Top 100 Kenyans 2020

  • Top 100 Kenyans 2020
    We honor 100 Kenyans who have made a difference countrywide or in their small community; through headline-grabbing moves or silently working behind the scenes.
  • What a year this has been!

    From a global pandemic to the intriguing game of chess that is our politics, 2020 has been a year like no other.

    It is said that the toughest battles bring out the bravest soldiers. Well… this is exactly what happened in Kenya in 2020.

    This new normal pushed ordinary Kenyans to do extraordinary things; From programmes to feed the needy during the pandemic to health workers stationed at the battlefront against seemingly insurmountable odds.

    We at Kenyans choose to celebrate these everyday heroes. The Olungas and Majimbos of our era. People who have found a way to shine some light during Kenya’s darkest year. We honor heroes who have made a difference countrywide or in their small community; through headline-grabbing moves or silently working behind the scenes.

    These are the Top 100 Kenyans 2020.

    The glitz and glamour that comes with being a celebrity has been known to corrupt even the kindest of souls.

    This makes selfless acts by the likes of Michael Olunga and Lulu Hassan even more endearing to Kenyans. Not forgetting our very own Elsa Majimbo. Who would have thought eating crisps online makes Rihanna your bestie. Her infectious laughter has turned her into a global superstar.

    In governance, the Covid-19 pandemic that hit our nation has brought to the forefront leaders that were hitherto unknown. 

    Ministry of Health officials were thrust into the public limelight by the pandemic. Notably, Dr. Patrick Amoth, the Acting Director General at the Ministry of Health, who CS Mutahi Kagwe counted on to break down the technical dynamics of the virus, was this year named the Vice President of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO).

    In enters the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji. One cannot count in one hand alone the number of high-profile cases that the DPP has successfully prosecuted.  Most of these have been long winding corruption cases.  

    Titans in the field of education were not to be left behind. 

    During a year that saw schools closed across the board, some exceptional characters stepped up to the plate to ensure Kenya’s future generation weathered the storm.

    A good example is Wawira Njiru. Through her ‘Food 4 Education’ program, thousands of disadvantaged kids received care packages across the country.

    Kenyan celebrated writer and activist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o also had a memorable 2020. He was awarded the 31st Catalonia International Prize by the Catalan government for his distinguished and courageous literary work and his defense of the African language.

    Teachers from all over the country took up the challenge of taking their craft online to ensure students were up to date with the essentials. For that, we salute the entire teaching fraternity.

    In a bid to help cushion the country from the harsh economic effects of the pandemic, Kenya’s business community rallied together.

    With millions of Kenyans laid off during this extraordinary year, several successful corporate titans stepped in.

    Dr. James Mwangi, the Group CEO and MD of Equity Group and his family set the pace with a Ksh 300 million donation towards combating the adverse impact of the deadly virus.

    Lastly, but definitely not least...Kenyans.co.ke stands up in collective applause for our brave health workers.

    Words could never do justice to the sacrifices this group of devoted professionals have made.

    Ever since Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced the first Covid-19 case in the country, this group of men and women were christened soldiers.

    Posted on the very frontlines and armed with nothing but PPE kits, Kenya’s health workers have taken it upon themselves to save lives at all costs.

    At times, as is the case at the frontlines of any war, the going has been extremely rough. Some have contracted the virus others… sadly… have fallen along the way.

    However, the troops refused to throw in the towel. Over 52,000 recoveries is a testament to the extraordinary actions of our health workers.

    The words of a popular American movie best captures the spirit of the country’s bravest soldiers.

    ‘We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive!’

    Presenting...Top 100 Kenyans 2020.

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Top 100 Kenyans 2020

  • Alfred Mutua
    Dr. Alfred Nganga Mutua is serving his second and final term as the Governor of Machakos County. He was reelected during the 2017 general elections on a Maendeleo Chap Chap Party… Read more
  • Ali Hasan Joho Mombasa Governor
    Ali Hassan Joho is the current Governor of Mombasa County and the Orange Democratic Party deputy leader. He is serving his second and final 5-year term as governor of the coastal… Read more
  • Charity Ngilu
    Charity Kaluki Ngilu is a politician and the current Kitui County Governor, one of the three women governors that were elected as governors in the 2017 General Election. Ngilu’s… Read more
  • Baringo Senator Gideon Moi
    Gideon Kipsiele Moi is the Senator for Baringo County and the Chairman of the independence Party – Kanu. He is the last born child of Kenya's second President Daniel arap Moi.… Read more
  • Senator Johnson Sakaja
    Johnson Sakaja is the current Senator of Nairobi County, following his election to the position on August 8, 2017, General Election. His political journey started in his days as a… Read more
  • Kipchumba Murkomen
    Onesmus Kipchumba Murkomen is the Senator for Elgeyo Marakwet. He is also the immediate Senate Majority Leader as well as a close confidant, ally, and advisor to Deputy President… Read more
  • Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana
    Kivutha Kibwana is the Governor of Makueni county. He boasts a law degree from Harvard University, George Washington University and the University of London.   Kibwana became a… Read more
  • Narok Senator Ledama Olekina
    Ledama Olekina is the Senator of Narok County. He studied political sciences and English communication at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Fort Lewis College in Durango… Read more
  • Mutula Kilonzo Jnr
    Mutula Kilonzo Jnr is the current Senator for Makueni County. He is a professional lawyer and a certified public secretary. He serves as an advocate of the High Court of Kenya -… Read more
  • Senator Susan Kihika
    Susan Kihika is the Senator for Nakuru County serving her first term following her election in 2017. Kihika is also the president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Bureau of Women… Read more

