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Zachariah Kariuki: The Kisii University Student Taking Over Social Media Imitating Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has been described as an ‘endlessly renewable’ source for social media content since taking up an active role in the campaigns leading up to the August 9, 2022, General Election, and the subsequent aftermath of his election alongside President William Ruto.

The deputy president is a wealthy but very simple man. His wardrobe has on several occasions come under criticism from the general public, as he sometimes comes out as a man dressed in a hurry. From skipping buttons to un-uniform tuck-ins, his fashion sense has somewhat created a haven for Kenyan content creators.

Better yet, Riggy G, as he has been christened by Kenyans and humbly accepted the nickname, is a vocal man with a commanding tone. When he speaks in English, you can hear him ‘lick’ the letters to bring out the accent of Prince Williams if he lived with his parents in Nyeri, and Kiraitu Murungi was his nanny.

Barely a month after assuming office, Riggy G has become an icon in the entertainment industry, involuntarily generating content for content creators themselves. One such character is Zachariah Kariuki, a third-year student at Kisii University who has taken over social media with his near-perfect imitation of the deputy president.

Zachariah Kariuki: The Kisii University Student Taking Over Social Media Imitating Rigathi Gachagua
Zachariah Kariuki alias KK Mwenyewe popular for his near-perfect imitation of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. |Courtesy| Citizen Digital|

The 22-year-old Computer Engineering student became an instant online sensation after he uploaded skits of himself imitating DP Gachagua. He blew up a week after he had shared his first video and Kenyans online loved him.

Zachariah goes by the stage name “Mr KK Mwenyewe”, and in the skits, he wears shabby attires, a fake belly, a rugged tie and baggy trousers to mimic DP Gachagua’s much-ridiculed sense of fashion.

The second in command’s voice is not easy to imitate, but for Zachariah, one could think, it is a calling. His mastery of the DP’s thick voice, pronunciation and ability to throw words around just like Riggy G has made him a fan favourite.

If the comedic actor stood in a room and pronounced the words ‘Rigathi Gachagua’, ‘Mwai Kibaki’, ‘Kenya’, Man’, ‘Demoralized’, “Dilapitated’ and ‘Criminal’, you would think it is Gachagua himself.

His mastery of the deputy president’s accent, mannerisms, nuances and facial expressions has not only appealed to Kenyans but also leaders. Azimio La Umoja presidential running mate Martha Karua seems to have been impressed by one of the comedian’s Riggy G skits and even shared it on Twitter.

Thanks to his comedic prowess, Zachariah Kariuki has grown his TikTok following to over 77,000 people and over 640,000 likes.

During an interview with Citizen Digital, the comedic actor revealed that he decided to mimic the deputy president after he was encouraged by his friends to give it a try.

“It came super easily for me. My friends advised me to take up the Gachagua challenge and I pulled it off. I then decided to keep it up since everyone seems to be enjoying them so much,” he said.

During an interview with Citizen TV on October 3, 2022, DP Gachagua recognised Zachariah’s talent and vowed to support him and other creatives in the country.

Gachagua noted that during his days as a youth, it was difficult for them to get mentors but assured Kenyans that the William Ruto-led administration is determined to help the youth chart their own paths to success.

“Our young people are phenomenal, talented and creative, nobody has ever given them a chance.

“The William Ruto-led administration is saying that this is the day that we can allow our talented young people to convert that talent into a source of income,” he added.