Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Famous People - Kenya

Before i write anything, i would like to express my gratitude to Diego for inviting me to join such a lovely project, I mean when i read the invitation email, i was left speechless. Iam proud to be part of this project and looking forward to contribute as much as i can for this project.

I have chosen the following people as the famous people of my country because the feats they have achieved has placed Kenya on the world map. When we talk about Kenya, people will firstly think of Safari (which is a swahili word meaning adventure) and athletics. When i think of Kenya, i think of excellent coffee :p

Jomo Kenyatta (First President)

Jomo Kenyatta was born at Ng'enda in the Gatundu Division of Kiambu in the year 1889. His brilliance gave strength and aspiration to people beyond the boundaries of Kenya, indeed beyond the shores of Africa. Just as one light shines in total darkness and provides a rallying point, so did Kenyatta become the focus of the freedom fight for Kenya over half a century to dispel the darkness and injustice of colonialism. On December 12, 1964, Kenya became a Republic within the Commonwealth, with Kenyatta, as the President. And with that he also became one of the most famous people from Kenya.

Wangari Maathai (Noble Prize Winner)

Her name is Prof. Wangari Maathai and she is a Kenya Environmentalist and Human Rights Activist. Wangari Maathai is the first African woman to receive the very prestigious Nobel Peace Prize of 2004. Known both as pioneering academic and environmental campaigner, Maathai has fought tirelessly, even against oppressive regime, to ensure a sustainable environment and better quality for women and the citizen of Kenya. "I would like to call on young people, in particular, to take inspiration from this prize. Despite all the constraints that they face, there is hope in the future in serving the common good. What my experiences have taught me is that service to others has its own special rewards." —Prof. Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

Ngugi wa Thiong'o (writer, playwright, journalist and lecturer)

As a writer, playwright, journalist and lecturer Ngugi wa Thiong'o has been widely regarded as East Africa's most influential writer. His criticism of colonial rule, Christianity and post colonial abuses earned him as much admiration from the public as trouble from Kenya's authorities. Ngugi, as he is usually known, belongs to Kenya's largest ethnic group, the Kikuyu’s. Ngugi burst onto the literary scene in East Africa with the performance of his first major play, The Black Hermit, at the National Theatre in Kampala, Uganda, in 1962. In a highly productive literary period, Ngugi published and wrote stories, plays, novels, and a Sunday newspaper column. His most famous novels are Weep Not Child (1964), The River Between (1965) the Grain of Wheat (1967) and Petals of Blood (1977).

Kipchoge Keino (Athlete)

Kip Keino, an uncoached Nandi tribesman, was already 28 years old when he made his second Olympic appearance at the 1968 Mexico City Games. Suffering from violent stomach pains caused by a gall bladder infection, Keino entered the 10,000m. He was running with the leaders when, with two laps to go, he doubled up with pain and fell onto the infield. He jumped back up and finished the race, but he was disqualified for leaving the track. Four days later, he earned a silver medal in the 5,000m, trailing Mohamed Gammoudi of Tunisia by barely a metre. In the 1,500m, Keino tried to neutralize the finishing kick of the favourite, Jim Ryun, by building up a huge lead. His tactic worked and he won by 20m, the largest margin of victory in the history of the event. In 1972, Keino entered the steeplechase even though he had little experience in the event. Still, he was able to outkick teammate Ben Jipcho and win another gold medal. Six days after this victory, he added a silver medal in the 1,500m. Keino and his wife, Phyllis, eventually established a childrens' home and school for orphaned and abandoned children.

Catherine Ndereba (Athlete)

Catherine Ndereba was born July 31, 1972 in Kenya and has become one of the best female Marathon runners in the world. She set a world record of 2:18:47, winning the Chicago Marathon on October 7, 2001.
A couple of hours after Catherine set the marathon world record, a formal press conference concluded and reporters clustered around her, hoping for one extra personal glimpse. One asked what she says to people back home who disapprove of her spending time away from her husband and daughter to compete. "I tell them if I have nothing to sacrifice, I have nothing to gain," Catherine said.
She went ahead and won the silver medal for the Kenyan team at the 2004 Olympics in Greece.

Though now i stay and work in Malaysia, my heart is always back in Kenya. What saddens me the most is reading all the political news from back home. Everyday it is the same case of politicians arguing with each other. Their arguments have started giving Kenya a bad name.


Anonymous Irene said...

Oh WOW! Hi Munak, you are now living in Malaysia. I'm sure you heard of those that I had posted :P well as least the Bond Girl. Hmmm... and also Amber Chia since you can see her everywhere on the street and TV.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Munak said...

irene: yeah i know all those that you have mentioned and met them in person especially michelle yeoh, amber chia and nicole david.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog helped me alot with my reseach

7:27 AM  
Blogger athenfiniest said...

Oh wow Munak! i like what i read. do you still stay in Malaysia? is it fun down there. i wish i could come and see hao fun it is. i know this is off subject. it's not about what you wrote. well, that's all i got to say right now.

4:50 PM  

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