28-year-old Desmand Mwendi is seeking to gift President William Ruto with what he says is a prophetic and congratulatory painting.
As some doubted Ruto’s ability to clinch the presidency, Mwendi who is known by his artistic name – M’Onty – believed that the President would rise above all odds to win the highest coveted position in Kenya.
“Standing here today is a testament that there is a God in Heaven. A village boy has become the President of Kenya,” Ruto stated on Tuesday, September 13 during his inauguration at Kasarani Stadium, confirming Mwendi’s belief.
In his ‘prophetic’ drawing, Mwendi who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke depicts Ruto holding the Bible while being surrounded by his allies and members of the opposition. The Bible has been key in Ruto’s campaign, his battle with his nemesis and his spirited quest to woo the church to his side.
The painting of William Ruto being sworn in, painted by Desmand Mwendi in 2021
Twitter Among the leaders included in the painting are former Murang’a woman representative Sabina Chege, Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen, ex-president Uhuru Kenyatta, Azimio La Umoja running mate Martha Karua, former prime minister Raila Odinga, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, and politician Isaac Mwaura among others.
The artist seemingly believed that the former deputy president would unite the country, having based his campaigns on economic recovery rather than tribalism.
“I would like to say congratulation to president William Ruto. A chance to physically present the painting to you would be a dream come true,” he told Kenyans.co.ke.
In addition, he echoed the words of millions of Kenyans that it is a dream true for Ruto to ascend to Kenya’s most powerful seat despite all the tribulations.
Like many others, Mwendi noted he would be overwhelmed if he met the President and it would an honour to present the painting to him.
“A lot can happen in a year and one of my dreams, something I imagined in this painting I made one year ago is coming to life today. Congratulations Mr. President,” Mwendi tweeted on inauguration day.
The University of Nairobi (UoN) Art & Design graduate noted that he was unaware of the impact the drawing would have.
“My inspiration for this particular piece came from the popularity of the then DP at the time. It seemed imminent that he would win the election if it was held that day,” Mwendi explained.
William Ruto taking the Oath of Office alongside his wife Racheal Ruto (right) at Kasarani on September 13, 2022
Kenyans.co.ke Mwendi who is based in Elgeyo Marakwet disclosed he is a full-time artist, a career path he chose due to his passion and talent in the field.
His career spans five years, during which he has made paintings of reputable politicians in the county. They include Uhuru, Raila and former Nairobi and Mombasa governors Mike Sonko and Ali Hassan Joho respectively.
In addition, he added that his paintings vary in price depending on the size and the details. His art goes for at least Ksh50K.
Conclusively, he urged the incoming government to look into ways to help artists in the country benefit from their work.