Education

  • Abdikadir Ismail is the Principal of Mwangaza Muslim Mixed Day Secondary School, Kenya. Ismail's drive and determination as a teacher has seen him stand out from his peers and… Read More
  • Akelo Misori is the current Secretary-General for the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET).  He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Religious… Read More
  • Benson Edagwa, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), Omaha. His long list of… Read More
  • Dr. Mbogo graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cape Town in December 2015. Her research focuses on supporting learners from resource-constrained… Read More
  • Dr. Ruto is the Chairperson of Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Council. She was appointed to the position on October 16, 2019. Her areas of specialisation are… Read More
  • She is also one of those doctors who were cast into the limelight following the global pandemic. Gracing multiple TV stations to share her expert insights. Dr. Loice Achieng… Read More
  • Dr. Lutomiah has over 40 years of research experience. He's an expert in parasitology, entomology, pandemic influenza, & arbovirology.  He's written dozens of scientific… Read More
  • Ngugi wa Thiong'o is a Kenyan writer and academic who writes primarily in Gikuyu. His work includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social… Read More
  • Prof Mungai Mutonya is a Teaching Professor of African and African American Studies, Department of African and African American Studies, Washington University in St. Louis since… Read More

Religious

  • Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar is a bold defender of the rights of Muslims across the country.  In 2019, Muhdhar was at the forefront of condemning the Supreme court ruling which had… Read More
  • Muriithi Wanjau, or Pastor M, as he is popularly known, is the senior pastor of Mavuno Church, a movement of churches based in Nairobi, Kenya, with a presence in 10 different… Read More
  • Pastor Rose Rugendo runs the Taita Taveta Christian Treatment & Rehabilitation Centre in Voi Town. Her work made headlines in July 2020 when she donated her home to shelter… Read More

Government

  • Amina Mohamed is the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Culture and Heritage, a position she has held since March 2019. Amina, 59, has had an illustrious career in both the diplomatic… Read More
  • Ringera is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Higher Educations Loans Board (HELB). He is a veteran banker with over 20 years of experience that cuts across regulatory and… Read More
  • Currently practicing as a general practitioner at the Coast General Hospital in Mombasa County, Dr. Chibanzi graduated from Moi University College with a Bachelor’s degree in… Read More
  • Dr. Fred Okengo Matiang’i is the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Security. In 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta, through an executive… Read More
  • George Maingi Kinoti is the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Kenya. He has vast experience in security matters, having graduated with a Bachelors in Sociology in 1992. He… Read More
  • George Magoha is the current Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Education.  Born in 1952, Magoha is a Kenyan consultant surgeon, academic administrator, and technocrat of good… Read More
  • Hillary Mutyambai is the country’s Inspector General of Police (IG). He is a trained police officer whose stellar career in the police service saw him rise from a junior officer… Read More
  • James Githii Mburu is the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner-General, a position he was appointed to in 2019. He took over the post after the retirement of current KRA… Read More
  • Joe Mucheru is the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication having been appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015. The soft-spoken CS studied at… Read More
  • Joseph Kinyua is the Head of Public Service. He is one of Kenya’s oldest civil servants having been appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta when he ascended to power in 2013. Kinyua… Read More
  • Karanja KIbicho is the Principal Secretary, State Department for Interior. He holds a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, a Masters… Read More
  • Mercy Mwangangi is the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Health ministry. She is a trained medical doctor having graduated from the University of Nairobi in 2009 with a… Read More
  • Mohammed Badi is the current Director General of the newly-formed Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS). Badi has been tasked with the responsibility of transforming Nairobi city.… Read More
  • Mutahi Kagwe is the current Cabinet Secretary for Health. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Insurance) degree from the University of Nairobi and an MBA from the United States… Read More
  • Hon Najib Balala is the current Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. Balala studied Business Administration and International Urban Management and Leadership from… Read More
  • Nancy Njeri Macharia is the Chief Executive Officer of the Teachers Service Commission. She took over the mantle at the commission back in 2015 for her first term. Macharia was… Read More
  • Noordin Haji is the current Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). He holds an LLB Degree and LLM from University of Wales, Cardiff and a Masters Degree in National Security… Read More
  • He is the current Chief of Staff and Head of the Presidential Delivery Unit, a position he has held since 2018. He is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Certified Public… Read More
  • The Director-General in the Ministry of Health came into the limelight following the Covid-19 pandemic. He quickly became a permanent feature in the war against Covid-19. While… Read More
  • Born in 1961, Patrick Ngugi Njoroge is an economist, banker and the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya from June 2015 to date. He attended Mangu High School from 1973 until… Read More
  • Twalib Mbarak is the CEO of the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission since January 2019.  Born in Kilifi, Mbarak served as a platoon commander of Kenya Rifles from 1985 to 1988… Read More
  • Ukur Yatani is the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and former CS for Labour and Social Protection. Born in Forole, North Horr sub-county in 1967, Yatani was a stellar… Read More
  • Zack Kinuthia is the current Chief Administrative Officer in the Ministry of Education. Kinuthia’s appointment in 2020 makes him the youngest individual serving in the position.… Read More

