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Kenyan politician Igathe repairing shoes during campaign for Nairobi governorship? No, photo altered

An image widely shared on Facebook shows a man who resembles Kenyan politician and businessperson Polycarp Igathe sitting inside a small shoemaker’s shop. He is holding an old brown shoe. 

The image’s captions claim it shows Igathe mending shoes as part of his unsuccessful campaign for the governorship of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, in the 9 August 2022 elections. 

It started doing the rounds on Facebook in June, when Igathe was snapped doing other odd jobs, seemingly to identify with the city’s working people as he sought their votes. 

He was photographed serving drinks in a bar, cooking in a kitchen, reading news and singing on radio, washing a car, cleaning a public toilet, buying fresh tilapia, and shopping in a supermarket and in open air markets

But does the image show him working as a shoemaker, as the captions claim? We checked. 


Photo taken in DRC in 2019

The image has been doctored. A TinEye reverse image search led us to the original, a stock photo that’s been online for years.

We found it on the Alamy stock photo website, dated 5 March 2019. The man looks nothing like Igathe.

Its caption reads: “Stino Muhindo attaches a piece of old tire to the bottom of a shoe to create a new sole in Kirumba, Democratic Republic of Congo. Muhindo gathers old car tires from local garage owners and uses them to repair shoes in his shop, which is located in the city’s Buhimba neighbourhood.”

Igathe’s face has been edited onto a 2019 photo of a man repairing shoes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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