In honor of their achievements, hard work, determination, and sacrifices to make the world a better place, we today celebrate Kenyan women who have been an epitome of success, challenging the societal myopic view of the female gender. Our heroines.
1. Prof. Wangari Maathai
Born on this day in 1940, the late Prof. Wangari Maathai was a woman of honor. Being a Kenyan environmental political activist, she founded the GreenBelt movement to fight for environmental conservation. She became the first woman to obtain a PhD (from the University of Nairobi) in East and Central Africa. In 2004 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, again becoming the first woman from Sub-Saharan Africa to receive this coveted prize. She remains a fervent fighter for democracy, human rights, equity and peaceful coexistence for all Kenyans.
2. Lupita Nyongo
Our girl has been making us proud out there with her impeccable sense of fashion and her acting skills. Her immense talent coupled up with an education from the finest schools saw her graduate with a degree in Film and Theatre studied. Lupita Nyong’o rose to fame in 2013 after winning an academy award in a film debut 12 Years a Slave. Lupita has starred in other box office shattering movies like Black Panther and Us.
3. Koki Mutungi
Koki Mutungi is a professional pilot who flies for Kenya Airways. Forbes magazine named her among “The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2014.” In 2017, she won Africa Top Travel 100 Women. She is the first female on the African continent to become certified as a Captain of the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner.”
4. Martha Karua
Martha Karua is Kenya’s finest female politician popularly known as the Iron Lady thanks to her aggressive nature. She is a former long-standing member of parliament for Gichugu constituency, an advocate of the high court and she has served as the minister of Justice
5. Judge Njoki Ndungu
A lawyer and an associate justice of the Supreme Court of Kenya, Njoki Ndungu has featured prominently in human rights groups that especially fought for the rights of women and the girl child. She has also served as a member of parliament in Kibaki’s era. She has received international and national recognition for her work. She was awarded the UN Person of the Year in Kenya 2006 and the International Commission of Jurists – Jurist of the Year Award 2006 and Presidential Commendation of the rank of the Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS) in the same year.
6. Tegla Loroupe
She was the first African woman to win the New York City Marathon and has held many world records – from 20km to the marathon.She is a Kenyan long-distance track and road runner who is now devoted to humanitarian and peace activities, through her Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation.
7. Grace Ogot
She wore many hats. The late Grace Ogot was an author, nurse, journalist, politician, and diplomat. She was one of the first Kenyan members of parliament and she became an assistant minister. Her contributions to literature have been very impactful over the years.
9. Catherine Ndereba
She is one of Kenya’s best marathon runner nick named Marathon Queen. She has twice won the marathon at the World Championships in Athletics and won silver medals at the Summer Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008. She is also a four-time winner of the Boston Marathon. Catherine Ndereba made Kenya Proud in Olympics.
10. Grace Onyango
Grace Onyango is Kenya’s first female to climb up the ranks of the political system, defying cultural barriers under KANU. She holds several firsts in post-independence Kenyan politics. Although a retired politician she is revered.
11. Elizabeth Marami
Elizabeth Marami made history by becoming Kenya’s first female marine pilot. She is a mentor, women empowerment, fashion blogger and was named AFRICA TOP 40 under 40 Women 2015.
12. Fridah Mokaya
Kenyan-born Dr. Fridah Mogoi Mokaya became the first-ever black female to graduate with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nuclear Physics from the University of Connecticut in the US.
13. Catherine Kasavuli
Catherine Kasavuli is a celebrated Media personality, who began her walk of fame in 1980 as a radio announcer.She is the corporate affairs manager at Royal Media Services
14. Eddah Gachukia
Eddah Gachukia is the co-founder of the Riara Group of Schools that includes Riara University. She has helped shape the education system in Kenya, championing girls empowerment through education. She is also a successful entrepreneur.
15. Ajuma Nasenyana
Ajuma Nasenyana is a top Kenyan fashion model who has worked with top brands like Victoria’s Secret and Carlos Mienes, among other designers.
16. Caroline Mwatha
The late Caroline Mwatha was a human rights activist. She was the founder of the Dandora Community Center which investigates and documents cases of police killings in Dandora, an eastern suburb of Nairobi protecting the public from police brutality.
17. Ellyanne Wanjiku
The eight year Ellyanne Wanjiku old is walking in the footsteps of the Late Professor Wangari Maathai. She is the Youngest Eco Warrior Award Winner having planted about 469 trees.
18. Wahu Kagwi
She has been a pioneer in the entertainment industry. She is a singer-songwriter, former fashion model, actress and entrepreneur a mother and a wife. Wahu Kagwi remains to be a role model in the Kenyan society.
19. Fatuma Zarika
Fatuma Zarika is a fierce boxer who became a sensation afte beating Zambin challenger to to maintain her title as World Boxing Council super bantamweight champion.