Nuru Okanga, Gloria Ntazola & Other Kenyans Who Rose to Fame in 2023


As the year draws to a close, a number of ordinary Kenyans suddenly found themselves the centre of attention with headlines-grabbing acts.

Whether it was through suffering an injustice, driving around a county enforcer or receiving admiration for a job well done, the individuals found themselves the subject of discussion

Here are five individuals who hit new fame heights this year;

  1. Nuru Okanga

Nuru Okanga speaking during an interview with the media on May 30, 2023.

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Nuru Okanga

Azimio la Umoja fierce supporter Nuru Okanga was the subject of many tongues countrywide after the release of the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination results.

Okanga reportedly sat the national examinations as a private candidate at Mumias Muslim Primary School.

During the exam release day, however, the candidate’s alleged results slip was leaked to the public but Kenyans.co.ke quickly established that it was not authentic. Okanga’s alleged results remain private.

The diehard Azimio supporter further alleged that he was set to join Alliance High School despite receiving multiple offers from other principals. 

He also lauded Embakasi East MP Babu Owino for offering to sponsor his high school education. 

“I want to go to Alliance and I’ve already gotten a sponsor. Let me just inform those in Alliance that I will be joining them,” Okanga pointed out. 

  1. Gloria Ntazola

A photo collage of viral TikToker Gloria Ntazola (left) and a Nairobi city council officer

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Gloria Ntazola

Tiktoker Gloria Ntazola became a trending subject in Kenya after he drove a Nairobi city council officer, commonly known as kanjo, around town for entering her car unathorised.

The video, which went viral on the social media platform, captured Ntazola confronting the county askari after the duo differed on parking at Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD).

In the video, Ntazola contested the officer’s attempts to arrest her and impound her car. 

The incident provoked discussions online regarding the treatment of citizens by the city council officers.

  1. Faith Kipyegon

A photo of Faith Kipyego during a race

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World Athletics

Athlete Faith Kipyegon commanded the respect of the entire country and admiration from President William Ruto after she shattered two world records within the same week.

The athlete, as a result, was gifted a house worth Ksh6 million and a cash token of Ksh5 million for her triumph on the track. 

Her performance also opened doors for record-breaking athletes to receive a Ksh5 million cash prize from the State.

The Head of State also awarded the highest civilian honour of the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (EGH) to Kipyegon for her achievements.

Addressing Kenyans at Uhuru Gardens during the 60th Jamhuri Day celebrations, the Head of State indicated that Kipyegon’s performances were an inspiration to the youth.

“Our athletes continue to excel at various global events as is well exemplified by the shining performance in long-distance races.

“Today, I have conferred upon our world-beating athlete Faith Kipyegon the status of Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart, the highest honour our country awards its citizens who illuminate the path of excellence,” he stated.

“She has earned her place at the very top from running bare feet to breaking two world records within a year is the ultimate state of heroism,” he added.

The honour comes a few hours after World Athletics named Kipyegon as the Female World Athlete of the Year in track events.

  1. Ndagire Renora

Nairobi Governor Sakaja meets the hawker whose groundnuts were spilt by Nairobi ‘Kanjos’ on November 22, 2023.

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Johnson Sakaja

In November, young Burundian hawker Ndagire Renora who was selling groundnuts in Nairobi CBD became a subject of pity after Nairobi County askaris poured his entire stock in the streets.

The unfortunate incident captured the attention of high-ranking government officials among them a principal secretary and Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja.

After meeting him, Sakaja maintained that the young Burundian national had contravened rules to which traders are expected to adhere. 

Sakaja also revealed that he had contacted the Burundian Ambassador to Kenya asking him to rescue his fellow national.

Sakaja revealed that in his conversations with the Burundian envoy, the two parties agreed to ensure the boy’s interests were well catered for including having his education supported.

  1. Viral Nanny Roseline

Kenyan nanny Roseline ‘Rosie’ Atieno, who worked for a family in Lebanon, captured the hearts of many after a video of her employers’ kids escorting her to the airport surfaced.

In the clip, the children couldn’t hold back their tears in a clear sign that they were distraught that their favourite nanny was leaving.

In a later interview, Atieno revealed that she flew back to meet her children whom she had not seen for two years.

“I cried because I had mixed feelings about meeting my children after two years and leaving the children I had taken care of for two years who treated me like their parent,” she told journalists.

She left for Lebanon in 2021.





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