All the while growing up, there was a time I saw Ksh. 10 and Ksh. 20 notes. Having grown up at a time when the use of cents was no more, it was interesting to see a currency note in such a small denomination. The one thing that didn’t change was the portraiture; I always wondered what I had to do to have my face on money.
Since independence, Kenya’s currency’s design adopted the use of the portrait of the first two presidents. Former president Mwai Kibaki also introduced a 40 shillings coin with his portrait on it.
The Kenyan Constitution (2010) prohibits the use of a person’s portrait on the currency. This, therefore, means that we will soon do away with the ‘Mzee Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki’ type of money.
Since then, the Central Bank of Kenya was mandated with production and rolling out the new money by the second quarter of the year. The switch was to happen in September 2017, but the August 2015 constitutional deadline was missed.
The New Kenyan Currency Design
Dicky Hokie, the Creative Manager- Radio Africa Group decided to take the challenge and came up with a very vibrant concept for the new money. As a creative, I must admit that the new currency concept is interactive and fresh.
I feel it is in touch with Kenya and Kenyans. The use of animal images and athletes in action just makes it all the more Kenyan. This is because these are the things that define Kenyans: wildlife, our running culture and the people.
I once watched a movie where a black man who ran so fast was asked to confirm if they were Kenyan. That to me was laughable; it confirmed the notion that all Kenyans are athletes.
The new currency is set to have new features that will allow the visually impaired to use it with ease. This is only but a design proposition, how I wish it will be taken up, take a look.