Top 100 Kenyans 2023: The Full List

Top 100 Kenyans
Top 100 Kenyans

Just a year after the current regime took over the instruments of power, a majority of Kenyans are experiencing economic pressure resulting from a battered economy, extreme weather conditions as well as a stretched shilling against the dollar. 

In the eye of the despair, however, a number of Kenyans, 100 to be exact, stood out by influencing change in their sectors. They ranged from climate change warriors to multiple record-breaking athletes and next-door hard workers who pushed the needle forward in noble professions such as teaching and nursing.

Since the inaugural ranking of the Top 100 Kenyans list in 2017, has endeavored to honour the community of leaders who inspire change yearly. This year, Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki proved that the war against bandits that have, for decades, displaced thousands of Kenyans can be a strategic and winnable affair.

Second Lady Rigathi Gachagua, who led a trailblazing class of 36 women on the list, has stood out as a motherly figure with the vigor of helping the boy child reclaim his power in subduing substance addiction while promoting the creation of a healthy working nation. A much-needed push.

Athlete Faith Kipyegon, a gem in her own right, achieved the rare feat of breaking two world records in the same week and helped unlock a funding programme from the government, the kind that athletes had longed for decades. It was through her performance on the world stage that President William Ruto promised to reward future record-breaking athletes with a cash prize of Ksh5 million.

Lulu Hassan a beloved face on Citizen TV, has emerged as an important voice of her generation not just in the news business but also in the scripted shows industry where her series tackle societal issues while employing talented individuals. Adelle Onyango, another standalone voice, helps amplify the stories of the underprivileged through her Legally Clueless podcast which has attracted an international audience and accorded her access to rooms where she stands toe-to-toe with world leaders.

After enduring a four-decade drought, more than half of the counties in Kenya found themselves battling floods. As a result, the team combed through the murky waters to highlight individuals working to make a difference for the thousands that were affected.

Wanjira Mathai has continued carrying on her mother Wangari Mathai’s legacy by championing causes aimed at reversing the effects of climate change. This year, she was part of a team that received part of Ksh3.3 billion from Billionaire Jeff Bezos for carbon sequestration (storing carbon in a carbon pool), biodiversity, and human well-being in the Rift Valley.

Elizabeth Wathuti, an equally beloved environmental activist, has been honoured globally including in this year’s Time 100 Most Influential People globally but she refuses to let success derail her environmental goal. She has led protests in Germany and attracted the attention of the leader of the free world, Joe Biden.

Top 100 Kenyans
A section of notable Kenyans who made it to the Top 100 Kenyans 2023.

So, How Was  Top 100 Kenyans 2023 Compiled?

Spearheaded by the project’s lead Edwin Kuria, a team of at least six individuals controlled the project that included the input of’s workforce, with the initial list of nominees topping above 400 potential candidates.

“This year proved remarkably difficult during the vetting process as we had so many exceptional Kenyans who displayed a myriad of innovative ways which were not only transformational and impactful but showed evidence of attaining sustainable solutions,” Kuria remarked.

Through parameters that measured an individual’s impact to society, whether local or abroad, the number of nominees progressively narrowed to less than 150 over the last few months before resulting in a lean least of just 100 (who are not ranked).

In the latest list, politicians (who made the least number of entries) appeared alongside teachers, power brokers, climate change activists, captains of industry, doctors as well as scientists.

“It has been greatly fulfilling to see several new entrants into the list and especially in categories such as community development that we don’t often get to hear or read about. I Love that about the Kenyan spirit,” he added.

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.

Here is a list of Top 100 Kenyans 2023 as compiled by

  • 1

    Bien-Aime Baraza

    After close to two decades of bossing the Kenyan music industry, popular Afropop boyband Sauti Sol… more
  • 2

    Ababu Namwamba

    Ababu Namwamba is the current Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Creative Economy… more
  • 3

    Abel Mutua

    Popularly known by his self-styled title Mkurugenzi,  Abel Mutua is a filmmaker,… more
  • 4

    Adelle Onyango

    Adelle Onyango is a renowned media personality, who shot up to prominence following a stellar… more
  • 5

    Aldrine Kibet

    Aldrine Kibet is a 17-year-old footballer whose career took off this year. Kibet shined in the… more
  • 6

