The study aimed to establish how ethnic identity affects enjoyment of equality of opportunity in Kenya. While inequality of opportunity is seen as differential access to basic rights by ethnic groups, basic rights are the necessities or entitlements every individual requires in order to live in dignity – for example healthcare and participation. The study reveals ethnic identity has had a positive and negative impact in accessing basic rights in post independence Kenya. Although ethnicity offers people a sense of belonging and has seldom been used legitimately to acquire economic and political power, it is a significant basis for discrimination of certain ethnic groups. Apart from parliament where ethnic representation has been fairly proportional, appointments made to key positions in institutions that allocate national resources are characterised by blatant ethnic discrimination. The study further explores how inequality of opportunity has been aggravated by the country’s profound culture of patronage, ineffective development policies, lack of human rights awareness among people and the absence of public accountability.