1st Edition

African Women and Intellectual Leadership Life Stories from Western Kenya

    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book highlights the pioneering roles of African women as leaders and role models in Kenya, providing examples taken from across education, health, business, and a range of other sectors. Drawing on authentic first-hand accounts and narratives from key women in leadership positions, and those who have lived with them, the book presents the life stories of women leaders over the last fifty years, aiming to preserve their contributions for posterity and to inspire young people with moral, ethical, and progressive role models. The book uses African knowledge production strategies that look at the human being holistically, in the prism of Ubuntu, in order to define leadership in Africa from an African perspective, one that celebrates the role of the mother figure and places women at the centre of African values and societal dynamics. This book will be of interest to researchers and students of African studies, gender studies, and Kenyan education and socio-political history.

    1. Kenyan women in the gendered educational arena: the case of Professor Julia Auma Ojiambo      

    Marciana Nafula Were

    2. Defining education, delimiting gender: Lessons from the life-story of Salome Nolega David

    Fibian Kavulani Lukalo

    3. Professor Miriam Khamadi Were: Pioneer Medical Educator and Health Researcher

    Humphrey J. Ojwang

    4. Professor Christine Mango: Pioneer Educationist, Environmentalist and Politician

    Anne Nang’unda Kukali

    5. Lady Justice Effie Owuor: Kenya’s First Female State Counsel, Magistrate, High Court Judge, and Court of Appeal Judge

    Maurice N. Amutabi and Amanda Majisu

    6. Professor Norah Khadzini Olembo - Pioneer Biotechnologist, Leading Academic and Researcher in Africa

    Beatrice N. Manyasi

    7. Dr. Mary Okelo: The Daughter of Canon Awori and Pioneer Founder of Private School

    David Wafula Yenjela

    8. Leading the Leaders: Professor Florida Amakobe Karani

    Emily Achieng’ Akuno

    9. Professor Mary Clasina Lutta-Mukhebi: Pioneer Educationist, Leading Linguist and University Administrator

    Linnet Hamasi and Michael Lutta-Mukhebi

    10. Dr. Jane Awinja Nandwa: The making of Kenya’s Founder of Oral Literature

    Jane Bwonya

    11. Reverend Sister Rita Itebete: the Making of a Great Teacher, School Administrator, Mentor and Role Model 

    Genevieve Mwayuli

    12. Priscilla Were: Pioneer Educationist and Longest Serving Principal of Bunyore Girls High School

    Grace Atemi Ondieki

    13. Professor Hellen Aswani Mwanzi: Lessons in Academic Excellence and Mentoring

    Linnet Hamasi and Maurice N. Amutabi

    14. Professor Shanyisa Anota Khasiani: Pioneer Scholar and Researcher in Population Studies         

    Maurice N. Amutabi

    15. Professor Teresa Akenga: The Petite Dark Girl who grew up to become a top Notch Administrator

    Egara Kabaji

    16. Professor Judy Wangalwa Wakhungu: Diplomat, Environmentalist, Academician

    Lucy Ann Achieng

    17. Professor Dame Magdalene Odundo AM (RCA): A Life in Clay

    Joy Akoth Mboya and Garnette Oluoch-Olunya

    18. Dr. Rachael Masake: The First Female Veterinary Surgeon in Kenya

    Linnet Hamasi

    19. Professor Joyce Muhenge Olenja: Spreading the Wings Abroad

    Emmy Kageha Igonya and Fredrick Atoh

    20. Alice Barasa Nabwera: The Making of a Successful Pioneer School Administrator

    Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi

    21. Professor Gladys Opinya: Kenya’s First Female Dental Surgeon

    Linnet Henry Hamasi and Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi

    22. The Life-Story of a great Nutrition Scholar: Professor Mary Khakoni Walingo

    Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi

    23. Professor Mabel Imbuga: Pioneer Educationist, Leading Researcher and Highly Successful University Administrator

    Maurice N Amutabi and Linnet Hamasi

    24. Honourable Professor Ruth Khasaya Barwa Oniang'o: The making of an Academic and Political Icon

    Pamela Akinyi Wadende and Linnet Hamasi



    Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi is Professor and Director for the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at the Technical University of Kenya (TUK), Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA as History Major and Minor in Political Science and Comparative Gender). He is the author of over 70 books, among them The NGO Factor in Africa: The Case of Arrested Development in Kenya (New York: Routledge, 2006) and Regime Change and Succession Politics in AfricaFive Decades of Misrule (by Maurice N. Amutabi and Shadrack Wanjala Nasongo -Routledge, 2015), and over 100 articles in refereed journals and edited books. Prof. Amutabi has previously served as DVC (Academics, Research and Students Affairs) at Kisii University and Vice Chancellor at Lukenya University, Kenya.

    Emily Achieng' Akuno is Vice Chancellor of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology. A Professor of Music she trained as a performer-educator at Kenyatta University in Kenya, Northwestern State University of Louisiana, USA and Kingston University in the UK. Her research interests veer towards cultural relevance in music education. A professor of music of the Technical University of Kenya, she is editor and contributing author of the 2019 published Music Education in Africa: Concept, Process and Practice as well as articles tackling issues around music and teacher education in cultural context. She is a former president of the International Music Council (IMC) and the International Society for Music Education (ISME) as well as founding chair of the Music Education Research Group – Kenya (MERG-Kenya).

    Humphrey Jeremiah Ojwang holds various visiting professor positions. He has previously worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies has donated a monograph to the Library Department.  He has served as the Thematic Unit Head overseeing the areas of Language, Culture, and Society at the Department. He is a member of the Kenya Museum Society as well as the East African Natural History Society (Nature Kenya). His areas of research focus are – Indigenous languages and knowledge systems, Ethnobotanical Terminology and Lexicography, as well as Linguistic Anthropology.


    Dannica Fleuss is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Future Media, Democracy & Society at Dublin City University (Ireland) and a research associate at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance (University of Canberra, Australia). She has been a research fellow and (senior) in political theory, empirical political science and political philosophy at Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg and Heidelberg University. She is a co-convenor of the PSA's Participatory and Deliberative Democracy Specialist Group, a co-convenor and an Associate Editor of the interdisciplinary Journal Democratic Theory. She was a visiting research fellow and lecturer at the University of Canberra (Australia), Westminster University (London, UK), the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), the University of Nairobi and the Technical University of Kenya (Kenya). Dannica holds a MA in philosophy and political science and a PhD in political science. Her published research, e.g. in Political Studies, Policy & Internet, Political or Political Geography and in her monograph Radical Proceduralism, focuses on theories of democratic legitimacy, deliberative democracy, environmental politics and attempts at decolonizing democratic theory.