KENYA: The first Rastafarian to be admitted to the bar

Friday, July 3 was an important day to some 198 advocates as they were officially admitted to the bar.

And when Chief Justice David Maraga presided over the ceremony, one member stood out from the crowd.

Mathenge Mukundi, is a practicing Rastafarian who obtained his law degree in 2017, after which he joined Kenya School of Law where he successfully completed a postgraduate diploma in law.

The former Kenyatta University student, later joined Kenya Law in 2019 where he did pupillage before his admission to the bar this year.

“I joined Kenyatta University, from there I joined advocate training programme at Kenya School of Law after doing the training for one year I joined the pupillage at Kenya Law and theu admitted me there despite being from a minority group,” Mukundi said in an interview with Citizen TV.

It was also noted that during the admission ceremony, unlike other advocates, Mukundi did not wear the traditional white wig, but instead wearing a turban.

The advocate explained that his decision was a result of his desire to remain pure and true to Rastafarianism.

“Our Faith is supreme, the Law Society of Kenya is the keeper of our rights and freedom, so I expect that when I am in court no one will see me as a Rasta, but as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya though I might be the first Rastafarian advocate in Kenya,” he explained.

Mathenge further maintained that he will remain true to his rastafarian Bobo Shanti doctrine, adding that he will be appearing in courts donned in his turban.

Bobo Shanti cover their dreadlocks with bright turbans and wear long robes and can usually be distinguished from other Rastafari members because of this.

Bobo Shanti, which are among the strictest Rastafari mansions, are also known to keep to a strict vegan diet.

“I cannot unwrap my turban in public or not wear it when I’m in public, so I’ll be appearing in courts wearing my turban,” he affirmed.
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