Video shows unveiling of Michelle Obama’s portrait, not that of Kenyan politician Martha Karua

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A video has been shared online in Kenya alongside a claim that it shows the unveiling of a portrait in the US featuring Martha Karua, who is running for deputy president in Kenya’s upcoming elections. But the claim is false: AFP Fact Check found that the clip was doctored to add Karua’s image. The video originally showed the unveiling of Michelle Obama’s official portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in the US in 2018.

The video, captioned “Martha Karua portrait unveiled at a women conference in the US,” was published on TikTok on May 30, 2022.

A screenshot of the misleading TikTok video, taken on June 22, 2022

In the video, Michelle Obama and American artist Amy Sherald pull down a curtain, and an image of Karua appears.

The footage was also shared on Facebook and Twitter in June 2022.

Karua was picked by the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance’s presidential candidate Raila Odinga as his running mate for the August 2022 election.

The election is shaping up to be a two-horse race between Deputy President William Ruto, who is the leader of the Kenya Kwanza Coalition, and Odinga, who has President Uhuru Kenyatta’s backing.

However, the video doesn’t show Michelle Obama unveiling Karua’s portrait.

Doctored video

A reverse image search conducted by AFP Fact Check led us to the original video, which shows the unveiling of Michelle Obama’s official portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in 2018.

The video was doctored to replace Michelle Obama’s portrait with an image of Karua.

In 2018, former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama joined the ranks of other former presidents and first ladies at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

Michelle Obama’s portrait was created by artist Amy Sherald.

Photo of Michelle Obama when she unveiled her portrait at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in 2018 ( AFP / SAUL LOEB)
Kenya elections 2022