How to legally change your name like Makena Njeri

The former BBC journalist is now referred to as Chris Muriithi

Chris Muriithi (Formerly Makena Njeri)
Image: Instagram

People who opt to change their names have different reasons as to why they want or need to do so.

Mitchelle Ntalami's ex-girlfriend, Makena Njeri, a lady who is a member of the LGBTQ community, has caused mixed reactions from Kenyans on Twitter after she changed her name to Chris Muriithi.

Chris Muriithi (formerly Makena Njeri )
Image: Instagram

This move by Makena brings us to today's topic.


In Kenya, what does it take to legally change your name? Let's begin;

The process of changing one’s name in Kenya is governed by The Registration of Persons Act, The Births and Deaths Registration Act, and the Registration of Documents (Change of Name) Regulations.

First of all, a lawyer needs to be present in partaking the whole process.


He or she is needed to effect the desired change through the use of a legal document called a deed poll, at the Principal Registry office.

The Registrar will then cause the Deed Poll to be advertised in the Kenya Gazette.

The consequence of the change of name is that the applicant will need to apply for a fresh national ID Card to reflect the new name.

Also, there are documents the person changing his or her name is required to have.

They include:

Fingerprint printout, Letter from the area chief, Birth certificate or Baptism certificate, Deed poll and affidavit to which shall be attached certain requisite documents, An affidavit by a witness who has known you for at least 10 years, Sworn affidavits, Two Passport size photo, Identity cards of your parents, School Leaving Certificate, Marriage certificate if married and Divorce certificate if divorced.

Once the person who wants to change their name has the above legal documents, the process is set to begin.

The procedure includes;

1. Visit the Registrar Generals Department and have a copy of the Deed Poll drafted. It takes at most 5-21 working days to produce a Deed Poll 

A fee of Ksh 500 is payable for the deed poll presented for registration.

2. Complete a deed poll prescribed as ( Form 1 ) of the Regulations to the Act.

3. Make an application for registration which is prescribed as Form A in the Registration of Documents (Forms) Regulations;

5. The Deed Poll is accompanied by a birth certificate of the applicant.

6. The application is also accompanied by a statutory declaration prescribed under the Act (Form 6).

This declaration is sworn by a person resident in Kenya and who personally knows the applicant by the name they want to change.

7. The documents are presented to the Registrar of Documents for registration.

8. Upon registration, the registrar causes the deed poll to be advertised in the Kenya Gazette.

The name change is effected at this point.

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