These are the women breaking new ground in Kenya’s politics, business and communities. The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) or its policy advisors. Kenya Development Associates (KENDA) operates in compliance with the guidelines and the principles of good scientific research. All our research materials are produced with utmost care. However, the information is purely statistical in nature, does not include direct participant experiences or views and does not reflect the views of any individual. The views expressed in the column are those of the author and not of KNBS or its policy advisors.
Kisii Nyiro’s journey to political power
Kisii Nyiro has climbed a long, steep mountain. But that hasn’t stopped her from running for the presidency.
Nyiro, a lawyer and a former cabinet minister in the previous administration, won the party’s nomination for the party’s presidential primary in August. Her rival was Raila Odinga, a former leader of the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA).
Nyiro’s candidacy was not made to run far from her roots. She is the third of five children to a family that has always had economic and social concerns at the centre of its agenda. Her great-grandparents on her mother’s side were forced by hunger to sell their land to build a school and hospital and those she grew up with on her father’s side were also farmers.
Nyiro’s family has always been close and her father has always helped her and her siblings. He would ask them to do the cooking so he could leave for work and come home just in time to eat their evening meal.
Her grandmother was a midwife and was also responsible for feeding Nyiro and her siblings. Her grandparents also helped her and her siblings as they grew up and went to school.
Nyiro’s late mother died when she was only 17 years old, leaving a void that made it difficult for her