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Kenya's president struggles to recall 'bicycle guy' Boris Johnson's name

With his unruly mop of white-blond hair and bumbling personality, Boris Johnson is not exactly a forgettable...

Posted: Aug 30, 2018 2:40 PM
Updated: Aug 30, 2018 2:40 PM

With his unruly mop of white-blond hair and bumbling personality, Boris Johnson is not exactly a forgettable figure.

But Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta struggled to recall his name during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Nairobi on Thursday.

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His mind went blank as he struggled to recall the former UK foreign secretary's name. He then referred to Johnson as the "bicycle guy."

May could be forgiven for indulging in a moment of schadenfreude: Johnson has been one of her fiercest political rivals and he recently resigned from her cabinet over disagreements over her Brexit strategy.

"Last year if you recall the foreign secretary -- then Boris, erm, Boris, Boris Johnson -- the bicycle guy -- Boris Johnson was here with ambulances," Kenyatta said as he responded to a question about the repatriation of stolen funds in Britain to finance development projects in Kenya's health, education and other sectors.

May is in Kenya on the last leg of an African tour in which she has signed business deals and pledged to support security efforts in the region.

The three-nation trip is meant to drum up new business ahead of Britain's scheduled departure from the EU next March.

Kenyatta reminded May during the news conference that she is the first British premier to visit in 30 years.

"Yes, it's been 30 years plus. I don't want to dwell on the past, but we are looking to the future, and we welcome the PM today and I'm sure as we've discussed, this is the first of hopefully many visits in the future." Kenyatta said later in the conference.

May hailed new relations between the two countries and told reporters that "investment here in Kenya will be good for Britain as well."

The two are believed to have scheduled talks on cybersecurity and investment.

May's visit comes days after Kenyatta visited US President Donald Trump in Washington.

He is also scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in the coming days.

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