In a contest of spruceness, Nelson Havi runs away with a medal. In a black suit paired with a blue shirt, a Law Society of Kenya (LSK) badge punched into his coat and a maroon striped tie fastened with sleek perfection, Havi looks his usual pristine self.
The new LSK president wears a Montblanc watch that cost him Sh600,000.
One of his university lecturers Prof PLO Lumumba called him “the duke” to appreciate his sense of fashion.
“Light travels faster than sound; you’re seen before you’re heard.
As a lawyer, you must be meticulous,” he says with his habitual winsome grin.
“The mind is always eager to pay attention to a presentable person.”
And that attention is priceless in the legal practice. For two months, Havi traversed the country to meet lawyers in town halls to sell his agenda. He tells me this tough trail left him worn, bruised and with life lessons.
“I’m slowly returning to my routine,” he says.
To wind down, the 43-year-old exercises an hour in the morning and in the evening twice every week.
“I also read a lot of African literature, Shakespearean plays, fiction and religious mythology.”
To young unmarried men, Havi says that while marriage takes away some freedoms, it doesn’t cost one’s social life entirely.
“My shoes have been shining like this since I got married,” he says, motioning me to peek at his glossy boots, the deft work of his wife. “I don’t understand how she polishes them. She does it, not as a sense of duty, but for love.”
BY JAMES KAHONGEH