Charlene Ruto says she buys second-hand clothes in Gikomba: “mimi ni mtu wa ground”

The daughter of President William Ruto, Charlene, has admitted that she frequently shops at the well-known Gikomba secondhand clothing market in Nairobi.

The idea among Kenyans, according to Ms. Ruto, that she is disconnected from everyday Kenyan life because she is the president’s daughter, was dispelled in an interview she gave to YouTuber Eve Mungai on Saturday.

“I have an experience of what the Kenyan youth undergo in different circumstances, mimi ni mtu niko kwa ground. Even if my father is the president, mimi nimekuwa kwa ground the whole time and my friends know. I have even been to Gikomba so many times to do shopping,” she said.

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She was responding to critics who have dismissed some of her public statements, such as her declaration that she sold smokies to make money as a college student, as desperate attempts to relate to ordinary Kenyans.

While labelling herself daughter of “the chief hustler” who has learned to hustle by watching her father do it, Charlene defended the story and said that she ran the business with two of her school friends who she shared a hostel with.

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“It’s a true story and my friends and classmates who I used to share a dorm with know,” she said.

“I had two roommates with who we came up with the business idea because we saw people really loved the smokie-kachumbari. So with my roommates Sylvia and Nyokabi, we put our money together and started doing it for about a year before we moved on to do other businesses.”

Regarding handling the heavy criticism she faces online, the Head of State’s daughter said she has learned to brush aside comments from strangers and stand by her truth.

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“I don’t let some things get to my heart easily, because those people bashing me on social media if we were to meet they would be asking for a photo. I also know that everybody has their personal opinion, which they can freely have. I know in my heart what I am doing so even though people think I am lying or doing it for clout,” said Ms. Ruto.

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