countries. In Kenya, politicians have different regimens to keep fit. Check out how top politicians keep fit:
DP William Ruto
A couple of years back, Deputy President William Ruto was chubby having considerably gained weight. However, his moment of reckoning came four years ago during a tour of Western Kenya. Narrating the beginning of his fitness journey, the DP said: “I decide to go to the gym after I realized that my weight was getting out of hand. I had gone to inspect the problems facing sugar farming when a photograph was taken and it showed me in very bad shape with my tummy protruding. A friend called me the next day and told me ‘man you’re doing badly’.”
The DP incorporated working out in his routine and it has paid off as he’s not only leaner but also fitter as evidenced in 2019 when he ran the 21km race in the First Lady’s Beyond Zero marathon. Speaking after the race, he furtively tried getting President Uhuru Kenyatta to work out joking, “Am told the 2km category that you had indicated would be your first trail is for expectant mothers.”
Speaking to Sunday Magazine, the ‘Iron Lady’ previously admitted to gaining weight during the 2013 elections.
“I was pretty big, visibly so. About two dress sizes up. It was in the height of campaigns and I would have meals late in the night. That caused my weight gain,” she said.
In a bid to shed off the excess weight, Karua started working out soon after the elections and her lithe frame is proof her regimen worked. According to Karua who’s one of Kenya’s greatest female political figures, she lost weight by watching her diet and exercising.
“I don’t do aerobics due to my joint issues but I work out on the treadmill at a slow pace. I do stretches too and the occasional gold helps,” she said.
He teeing prowess was on display during the Limuru Country club versus Coast golf championship in November 2020 where she won the overall individual score.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja
Senator Sakaja underwent quite an impressive transformation, shedding off over 24kgs. Speaking afterwards, he advised those seeking to lose weight saying “diet is important- reduce the servings and carbohydrates intake. Add healthy foods (to your diet) and exercise.”
The former Prime Minister has been hitting the gym for years now and the last time he was spotted working out was in July 2020. Photos of the ODM party leader doing pushups in a gym in Malindi surfaced on the internet soon after returning from Dubai where he’d undergone minor surgery. Speaking on his workout three years ago, Raila told KTN “In the morning I do half an hour and an hour in the evening. In the morning I do light exercises to help with my circulation. In the evening I cycle, lift weights and sometimes do aerobics.”