In politics, messages can be passed on literally, figuratively, and even subliminally, and it up to the opponent to figure out what it means to act accordingly.
For the past two years, leaders allied to the Deputy President William Ruto have openly expressed their discomfort in the Jubilee Party, which culminated in some of them being expelled from leadership positions in Parliament.
In separate public events, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) and even DP Ruto have been photographed with a hand gesture that has left many Kenyans wondering if it the new party logo.
A debate sparked by Eastleigh Business Community Executive Member Ahmed Mohamed appears to have created an impression that there could be more to the sign than a mere gesture.
From a collage of pictures posted, all leaders appear to be using the same hand sign at different events.
“It is used to tell someone off (Utajua hujui),” a Mombasa resident explained to this writer, “Like you are telling them to brace for your next punch because it is going to hurt.”
Already there have been talks of politicians allied to DP Ruto forming their own party called Jubilee Asili in readiness for the 2022 election citing frustrations from the current leadership of the party.
The signal also has several other meanings depending on the context it is being used in. It is popular in the Coastal region especially when locals are narrating stories to their peers.
“[You can use it] when you want to punctuate a sentence or to put emphasis on a certain part of a sentence,” the local stated adding that it is used by storytellers who are very animated.
In a different context, the sign has different meaning in a non-verbal communication to say ‘okay’ or ‘perfect’ which may or may not be accompanied by a wink.
In daily life, it can be used to represent the number 8. Commuters in public transport matatus may encounter the sign when the conductor is showing that the fare is Ksh80.
According to the Kenya Sign Language the gesture is the sign for letter ‘F’ while in other circles, the sign is believed to be for the rumoured Illuminati society which is believed to be operating in secret.
Watch the video of the sign language for the letter ‘F’ below:
An influential figure known to use the sign when communicating is US President Donald Trump.