Here are without doubt the top 10 most influential Kenyan politicians of all time.
1. Jomo Kenyatta
Jomo Kenyatta was the leader of Kenya from independence in 1963 to his death in 1978, serving first as Prime Minister and then as President.
He is considered the founding father of the Kenyan nation. Kenyatta was a well-educated intellectual who authored several books, and is remembered as a Pan-Africanist.
He is also the father of Kenya’s fourth and current President, Uhuru Kenyatta.
Numerous institutions and locations are named after Kenyatta, including Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi’s main street and main streets in many Kenyan cities and towns, numerous schools, two universities, the country’s main referral hospital, markets etc.
2. Barack Obama Sr
Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was a Kenyan senior governmental economist and the father of U.S. President Barack Obama. He is a central figure of his son’s memoir, Dreams from My Father.
Obama married in 1954 and had two children with his first wife, Kezia. He was selected for a special program to attend college in the United States, where he went to the University of Hawaii.
There, Obama met Stanley Ann Dunham, whom he married in 1961 and divorced three years later, after having a son, Barack II, named after him.
The elder Obama later went to Harvard University for graduate school, where he earned an M.A. in economics, and returned to Kenya in 1964. Later that year, Obama married Ruth Beatrice …
3. Daniel arap Moi
Daniel Toroitich arap Moi is a former Kenyan politician who served as the second President of Kenya from 1978 to 2002.
He removed Kikuyu ministers and replaced them with ministers from his own Kalenjin tribe. He was forced to allow multiparty elections in 1992. Prior to 1978, he served as the third Vice President of Kenya from 1967 to 1978.
Moi is popularly known to Kenyans as “Nyayo”, a Swahili word for “footsteps”, as he often said he was following in the footsteps of the first President.
He also earned the sobriquet “Professor of Politics” due to his long rule of 24 years.
4. Grace Ogot
Grace Ogot was a Kenyan author, nurse, journalist, politician and diplomat. Together with Charity Waciuma she is the first Anglophone female Kenyan writer to be published. ..
5. Josiah Mwangi Kariuki
Josiah Mwangi Kariuki was a Kenyan socialist politician during the administration of the Jomo Kenyatta government.
He held different government positions from 1963, when Kenya became an independent country to 1975.
He was assassinated. He left behind three wives and many children. He was popularly known as “JM”.
6. Koigi wa Wamwere
Koigi wa Wamwere is a Kenyan politician, human rights activist, journalist and writer.
Koigi became famous for opposing both the Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi regimes, both of which sent him to detention.
7. Mwai Kibaki
Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H. is a Kenyan politician. He was the third President of Kenya, serving from December 2002 to April 2013.
Kibaki was previously Vice-President of Kenya for ten years from 1978 to 1988 under President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi.
He also held cabinet ministerial positions in the Kenyatta and Moi governments, including a widely acclaimed stint as Minister for Finance under Kenyatta, and Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Health under Moi.
Kibaki also served as an opposition Member of Parliament from 1992 up to his election in 2002 after his two unsuccessful bids for the presidency in 1992 and 1997.
He served as the Leader of Official Opposition in Kenya’s Parliament from.
8. Wangari Maathai
Wangari Muta Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University of Nairobi in Kenya.
In the 1970s, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, an environmental non-governmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights.
9. Nicholas Biwott
Kipyator Nicholas Kiprono arap Biwott is a Kenyan businessman, politician and philanthropist.
Biwott has served as a civil servant, Member of Parliament and government minister, during which time he has held eight senior ministerial positions, worked alongside Kenya’s first three presidents – Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki – and with many significant public figures in post independence Kenya, including Bruce McKenzie and Tom Mboya.
10. Najib Balala
Najib Balala is a Kenyan politician and former Minister for Tourism, and the immediate former M.P. for Mvita Constituency.
Balala is the party leader of The Republican Congress Party of Kenya a partner of the Jubilee Coalition.