Entertainment

  • Azziad Nasenya is a 19-year-old online content creator who became an internet sensation in 2020.  She is currently a second-year college student at the Kenya Institute of Mass… Read More
  • Bien is a vocalist, songwriter, guitarist and a band member of soul group Sauti Sol.  He studied Journalism and Media Studies at the United States International University(USIU)… Read More
  • The teen sensation broke into the limelight during the Covid-19 pandemic after her monologues went viral around the world.  Her satirical monologues usually feature her crunching… Read More
  • Known by his stage name, Flaqo, Otieno is famous for his comic videos shared on his social media pages.  The multi-talented artist graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Public… Read More
  • Esther Akoth, aka Akothee, is a singer and a businesswoman who is famous for her afro-beat songs. The 37-year-old musician has used her Akothee Foundation to improve the… Read More
  • Kennedy Ombima is a Kenyan musician better known by his stage names King Kaka and Rabbit. Apart from his successful music career, Kaka is also a businessman who has used his music… Read More
  • Mbithi Masya is a director, filmmaker, writer and artist of no mean repute in the Kenyan advertisement space. He previously worked as agency art director, a role he ditched to… Read More
  • He is popularly known as Njugush among Kenyans - a name that has seen him rise to stardom in the entertainment industry playing various characters on different fields. Njugush has… Read More
  • Tanasha Donna Oketch is a musician, entrepreneur, and a former NRG Radio presenter.  The Kenyan-Italian artiste developed her career in modeling in Belgium where she once… Read More
  • The lead protagonist in Citizen TV's drama series Maria, Yasmin Said acts as an assuming rough around the edges girl from the slums who was taken to live with a wealthy family.… Read More

NGO

  • Boniface Mwangi is an activist, photographer and politician. He is the founder of Ukweli Party and Pawa 254, a social hub for artists and activists in the Human Rights space.… Read More
  • Dr. David Ndii is an acclaimed economist, author and strategist. He has advised multilateral lenders, financial institutions, presidents and political parties in the areas of… Read More
  • Francis Atwoli is the Secretary-General of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), a position he has held since 2001. The career trade unionist has served in different… Read More
  • Lizz Ntonjira is the Global Communication Director at the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF). She is a strategic communications specialist and has vast experience… Read More
  • Mutahi Ngunyi is a renowned political scientist in Kenya. His main competence areas include strategic reviews, policy research, evaluations, and short-term studies.  Arguably one… Read More
  • Ojiambo is the CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, a position she was appointed to on June 17, 2020, by the United Nations Secretary-General António… Read More
  • Wawira Njiru is a Kenyan businesswoman, entrepreneur, human nutritionist, and philanthropist, who serves as the executive director of Food 4 Education, an organization that cooks… Read More

Sports

  • The Classic 105 presenter is one of the most adored radio personalities in Kenya.  She previously served as the head of news at Kiss FM for 14 years and was the East Africa… Read More
  • Eliud Kipchoge is the world record holder in the 42 km marathon with a time of 2:01:39, set on September 16, 2018, at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. At the age of eighteen, he became… Read More
  • Obiri is a Kenyan middle-distance runner and world 5000 metres champion. She won gold in the 2017 World Championships in London and defended her title at the 2019 World… Read More
  • Michael Olunga is a Kenyan professional footballer who plays for Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol and the Kenya national team, Harambee Stars. Popularly known as ‘Engineer’, Olunga’s… Read More