    Anthony Githinji

    Anthony Githinji is the founder of Semiconductors Technologies Limited (STL) which is steering… more
  • 7

    Babu Owino

    Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino, the current MP for Embakasi East constituency is one of the youngest… more
  • 8

    Blessed Njugush

    Putting a smile on people's faces is not as easy as it seems. It becomes an even more challenging… more
  • 9

    Boni Khalwale

    Popularly known as the bullfighter to represent his attachment to Western Kenya traditions, Boni… more
  • 10


    Bowen is a Grade 6 student at Techlit Africa - an organisation that imparts digital skills to… more
  • 11

    Brian Ole Karbolo

    Brian is a nurse at the Garissa Referral Hospital. He is a medical practitioner who values humanity… more
  • 12

    Caleb Karuga

    Caleb Karuga is the textbook definition of resilience, epitomising the saying that whatever happens… more
  • 13

    Carlos Mureithi

      Carlos Mureithi is a journalist working as the Africa Climate & Environment… more
  • 14

    Charlene Ruto

    Charlene Ruto is the third-born daughter of President William Ruto. She is a fierce advocate for… more
  • 15

    Christine Mawia Sammy

    Christine Mawia Sammy is a Kenyan nurse with 27 years of experience. She currently works at Kitui… more
  • 16

    Crazy Kennar

    Kennedy Odhiambo, widely known as Crazy Kennar, is arguably the best digital comedy content creator… more
  • 17

    Crystal Asige

    Crystal Asige is a Nominated Senator and singer who is known for her music and for advocating for… more
  • 18

    Daniel Wanyonyi

    Daniel is a Kenyan heavyweight boxing champion. The former African Boxing Union (ABU) champion came… more
  • 19

    Dennis Ombachi

    There are very few prominent professionals in Kenya who have had a seamless switch of careers like… more
  • 20

    Dorcas Rigathi

    Dorcas Rigathi is the Second Lady of the Republic of Kenya.  Pastor Rigathi is an advocate for… more
  • 21

    Dr. Paulyne Wairimu

    Dr. Paulyne Wairimu is a Kenyan doctor with an outstanding global footprint and notable… more
  • 22

    Eddie Butita

    Eddie Butita is a Kenyan comedian, content creator, and film producer whose humour and comic nature… more
  • 23

    Edwin Sifuna

    Edwin Sifuna is a Nairobi-based lawyer who is the current Nairobi Senator.  The firebrand… more
  • 24

    Elijah Kanyi

    Elijah Kanyi is a camera operator and a journalist working with Africa Uncensored. The seasoned… more
  • 25

    Eliud Kipchoge

    Described in the world of athletics as the greatest marathoner of all time, Kipchoge has won in all… more
  • 26

    Elizabeth Wathuti

    In September 2023, Elizabeth Wathuti, a 28-year-old climate activist, became the winner of the… more
  • 27

    Emmanuel Wanyonyi

    Born in 2004, Emmanuel Wanyonyi is one of the fastest-rising athletes in the country. … more
  • 28

    Eric Gitari

    Eric Gitari is a former Executive Director at the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission… more
  • 29

    Eric Latiff

    Eric Latiff, a journalist and radio talk show host at Spice FM, owned by the Standard Media Group,… more
  • 30

    Eric Ngige

    Eric Ngige is a renowned Kenyan esports gamer. The 23-year-old is Kenya’s Fifa 23 esports champion… more
  • 31

    Eric Omondi

    Eric Omondi, is a comedian and event emcee. He gained prominence in 2008 as one of the featured… more
  • 32

    Esther Kazungu

    In the current digital world, creativity is a currency.  Esther Kazungu, a former video… more
  • 33

    Evaline Kibuchi

    Evaline Kibuchi is a global Tuberculosis (TB) advocate who has been at the forefront of TB advocacy… more
  • 34

    Evans Chebet

    Imagine beating the greatest marathoner of all time. That’s what Evans Chebet did in April winning… more
  • 35

    Faith Kipyegon

    Faith Kipyegon is a three-time world record holder who is poised to become one of the best female… more
  • 36

    Ferdinand Omanyala

    Ferdinand Omanyala is a Kenyan athlete who enjoys the privilege of being recognised as Africa’s… more
  • 37

