Prof. Wangari Maathai
Nobel Peace Laureate
Prof. Maathai, affectionately called "Tree Woman" by many
Kenyans, founded the Green Belt Movement which has now
planted over 30 million trees across the country. As a result of
her championing both environmental and women's issues,
Prof. Maathai was elected to parliament in 2002. She is
currently the Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Environment,
Natural Resources and Wildlife. In 2004, Prof. Maathai was
awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "her contribution to
sustainable development, democracy and peace," thus
becoming the first African woman to receive this award.
Kenya Television Network (KTN)
Catherine Kasavuli, a Senior News Anchor at KTN,
worked with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC)
before joining KTN in the early nineties. She is a well-
known face on Kenyan television news. Amongst her
many commitments, Ms. Kasavuli is a key participant in
events marking the International Women’s Day.
Kenyan world marathon record-holder
Paul Tergat, began his race to the top of world athletics, at
a young age. Mr. Tergat had to run many kilometres to
school every day without enough to eat. Today, none of the
students at his former school go without a meal due to
WFP's free daily school-lunch programme. In January
2004, Mr. Tergat was named a UN World Food Programme
(WFP) "Ambassador against hunger". He currently holds
the half-marathon and marathon world records.
Women middleweight boxing champion
Conjestina Achieng’s rise to stardom, as a woman in the
traditional all- male boxing world, has been one of sheer
determination against the odds. Until five years ago, Ms.
Achieng played soccer for the Kenya women’s team. Sports
Monthly calls her Kenya’s first genuine sports celebrity. In
2004, she claimed the title of Women’s International Boxing
Federation (WIBF), becoming the first African woman to hold
this internationally recognized title. Ms. Achieng’s ambition is
a bout with super middleweight champion Leila Ali.
Eric Wainaina has always been involved in music since his childhood.
Eric and some friends formed the group 5 Alive, and began successfully
singing at weddings and churches around the country. Propelled by this
success, they decided to study music at the Berklee School of Music in
Boston, USA. Eric released his first solo album, “Sawa Sawa”, while still
in school. It included the smash "Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo". He aspires to
one day open a world-class music studio in Kenya.
Gidi Gidi Maji Maji
Gidi Gidi Maji Maji (Joseph Ogidi and Jahd Adonijah)
are internationally recognized artists performing
around Africa and the United States. Their inaugural
performance at the Florida 2000 paved way for their
hit songs 'Ting Badi Malo' and 'Adhis Jiggy Jiggy'.
Their ‘Unbwogable’ hit single topped the local charts
in 2002 at the height of the election campaign that
year. The song was used by the National Rainbow
Coalition (NARC) as the party’s theme song.
First Female Rap Artist in Kenya
When one talks of Kenyan female rappers, Nazizi is one of the
first names that come to mind. Her big break came in 1999,
with the release of her debut single, ‘Ni Sawa Tu’. Nazizi joined
two other gifted artists, Wyre and Bamzigi to form a reggae
and hip-hop group called Necessary Noize. They released
their first album in 2001. Nazizi has been nominated and
won awards in the South African Music Awards, the Kora
Awards, and in the Chaguo La Teenie Awards and the
Kisima Awards, in Kenya. Currently, Nazizi is completing
her degree in Psychology.
David Mathenge whose stage name is Nameless is a
renowned performer and entertainer, who has won
numerous African and local music awards. Among his
popular songs are ‘Nina Noki’ and ‘Juju’. The Kora
Awards (South Africa) described him as ‘the epitome of
new age Kenyan music with his popularity spreading
throughout the country and beyond.’ It should be noted
that every song Nameless has ever released has
reached the top of popular Kenyan radio charts.
Nameless also has a Bachelor's degree in architecture.