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Meet the first two Kenyans to attend Harvard University

Professor00
By Professor00 | self meida writer
Published 15 days ago - 8851 views

Harvard University, a private Ivy League research university in Massachusetts USA, was established in 1636, with its history, influence, and wealth making it one of the world's most prestigious universities.

Several Kenyans have had the opportunity to study at the prestigious school including billionaire Chris Kirubi, Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi, CS Adan Mohamed (Ministry of East African Community and Regional Development), former Treasury CS Henry Rotich, former Kenya Airways bosses Titus Naikuni and Mbuvi Ngunze among others.

The first Kenyan to go to Harvard was renowned media personality, Hilary Ng'weno. He joined the institution in 1957 to study nuclear physics, never mind there were not many industries at the time in Kenya.

He would later return to Kenya in 1962, becoming Kenya’s youngest editor-in-chief at Nation in 1965 and went back to the US as the first African fellow of the Harvard Center for International Affairs between 1968 and ’69.

Other than editing The Nation, he was the founding editor of The Weekly Review, Kenya’s longest-running political magazine and was the brains behind the popular documentary Makers of a Nation: Kenya’s Political History, 1957-2007. Ng'weno opened the way for other Kenyans to study at the school and soon after he left, veteran politician Julia Ojiambo enrolled for an MSc in Public Health.

She was the first Kenyan woman to be admitted to the institution and later went on to achieve great things. Ojiambo is on record as being the first to receive a Ph.D. degree from the University of Nairobi, where she would also be the first African woman to be appointed a lecturer.

She was the first woman to be appointed an assistant minister in independent Kenya, and she was the only woman among the top political leaders who, in 2007, formed the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

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