    Gideon Muriuki

    Dr Gideon Muriuki is the Group Managing Director and the Chief Executive Officer of Co-operative… more
  • 38

    Gladys Wanga

    The term "strength of a woman" is often thrown around, but for Gladys Wanga, the phrase fits like a… more
  • 39

    Hanifa Farsafi

    Hanifa Farsafi is an influencer primarily on the social media platform X, an activist and a social… more
  • 40

    Hasmukh Patel

    Hasmukh Patel is an accomplished industrialist and a philanthropist. Patel is the founder of one of… more
  • 41

    Hellen Obiri

    Hellen Onsando Obiri is a middle and long-distance athlete.  She is one of the most decorated… more
  • 42

    Hudson Alakonya

    Hudson is an oncologist and an accomplished medical practitioner with a  PhD in oncology… more
  • 43

    Hussein Mohamed

    Hussein Mohammed, the State House Spokesperson, became a household name during a stellar career as… more
  • 44

    James Smart

    James Smart is the Managing Editor, Newsroom Production and Podcast Editor at the Nation Media… more
  • 45

    Jane Karuku

    Jane Karuku is a captain of industry and a business leader with over 20 years of experience in… more
  • 46

    John Allan Namu

    If you ask any Kenyan to name the top 5 investigative journalists of all time, chances are John… more
  • 47

    John Chweya

    John Chweya is an environmental champion and an advocate for waste picking. He currently serves as… more
  • 48

    Johnson Sakaja

    In the buildup to the 2022 election, current Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja was billed as the next… more
  • 49

    Joshua Kipchumba Chepkwony

    Joshua Chepkwony alias CK Joshua is the founder of Kass Media Group, which runs Kass Television and… more
  • 50

    Joyce Bensuda

    Joyce Atieno Osogo alias Bensuda is the Woman Representative for Homa Bay County. She is one of the… more
  • 51

    Kariuki Ngari

    Kariuki Ngari is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, a position he… more
  • 52

    Kate Actress

    Catherine Kamau Karanja popularly known by her stage name, Kate Actress is an award-winning actor… more
  • 53

    Kawira Mwangaza

    No one made headlines in 2023 more than Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza. From failed impeachment… more
  • 54

    Kelvin Kiptum

    2023 was quite the year for Kelvin Kiptum. The 23-year-old marathoner became the first man to break… more
  • 55

    Khaligraph Jones

    Brian Ouko Omollo alias Khaligraph Jones is an award winning Kenyan rapper and songwriter.  He… more
  • 56

    Kimani Ichung’wah

    National Assembly Majority Leader and Kikuyu Member of Parliament Kimani Ichung’wah is currently… more
  • 57

    Lulu Hassan

    Lulu Hassan is a popular media personality who works for Citizen TV as a news anchor. Hassan and… more
  • 58

    Lynn Ngugi

    Few Kenyan journalists embody the concept of being self-made as effectively as Lynn Ngugi. Lynn… more
  • 59

    Marian Sharifa

    Disability is not inability and Marian Sharifa is a living embodiment of this statement.  … more
  • 60

    Mary Moraa

    ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but what your country can do for you’ goes a famous… more
  • 61

    Micheal Warutere

    Michael Warutere, from Riara Springs Academy,  was the top perfomer in the 2023 Kenya… more
  • 62

    Millicent Cassianes

    Millicent Cassianes is a teacher who has broken barriers in the field. She is an educator at BL… more
  • 63

    Mutahi Kibugu

    Coming from a storied family of successful golfers in Kenya, Mutahi Kibugu has kept the family… more
  • 64

    Muthoni the Drama Queen

    Muthoni Ndonga alias Muthoni the Drummer Queen, is a musician and one of the most successful event… more
  • 65

    Ndindi Nyoro

     Ndindi Nyoro is a Member of Parliament representing Kiharu Constituency.  The legislator… more
  • 66

    Ndungu Nyoro

    Ndugu Nyoro is an advocate for education for all and the founder of Affecto Foundation, a non-… more
  • 67

    Nelly Cheboi

    Nelly Cheboi is the current Chief Executive Officer of TechLit Africa - a company that uses… more
  • 68

    Nikita Kering’

    Before her fame, every avid follower of the Kenyan music industry knew who Nikita Kering’ was.… more
  • 69

