Back to Africa Check

Beware of doctored photo showing Nairobi, Kenya senator Johnson Sakaja in graduation gown and hat

An image posted on Facebook appears to show Nairobi senator Johnson Sakaja in a graduation gown and hat. 

The image was posted here, here, and here in June 2022. 

This came amid controversy over whether the senator had a university degree.

Kenyan electoral laws require governors to have a university degree and Sakaja is running for governor of the Kenyan capital in the 9 August 2022 general elections. 

Sakaja has said he received his university degree from a Ugandan university. The Kenyan commission on university education said it would investigate the senator’s degree but changed its mind

The Kenyan high court dismissed a petition challenging the validity of the degree.

But does this photo show Sakaja on his graduation day? We checked.  


Doctored photo

A Google reverse image search of the photo led us to a Facebook page of a Ugandan clothing brand that makes graduation gowns.

An identical photo posted on the Facebook page on 23 January 2016 shows a smiling male graduate, who is not Sakaja.

The senator’s face was photoshopped into the original photo – this is not evidence he graduated from any university.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.