In 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued awards and honours to various Kenyans for their outstanding efforts and services rendered to the nation.
Among those who received the the Head of States Commendation (HSC) civilian awards were controversial blogger Robert Alai, State House communication guru Dennis Itumbi, Ben Githae (famous for composing the Jubilee party campaign anthem (Tano Tena), Martin Kamotho popularly known as Githeri Man and TV reporter Jackie Maribe as well as evangelist Teresia Wairimu.
Martin Kamotho made headlines after he was pictured carrying ‘githeri’ in a transparent polythene bag while waiting to vote during the August 2017 General Elections.
The picture catapulted him to fame and aside from a Head State Commendation from President Uhuru, he became an instant magnet among corporates who all wanted a piece of him to push their products.
3 months ago, it was revealed that the 43-year-old waa living in squalid conditions within Nairobi’s Kayole slums where he has rented out a single-room house in Saba-Saba area.
As was reported by a local Kenyan daily, he lives alone in his small house with his only companion being a cat. When asked, he said he parted ways with the mother of his daughter sometimes back.
The three by four room has worn out sofas, old wooden table and a cupboard on which he places his radio — which continuously plays gospel music; with a plastic “carpet” on the floor of the house which he has decorated with colourful polyester material on the walls.
“This is where I’ve lived for more than a decade. Many people think I’m rich. In fact, it makes me sad when they call me Githeri Man, thinking I am a millionaire. I have nothing. The people around here know me – they know ‘sina kitu’. Otherwise ‘wangekuwa wananipiga ngeta kila siku,” he said.
Kamotho was among 77 graduands who successfully completed a seven-month rehabilitation program at the Mama Care Rehabilitation Centre, Kiambu with President Uhuru Kenyatta attending the event.
Now, weeks after news of the unexpected twist in his life went viral, it looks like Kamotho has completely backslided — with photos of the former social media sensation sleeping in the streets of Nairobi emerging online.