[VIDEO]: Kenya’s first Rastafarian advocate Mathenge Mukundi speaks of discrimination in campus

Rastafari Advocate
Mathenge Mukundi, Kenya's first Rastafari advocate of the High Court of Kenya. [Photo courtesy]

At 24 years, Mathenge Mukundi is already a sensation in Kenya.

Mathenge was last week admitted to the bar but this is not what has caused a stir among Kenyans. It is the fact that he is the first Kenyan Rastafarian advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

Photos of his turban head wrap in place of a barrister wig created a buzz online.

In an interview with Nairobi News, He said that he did not expect such a reaction from Kenyans.

He pursued his law degree at Kenyatta University.

“I am just a simple person pursuing his dreams. Besides that, I am a Rastafarian by faith and therefore I could not remove my turban and wear the wig when being admitted to the bar. I made this known to the people responsible and they were very supportive,” he said.

He explained that all through his campus studies as well as at the Kenya School of Law, he did not have a social media account.

On this day, however, he decided to take photos with a group of friends and one of them leaked them.

“I did not have any personal social media account and I think someone posted the photos and then everything just blew up – I started getting calls and they just kept coming in,” he added.

Mukundi says that he decided to pursue law to defend basic human rights.

He offers that the journey to pursue his dream wasn’t an easy one given his background but he made the decision to realize his dream anyway.

“I come from a humble background and while on campus at Kenyatta University I had to learn how to fend for myself – I became a nail artist and would get a few clients during class breaks. This helped sort my food and rent bills.” Mathenge revealed.

His biggest challenge, he opines, was open discrimination in the campus to a point “some lecturers openly said to me I was eroding the good profession law, just because I am a Rastafarian.”

Mathenge quashed the narrative that Rastafarians are not serious people at all saying this is not ground enough to discriminate them against their faith and belief.

Even as the coronavirus pandemic ravages, he hopes to secure employment. Meanwhile, he is selling clothes online to make ends meet.

“I am yet to get a job and it is very difficult to job hunt during the coronavirus pandemic but I am hoping things will be better soon. My cousin and I run an Instagram business account that we use to sell second-hand clothes and that is how I get my daily bread,” he says.