    Nixon Sifuna

     Nixon Sifuna is a judge of the High Court of Kenya. He has presided over high-profile cases… more
  • 70

    Nzambi Matee

    In recent years, Nzambi Matee, the 29-year-old co-founder of Gjenge Makers Limited, has garnered… more
  • 71

    Okiya Omtatah

    His detractors have described him as a serial litigant and someone determined to derail the… more
  • 72

    Ondivow Stephen Okoth

    There is a common joke within Kenyan social circles that national treasures don’t have to be… more
  • 73

    Patrick Odongo

    Patrick Odongo is a rugby player who plays as a winger for the Kenya Sevens and the Daystar Falcons… more
  • 74

    Paul Russo

    Appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kenya Commercial Bank in 2022, Paul Russo has… more
  • 75

    Pauline Ongaji

    Pauline Ongaji is a multimedia journalist working with the Nation Media Group (NMG). … more
  • 76

    Peter Ndegwa

    Peter Ndegwa sits at the apex of the most profitable company in East Africa, Safaricom. Joining the… more
  • 77

    Philip Karanja

    Philip Karanja is a Kenyan film producer, director, and actor. He started off his profession by… more
  • 78

    Professor Kithure Kindiki

    The Interior Ministry was previously associated with tough-talking ministers with authoritative… more
  • 79

    Raila Odinga

    Widely referred to as the enigma of Kenyan politics, Raila Odinga is the former Prime Minister of… more
  • 80

    Raphael Munavu

    Professor Munavu is an experienced professional with a career spanning 35 years in the education… more
  • 81

    Richard Mathenge

    Richard Mathenge is the team lead at Sama - a global company that focuses on data annotation… more
  • 82

    Rita Kavashe

    Rita Kavashe is the Managing Director of Isuzu East Africa Limited which is one of the largest… more
  • 83

    Robert Mokaya

    Robert Mokaya is a Professor of Materials Chemistry at the University of Nottingham who… more
  • 84

    Robert  Karanja

    Robert Karanja is the co-founder of Villgro Kenya, an incubator and impact investor supporting… more
  • 85

    Rosemary Bosibori Onyancha

    In October 2023, the African Union (AU) recognised Rosemary Bosibori Onyancha as the winner of the… more
  • 86

    Sammy Chemoiwo

    Sammy Chemoiwo is a principal at the Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology (RVIST) In May… more
  • 87

    Sarah Hassan

    Sarah Hassan is an actress who gained popularity among Kenyans owing to her starring role in… more
  • 88

    Sueh Owino

    For avid social media users, Sueh Owino needs no introduction. The TikTok sensation has taken the… more
  • 89

    Teresa Wanjiku

    Teresa Wanjiku is the founder and CEO of Clean Start Africa which helps women and children,… more
  • 90

    Thandiwe Muriu

    Thandiwe Muriu is a photographer who fell in love with art at the young age of 14. When learning… more
  • 91

    Tom Gitogo

    It is said that leadership is a skill and Tom Gitogo, the Group Managing Director and the CEO of… more
  • 92

    Tom Odula

    Tom Odula is an investigative reporter working with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). He… more
  • 93

    Triza Ireri

    Triza Ireri is a certified nurse and currently serves as the secretary of the Kenya Progressive… more
  • 94

    Wangari Kuria

    Wangari Kuria is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Farmer on Fire which focuses on… more
  • 95

    Wanjira Mathai

    Wanjira Mathai is a Kenyan environmentalist and activist. She is the daughter of Nobel Laureate,… more
  • 96

    Willis Otieno

      Willis Otieno is a Kenyan long jump athlete. In June this year, Willis won Kenya's first… more
  • 97

    Winnie Njenga

    Winnie Njenga is a Kenyan doctor and a dermatologist attached to Kiambu Level 5 Hospital. What… more
  • 98

    Winnie Odinga

    Winnie Odinga is the daughter of opposition leader Raila Odinga. The 33-year-old is currently… more
  • 99

    Zeynab Wandati

    Zeynab Wandati currently serving as the Sustainability and Climate Editor at the Nation Media Group… more
  • 100

    Zipporah Nderitu

    Zipporah Nderitu burst into the limelight in September 2023, after she won an international award… more