‘Hustlers vs dynasties’: Confronting patrimonial capitalism in Kenya’s 2022 elections

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During Kenya's 2022 presidential race, William Samoei Ruto, the country's ex-Deputy President, successfully leveraged his 'Hustler Nation' campaign to clinch victory. This campaign played on the struggles of the informal economy labourers, pledging a 'hustler' government dedicated to their cause. Crucially, however, Ruto’s campaign also utilized rhetoric against the deeply rooted 'dynasties' of Kenya’s patrimonial capitalism, exploiting widespread dissatisfaction with the political and economic dominance of the Kenyatta family, including the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta. Throughout the campaign voters debated the acceptable extent of wealth held by the country's affluent families, and the potential of such wealth to manipulate democratic politics. This concise article unpacks the moral undertones of Kenyan disillusionment with the Kenyatta supremacy, calling for reinvigorated anthropological scrutiny of the confrontations against modern patrimonial capital and the emerging resistances framed in the discourse of economic justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-10
JournalAnthropology Today
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


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