4 Kenyans Who Dominated International Awards in 2023

Kenya has firmly established itself on the global stage across various sectors, including sports, tourism, technology, and business. 

This recognition is significantly attributed to the outstanding achievements of individuals who have received prestigious global awards.

Kenyans.co.ke looks at 5 Kenyans who dazzled and hoisted Kenya’s flag high on the international stage this year.

Wanjira Mathai

Wanjira Mathai, the daughter of the late Nobel Laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai, received the Soka Global Citizen Award in 2023 for her active engagement in environmental conservation. 

Recognised for her advocacy of social and environmental change locally and internationally, Mathai was also listed among Africa’s Most Influential Women.

Wangari Maathai Foundation chairperson Wanjira Mathai posing for a photo in her office on March 17, 2019.

Photo : Wanjira Mathai

She served as the keynote speaker at the Soka University 2023 Commencement Ceremony and has consistently championed global issues such as Climate Change, youth leadership, sustainable energy, and landscape restoration.

Elizabeth Wathuti

Environmental activist Elizabeth Wathuti, founder of the Green Generation Initiative (GGI) and former Head of Campaigns and Coordinator at the Wangari Maathai Foundation, earned the Time100 Impact Award. 

Alongside other notable individuals, Wathuti was honoured for her dedication, strategic contributions to the Wangari Maathai Youth Hub, and leadership in organising the inaugural African Youth Climate Assembly. 

Elizabeth Wathuti speaking during a United Nations climate conference in November 2021.

The World Economic Forum

Having planted over 30,000 trees in Kenya and promoting climate consciousness among the youth, Wathuti stands as a beacon of environmental advocacy.

Marian Sharifa

Despite facing challenges as a person living with a disability, Marian Sharifa, an Information Technology expert, received the 2023 Global IT Challenge for Youth with Disabilities hosted in Abu Dhabi. 

The prestigious award brought together innovative youth across the globe with Marian Sharifa and Elias Bobe from Ethiopia bagging the Super Challenger Awards.

The tech expert is most popular for her groundbreaking innovations in digital trends.

Her representation of the disabled on global stages has positioned her as a champion and inspired other young people to pursue their dreams regardless of their setbacks

Faith Kipyegon

Faith Kipyegon, a dominant force in the track scene, secured numerous awards in 2023 for her exceptional world record-breaking performances. 

During the year, she etched her name in the history books after breaking 2 world records within 1 week.

Her remarkable records in the 1500m race in Florence and 5000m in the Paris Diamond League earned her the title of Female World Athlete of the Year on Track. 

The award ceremony held in Monaco, France marked a stellar year for Kipyegon, who would later be conferred with the highest civilian honour, the Elder of the Golden Heart, awarded to her by President William Ruto.

An image of Faith Kipyegon at the World Championships in Oregon on July 19, 2022.


World Athletics

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