Business

  • Dr. Adeya serves as the Director of Research at the World Wide Web Foundation. She has over 20 years of experience working in technology and development with rich experience… Read More
  • Dr. Gideon Maina Muriuki, MBS, is the Group Managing Director & CEO, Executive Director, Member of the Board of Management of The Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited. He was… Read More
  • Dr James Mwangi is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Equity Bank, the largest bank (by customer base) in East Africa with more than seven million customers… Read More
  • Jane W. Karuku was appointed the Kenya Breweries Limited Managing Director in September 2013. Before KBL, she was the President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA… Read More
  • Joshua Oigara is the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), the biggest bank by asset base. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of… Read More
  • Mugo Kibati is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the country's third-largest telecommunication company, Telkom Kenya. He is also the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project (LTWP)… Read More
  • Dr. Narendra Raval is the founder and chairman of Devki Group, a regional manufacturing conglomerate with steel, cement and roofing sheet factories. In March 2019, President Uhuru… Read More
  • Tech-savvy lawyer and activist Ory Okolloh Mwangi combines her skills and passion to increase government transparency and accountability. She is known as the “Kenyan pundit” for… Read More
  • Peter Ndegwa is the Safaricom CEO, a position he has occupied since April 1, 2020, following the demise of Bob Collymore in 2019. Ndegwa was previously the Europe Continental… Read More
  • Rita Kavashe is the Managing Director, Isuzu East Africa. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Moi University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the… Read More
  • Mulinge is the Chief Customer Officer at Safaricom PLC. She leads Safaricom's customer focus through leadership of the Consumer Business, Sales Operations, Customer Care Service,… Read More

Legal

  • David Kenani Maraga is the Chief Justice and the President of the Supreme Court of Kenya a position he has occupied since October 2016. The trained lawyer joined the judiciary as… Read More
  • Douglas Ogoti is the Chief Magistrate at the special purpose anti-corruption court in Milimani, Nairobi. Ogoti previously worked at the Office of the Director of Public… Read More
  • Mumbi Ngugi is a judge of the High Court of Kenya and co-founder of the Albinism Foundation for East Africa. Mumbi was appointed a High Court judge in 2011.  In 2019, in a year… Read More
  • Nelson Havi is the current President of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK). He studied law at the University of Nairobi and is an advocate and the Senior founding partner of Havi… Read More
  • Human Rights Activist, Okiya Omtatah Okoiti, is not a  lawyer by profession, but many see him as the country’s public defender due to the number of cases he has filed in the… Read More

Media

  • Okari is the Special Projects Editor at Nation Media Group. He also serves as the media house’s senior investigative and crime reporter as well as being a prime time news anchor… Read More
  • Jalang’o is an emcee, radio presenter, vlogger and businessman. The Kiss FM presenter is an alumnus of Daystar University.  He has also worked at Hot 96, Radio Maisha and Milele… Read More
  • NTV’s Idah Waringa is a multimedia sports journalist, events moderator and social media marketer.  She is an alumnus of the United States International University (USIU) and holds… Read More
  • She is the Managing Editor at Citizen TV. She previously managed the Programming and Content Development division at Nation Media Group and also served as News Editor, News Anchor… Read More
  • Koinange is a Kenyan journalist and host of Jeff Koinange Live talk show on Citizen TV.   He previously served as the Africa correspondent for CNN from 2001 to 2007, and later as… Read More
  • The media practitioner has had a 20-year-stellar career at various TV stations in the country. He holds an MSc in Environmental Governance from the University of Manchester, a… Read More
  • Linus Kaikai is currently the Director of Strategy and Innovation at Citizen TV and also the Chairman of the Kenya Editors Guild KEG. Kaikai holds a Master's degree in… Read More
  • Lulu Hassan is a leading Kenyan television news anchor and reporter with Citizen TV.  She hosts Citizen Nipashe and Wikendi news bulletins in Swahili alongside her husband Rashid… Read More
  • Dr. Mercy Korir is a Health and Science journalist at the Standard Media Group. Korir has a Bachelor's Degree in Medicine and Surgery, and a Master of Arts in Communication… Read More
  • He is the Nation Media Group's Editorial Director. Mutuma holds a Bachelor's degree (BA) from Egerton University, a post graduate diploma in Mass Communication from the University… Read More
  • Orlando Lyomu is the Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director at The Standard Group PLC. He graduated from the University of Nairobi and holds an MBA from Strathmore… Read More
  • Victoria Rubadiri is Citizen TV News Anchor whose career in media started in the US working as an intern for an international TV station.  Upon moving back to Kenya, she joined… Read More
  • The celebrated radio presenter at Citizen Radio has been known to set the pace when it comes to wowing the audience with his eloquence. This has made him resonate well with… Read More
  • Wachira Waruru is the Group Managing Director of Royal Media Services which owns Citizen TV, Inooro TV and 12 other radio stations. Waruru has been the Managing Director since… Read More
  • Yvonne Okwara is a renowned media personality whose media career spans over a decade. She is currently a Senior News anchor at Citizen TV.  Her journey began at Kenya Broadcasting… Read More