Every year, Kenyans.co.ke releases the highly anticipated list of Top 100 Kenyans who stood out and disrupted the status quo countrywide, during the period under review - between January and December.
The journalists step back to observe the honourees’ individual contributions to the collective Kenyan society in spite of the challenges rocking the country.
From a continually spiking economy, a relentless drought that has seen over 5.1 million individuals lack food and a heated election season that pushed businesses to the edge, a team of 100 Kenyans gritted their teeth and made a difference in 2022.
In honour of the disruptors, Kenyans.co.ke combed through a pool of worthy contenders to create a lean list of 100 individuals who truly stood out.
You may be wondering what makes an individual influential enough to be featured on Kenyans.co.ke list of Top 100 Kenyans?
“This Top 100 Kenyans list literally depicts the people we feel, in that particular year, carried the day and were a great representation of who we are as Kenyans.
“Their notable achievements create an impact above and beyond,” stated Edwin Kuria, Top 100 Kenyans Project Manager.
Kuria noted that at the beginning, nearly 500 individuals were nominated to the list (later narrowed to about 170 individuals) and taken through a rigorous vetting process by a designated Vetting Committee - comprising six individuals hived off of the broader team.
In this fifth anniversary issue of the annual list (since the official ranking kicked off in 2017), moguls get to interact with politicians, power brokers, artists, kingmakers, journalists and athletes who broke records as well as comedians.
"We came up with the list through a very elaborate process. It is not a one person thing, it is a whole team that comes together.
The team narrows down as we get towards the end of the list because in the beginning, we involve a sample selection of many people to give nominations in different categories of the people they feel have had a profound impact in their sector, and enjoy a certain level of notable experience that actually shows a consistent path. So it is not just one hit wonders.
"We have a vetting committee. Part of the vetting committee has to go through each and every category and name on that list and vet them against certain parameters. All these have to be within recent years.
“We are cognisant of the fact that there are people who have made progress but perhaps their impact has been surpassed by several other people in that industry,” Kuria explained.
Kenyans on the list were recognised for invention and innovation, championing equality or using a platform to inspire others and making their vision, both for the present and the distant future, apparent.
Global activist Elizabeth Wathuti, who once inspired President Joe Biden, the leader of the free world, to defy his own security detail for the sake of the planet’s future, has continued to push for a greener planet.
Not just in Kenya but in as far places as Germany where a wind energy site is on the brink of destruction to pave way for a coal plant.
Eliud Kipchoge, who is not just a national icon but a global idol, let his humble demeanor shine through and is much interested in seeing the young generation thrive.
Wafula Chebukati, against the sinister forces of the political underworld, ran a peaceful election and delivered a President. Head of state, William Ruto, termed him a national hero.
Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, against the forces of Kenyan political nature, gracefully handed over power while Rachel Ruto, a new school First Lady, positioned herself as a force of nature championing for environmental wokeness.
Citizen TV anchor, Yvonne Okwara, in the year under review, stood out for standing up and questioning the power during the Presidential debate while Comedian Mammito, who broke a record after garnering 1 million Instagram followers, continued to innovate and elevate Kenya’s comedic scene.
"All the parameters that we have are in and around something recent. There is impact, consistency, what experience do they have?, what kind of policy influence have they enacted, triggered or participated in?, milestones (including awards). That still didn't give us a list of 100 even after doing the vetting. We must have settled at around 170,” Kuria clarified.
“The sports section was my standout,” he added.
Here is a list of Top 100 Kenyans 2022 as compiled by Kenyans.co.ke: