Kenyan Woman Honoured By UK University After Being Disowned at Home

  • A collage image of Anne Wafula showcasing her honorary degree from the University of Essex in the UK on July 21, 2022.
    A collage image of Anne Wafula showcasing her honorary degree from the University of Essex in the UK on July 21, 2022.
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    Anne Wafula
  • Anne Wafula, a former teacher at the Machakos Technical College, has received an honorary degree from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.

    Wafula was recognised for her role in championing equality for the disabled in athletics through her participation in Paralympic competitions.

    In a statement dated Thursday, July 21, the UK institution stated that Wafula's story was inspiring bearing in mind that she had achieved remarkable milestones despite being disowned by her community in Bungoma county.

    Anne Wafula Strike Kenyan-born Athlete After Receiving an Award in 2014
    Anne Wafula Strike Kenyan-born Athlete After Receiving an Award in 2014
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    The Paralympic champion, born and raised in Bungoma county, lost her ability to walk as a young child after contracting polio.

    "Born in Kenya in 2004, she began her Olympic career by becoming the first wheelchair racer from Sub Sahara Africa to compete at the Paralympics in Athens.

    "In 2006, she became a British citizen and joined Team GB and in 2007, she was officially recognised by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace reception for her work as a disabled athlete and for involvement in charity work for people with disabilities," read the University's statement in part.

    On her part, the athlete expressed that the recognition would motivate people facing similar challenges.

    “To all of you graduating today, I never imagined that I could compete in the Paralympic games but I did. No matter what your dream is, pursue it. Hurdles may come in your way and it might be hard, but you have the world ahead of you and I encourage all of you to go out there and be the best you can be in whatever you choose to do.

    “I believe our lives end and we die when we stay silent about issues that affect society. As you all take your next steps in your careers, remember to be kind, be supportive, and think before you judge," she stated while receiving the award.

    Wafula added that her life changed when she acquired the British citizenship, noting that she got many opportunities in sports and her advocacy work.

    The Kenyan teacher's advocacy work in the UK has seen her receive several prestigious awards.

    In 2014, Wafula was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for championing for equality of the disabled.

    Additionally, she founded the Olympic-Wafula Foundation to propel some of her ideologies in promoting equality.

    Anne Wafula Strike Kenyan-born Athlete During a Photoshoot With For Anne Strike Organisation in 2019
    Anne Wafula Strike Kenyan-born Athlete During a Photoshoot With For Anne Strike Organisation in 2019
    Anne Strike Foundation
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