• Radio presenter Felix Odiwuor said he is going to change his official name to Jalang'o. 

Image: Courtesy

The number of notable Kenyans that are changing their official names is steadily increasing. 

Recently, Radio presenter Felix Odiwuor said he is going to change his official name to Jalang'o. 

"I am changing my name to  Jalang'o because that is the name that everybody knows juu ukienda kuuliza Felix no one will know. The deed poll is already done and in the next few weeks I will show up with my new ID," said Jalas.

Another notable person who changed names include; Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, who was born Gideon Mbuvi. 

Here is the process that Jalang'o must undergo to change his official name? 

The regulations provide the procedure and requirements for change of name in Kenya and this is using the Deed Poll which is a binding document that declares the intention to change the name and it is made under oath.

Any person can change their name at any time and for any reason except if the intention is to deceive, defraud or avoid an obligation by either: adding a new name, removing an existing name, changing the order of names or attaining a completely different set of names.

The registrar may decline a request to change a name for the following reasons:

1. If the chosen name(s) is vulgar, offensive;

2. The name includes numbers, symbols or punctuation marks;

3. The proposed name is impossible to pronounce;

4. The name incites/promotes criminal activities, racial, religious hatred or use of controlled drugs;

5. If the name ridicules people, groups, government departments, companies or organizations; and

6. If the name creates an impression/belief that you have an inherited/conferred title, honor, rank or academic award that you do not have.

If you are below 16 years – the Deed Poll must be signed by a parent or guardian and the signature witnessed by one person.

If you are above 16 but below 18 years your consent is required to effect a change of your name which will be endorsed on the Deed Poll.

If you are above 18 you require a Deed Poll, a Statutory Declaration by a person who is resident in Kenya and has known you by the name you wish to change and your birth certificate, national identification.

For women looking to change their name on marriage adding their husband’s names or retain their name you may either apply to the registry with a copy of the certificate of marriage and an affidavit or use a Deed Poll that will require the certificate and your husband’s consent.

If you are separated from your husband but are yet to get a divorce or are in the process of divorce proceedings and wish to change your name in addition to the documents required for change of name by an adult, you will provide the certificate of marriage and certificate from an advocate stating that the separation is likely to be permanent.

If you are divorced you can either apply to the registry stating that you wish to drop husband’s name presenting the certificate of marriage and decree of divorce.

If your husband has passed on and you wish to drop your husband’s name you will provide the certificate of marriage and death to the registry.

The change of name is then published in the Kenya Gazzette, and thereafter you will need to apply for new identification documents.

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