For the past few years, Kenya has been put on the global map predominantly by sports personalities but the tide is quickly changing.
New faces in other professional fields are putting the country on the map through their remarkable achievements.
Just days ago, a British teen with Kenyan roots, Sarah Ikumu, 15, stole the show during the premiere of British got Talent show with an exemplary performance.
But who are the rest who have become household names around the globe?
- Barack Obama
The immediate former US President was born of a Kenyan father and an American mother. In his last visit to Kenya last year, he nostalgically remembered of his teen days in Kenya with Sister Auma Obama.
- Lupita Nyong’o
Born to politician Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu Senator), the sultry Hollywood actress has risen to the Halls of Fame. Nyong’o began her career in Hollywood as a production assistant. In 2008, she made her acting debut with the short film East River and subsequently returned to Kenya to star in the television series Shuga (2009). Also in 2009, she wrote, produced and directed the documentary In My Genes.
- Edi Gathegi
He is another Kenyan who is living the Hollywood dream. Born in Eastlands, Nairobi, Kenya, Gathegi grew up in Albany, California. He was more interested in playing basketball and was good at it until he injured his knee; this plunged him into depression, so he took up an acting class as an “easy course”. This is how he discovered his love for acting. Afterwards, he studied at New York University’s Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 2005. So far, he has hit television series like House, Gone Baby Gone, Twilight and Blacklist Redemption.
- Divock Okoth Origi
Born in Belgium, Origi is a professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Liverpool and the Belgium national team. He made his international debut for Belgium in 2014 and was part of their team which reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, during which he became the youngest goalscorer in Belgian World Cup history. He is son to former professional football player Mike Origi.
- Lucy Gichuhi
The Kenyan-born lawyer who made history a week ago after she was elected as South Australia’s Senator. Though she has renounced her Kenyan citizenship, she remains a valuable envoy. She moved to Australia in 1999.
- Dr. George Njoroge
The 62-year old researcher is a senior official at a leading drug manufacturing firm in the United States. He is the first African to be awarded the distinction of 100 patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This was after his discovery of using molecules to treat diseases.
- David Karangu
Mr. Karangu, owner of Fairway Ford of Augusta, Georgia. He was born in Atlanta to Kenyan nationals in 1967. His father, an economics professor, moved the family back to Kenya when David was 5 years old. He was ranked by Black Enterprise Magazine, a reputable US business publication, as one of the key players in the economic thrust of the state of Georgia and among the largest minority-owned enterprises in the United States.
- Prof Martin Thuo
He is a professor of engineering at Iowa State University. He is the brain behind the invention of a complex process where two different surfaces can be fused using cooled metal rather than heated one. He has opened a company-Safi Tech, to steer the invention to commercialization.
- Erick Ochieng
The Kaloleni born British professional boxer who moved to London to live with his parents when he was 11 after his grandmother passed on. He is in the welterweight division.
- Frida Karani
A Kenyan chef born and raised at the Coast, she is 2016 Armed Forces Chef of the Year. She beat 21 other contestants in the gruesome competition. She went to a hospitality school in Orlando, Florida, in 2006 before moving to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary school.