Scaling Heights – BIOGRAPHIES OF THE LEADING KENYANS FEATURED
All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve are a direct result of his own thoughts
HUMANITARIAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Abbas Gullet has dedicated much of his life to helping others. Mr Gullet’s commitment to the lives of Kenyan citizens as the Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross and his contributions to diverse aspects of humanitarian activities have earned him a number of awards, including the 2007 ‘UN in Kenya Person of the Year’ Award and the 2009 ‘Utetezi’ (Civil Society) Award from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.
A former Chairman of the Law Society of Kenya, Mr Abdullahi has been involved in a number of bold court cases across a broad range of legal matters in Kenya. This former lecturer of law at the University of Nairobi has also held distinguished positions in key organs of the country notably, Chairperson of the Law Society of Kenya, Chairperson of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, and Kenya Law Review Commission where he served as a Commissioner.
Atul Shah is the Group Managing Director of Nakumatt Supermarkets, which is Kenya’s leading supermarket chain. Nakumatt’s mission statement is to create a chain of superstores in strategic locations delivering quality, value, service, variety and lifestyle, with convenient opening hours giving everyone the opportunity to shop at Nakumatt! From humble beginnings, Mr Shah has steered the supermarket chain towards a regional East African presence. There are currently 30 stores and over 3,000 employees.
CARDOTHORASIC SURGEON, HUMANITARIAN
Awori J. Hayanga, MD, MPH, is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon working in the United States of America. Flying the Kenyan Flag high in the Diaspora, this serial winner of numerous awards of professional excellence was in 2007, awarded the Alfred Summer Fellowship by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for a Master of Public Health. He was named a World Health Organisation/World Alliance Patient Safety Scholar, was the recipient of the 2007 American College of Surgeons Resident Leadership Award, the 2008 American Medical Association Leadership Award and the 2009 American College of Surgeons Humanitarian Award. A former student at St Mary’s School, Nairobi Dr. Hayanga is the Founder/ Director of the Ruben J Williams (RJW) Foundation which seeks to address disparities in the provision of surgical/critical healthcare in developing countries with a specific emphasis on Eastern Africa.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘father of advertising’ in Kenya, Mr Thakrar, is the founder of the region’s largest advertising company – Scangroup, and a Director of all Scangroup subsidiaries. Known for his mentoring prowess, he has decades of experience in the Advertising and Communications industry and is a former Chairman of the Advertising Practitioners Association (APA).
Billy Kahora is the Managing Editor of Kwani Trust, a literary journal and author of ‘The True Story of David Munyakei-Goldenberg Whistleblower’. Mr Kahora is a dedicated and talented contributor to Kenya’s creative and literary media circles. He spent eight years studying and working in South Africa, and was Editorial Assistant for All Africa.com in Washington D.C. He has been published in Vanity Fair and Cape Times.
Dr Bitange Ndemo is the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications. Prior to his appointment, he taught Entrepreneurship and Research Methods at the University of Nairobi. Besides policy formulation, Dr. Ndemo is currently steering a campaign to lower the cost of accessing ICT (Connectivity, Hardware and Software) in Kenya and the region. He is at the fore-front of developing the demand-side of ICTs by actively promoting Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in urban centres to showcase ICT entrepreneurial opportunities through digital villages in rural Kenya.
Robert (Bob) Munro
ADVISOR, SPORTS ADMINISTRATOR
Bob Munro is the Managing Director of XXCEL Africa Ltd. Mr Munro is best known as the founder of the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA), a self-help youth sports and community development project. He is also the Chairman of Mathare United, one of Kenya’s top and most popular football clubs. A Canadian by birth, Mr. Munro is a career environmental policy advisor of international acclaim.
Bishop Boniface Adoyo is the Chancellor of Pan African Christian University. He is also the retired Bishop of Christ Is the Answer Ministries (CITAM) formerly known as Nairobi Pentecostal Church (NPC). The Economics graduate from the London School of Economics, UK, Bishop Adoyo also holds a Master of Divinity. He served the CITAM/NPC community for 25 years in various ministry positions.
Blessed with a relentless gift for comedy, Charles Bukeko is a well-loved local actor who stars in the popular “Papa Shirandula” TV Series on Citizen Television. He has worked widely on global advertising campaigns with the Coca-Cola Company, the most famous of which is the ‘Brr’ Campaign which was pronounced as the 2007 Advertisement of the Year by the Creative Circle. He is amongst a small group of Kenyan actors who have transcended the local scene and claimed a global platform from which to showcase robust talent.
Chris Kirubi is a man of many definitions. He describes himself as an industrialist and entrepreneur whose interests lie in insurance, media and manufacturing among others. Among Mr Kirubi’s holdings include the prestigious International Life House building in Nairobi while he is also the largest individual shareholder in Centum Investments, DHL Kenya and Haco Tiger Brands. On the side, he is a disk jockey on his radio station Captial FM. Kirubi’s passions include empowering the youth in Africa.