Chelagat Mutai

Listen Philomena Chelagat Mutai still holds the record as the youngest female Member of Parliament (MP) in Kenya. At just 24 years old, Mutai trounced 11 other aspirants in the 1974 general elections to clinch the Eldoret North seat on a Kenya African National Union (KANU) ticket. This made her the youngest legislator and the […]

Betty Gikonyo – Top cardiologist with a heart for needy children

Listen Hailed as one of the foremost medical practitioners of our time, Betty Gikonyo’s story is a picture of determination and courage. She teamed up with colleagues to perform the first open-heart surgery in Kenya, creating hope for thousands of children, whose chances of survival were previously slim. Betty Gikonyo and her husband are the brains behind the Karen […]

Daphne Sheldrick – Naturalists abiding love for orphaned elephants

Listen An elephant hurled her on to rocks, crushing her bones; not only did she live to tell the tale but she has dedicated her life to rescuing, rehabilitating and reintegrating elephants and rhinos. A fourth-generation Kenya-born Briton, Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick adopted her first orphaned animal, a bushbuck, when she was only three years old. “My parents […]

Wangari Maathai – Saving the environment one tree at a time

Listen History was made in 2004 when Wangari Muta Maathai became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her “contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.” Her legacy lives on. Professor Wangari Muta Maathai was vocal about the plight of the Kenyan rural women, and championed their cause by planting trees, a connection no […]

Paula Kahumbu – One angry voice for endangered wildlife

Listen Known for being the fearless powerhouse behind the iconic “Hands off our Elephants!” campaign that builds awareness among local leaders and citizens to join hands in the fight against poaching, Paula Kahumbu is one of Kenya’s most influential conservationists. When President Daniel arap Moi set a 12-tonne pile of ivory on fire on Tuesday, […]

Margaret Mwangola

Listen In a quest to liberate as many women as possible from the gruelling task of trekking long distances to fetch water, Margaret Mwangola co-founded the Kenya Water for Health Organisation (KWAHO), bringing clean drinking water closer to homes. She knew that providing clean water would reduce waterborne diseases, and give women more time to […]

Jennifer Riria – Microfinancier whose mission is to transform women’s lives

Listen Dr. Jennifer Riria was the long serving chief executive officer of Kenya Women Finance Trust and now group CEO of Kenya Women Holdings. Through 27 years of leadership and still counting, she has transformed what was a failing women’s microfinance organisation into one of Africa’s leading microfinanciers, while changing the lives of numerous women […]

Jacinta Mwatela

Listen Jacinta Mwatela had an exceptional career as a banker. She worked at the Central Bank of Kenya from 1977 and ultimately rose to the rank of Deputy Governor in May 2005. She also served at the Kenya Tourism Board as acting chief executive officer. Throughout her career, Mwatela has been vocal and uncompromising on […]

Ingrid Munro

Listen After a career in housing, Ingrid Munro, a Swedish architect and urban planner, retired and founded Jamii Bora, a microfinance trust. A former UN-Habitat worker, Munro previously worked with the Swedish government in the Bureau of Housing Research before moving to Nairobi. As a housing expert with the United Nations, Munro pressed for decent […]