01 November 2006

Examples of Kenyans Who Have Pursued Their Passion With Zeal

The nation of Kenya has some remarkable – and famous – examples of people who have not only discovered their passion, but have pursued it with zeal. I admire each and every one of them!

Perhaps my (above mentioned) friends will one day join this illustrious hall of fame!

Congestina Achieng has an undying passion for boxing. As a single mother, she has fought all odds and discouraging setbacks. In spite of a lack of money and public criticism, she has now gained respect and some major titles. “Conje” is currently training in the United States.

Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement and for nearly thirty years has mobilized poor women to plant 30 million trees. In the process of chasing after her dreams, Maathai stood up courageously against the former oppressive regime in Kenya. She suffered much public ridicule and was even jailed. By simply following her passion, she was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her “contribution to sustainable development, democracy, and peace”.

Mzee Kimani Maruge, a poor farmer and a widower with thirty grandchildren, entered primary school at the incredible age of 84. He simply wanted to learn how to read the Bible. At lunchtime, his teacher allows him to go home and care for his goats. He’s now in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest primary school student in the world. In 2005, Maruge boarded a plane for the first time in his life to address the United Nations Millennium Development Summit (in NYC). He spoke on the importance of free primary education.

Fidelis Wainaina quit her teaching job to unselfishly help peasant farmers achieve food sufficiency. She operates at a village level to keep children off the streets, enabling families who are led by widows or orphans to continue farming their land in a sustainable way. By simply pursuing her passion, she was awarded the 2006 African Green Revolution Yara Prize in Oslo, Norway. The prize includes a cash gift of $90,000.

Phillip Boit will forever be in the record books as one of the first two Africans to ever compete in the 1998 Winter Olympics. In spite of the fact that he hails from a country where most citizens have never even seen snow, he has now competed in three Winter Olympics as a cross-country skier. “Someone will find their way to the mountains if they really want to.”

[article continued on next post]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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