Chris Muriithi: How To Legally Change Your Name In Kenya

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Media personality Makena Njeri PHOTO/Instagram

Media personality Christine Makena Njeri has been at the center of discussions on social media after changing her names.

According to her social media platforms, the former BBC producer and a staunch LGBTQ crusader, will now be known as Chris Muriithi.

Change of names

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Also, Muriithi now prefers to be addressed as ‘they/them’ and not the usual pronouns for females, ‘her/she’.

While still at it, it is important to note that every Kenyan has the freedom to change their name as long as it is not to deceive, defraud or avoid an obligation.

The Registration of Persons Act and the Registration of Documents (Change of Name) Regulations govern how one can change their name in Kenya.

So what’s the process of changing your name in Kenya, here is what WoK gathered about the same.

Required documentation

  • Deed Poll – a legal document that proves consent of changing names.
  • Sworn declaration from a person who has known you for over ten years.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Parents’ ID cards.
  • Two passport size photographs
  • Marriage/divorce certificates, if you have one.
  • Official communication from your area chief through a letter confirming the your residential details and intention to change names.
  • Finger Print Certificate obtained from the office of the Registrar of Persons.

Divorcées and minors 

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  • Copy of the Certificate of Marriage if the applicant is a woman and is married.
  • Certificate of Separation sworn by an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya confirming separation if a woman is separated from her husband.
  • Decree Absolute or Certificate of Divorce for female applicants that are divorced or in the process of one.
  • For minors, a change of name can only be effected by their parents within the first two years of their birth.

Process of legally changing your name in Kenya

  • Visit Registrar Generals Department and get a Deed Poll (Form 1) at Ksh 500.
  • Fill in the Deed Poll with the required details.
  • Make an application for another registration document, Form A, in the Registration of Documents (Forms) Regulations.
  • Submit the Deed Poll, your birth certificate and sworn affidavit from your acquaintance who has known you for at least 10 years.
  • The Registrar of Documents will check if your new name meets the criteria before publishing it in a Kenyan Gazette.
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