Editorial: Great achievers

| October 5, 2012 - 13.36UTC
Y2_Achievers

This issue (#2, October-November 2012) features many ordinary Kenyans who have done extraordinary things. Can their stories inspire you?

Many of us spent much of July and August enthralled by the Olympics, following Team Kenya in one of the most memorable Games in recent times. As the excitement dies down, it now seems appropriate to consider what the legacy of Team Kenya’s performance might be for Kenyan sport (p38).

Notwithstanding David Rudisha and Ezekiel Kemboi’s golden victories, even more inspiring were the achievements of the Paralympians, whose courage, determination and ability must surely have a positive influence on the way the disabled are viewed in society.

Kenyan Paralympian Mary Nakhumicha Zakayo was presented with the Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award in recognition of her work to promote disability sport. She said the Paralympic Movement “opens opportunities for people with disabilities and helps to change perceptions towards people with disabilities in a positive way”.

The same could be said about the members of the Pamoja Dance Group, photographed so emotively by Mia Collis (p60). We are grateful to Mia for allowing us to publish this sizeable portfolio, as her pictures tell their story so powerfully.

Most Kenyans will be familiar with Zack Kimotho’s campaign to raise money to build a spinal injuries care facility in Nairobi. His wheelchair journey to South Africa is an epic challenge, and we couldn’t resist the urge to meet him when he returned recently to Nairobi for a break (p70). It makes you wonder what we are capable of with the right motivation.

There is Samson Parashina, whose recent nomination as a Champion of the Earth recognises the journey of a young Maasai villager with a passion to preserve his environment (p44). Imagine the impact if each of us made just a little more effort to take better care of our own local surroundings.

Titus Naikuni is one of a band of exceptionally talented business leaders who has been at the heart of Kenya’s economic development. Following Kenya Airways’ recent share offering, we thought it would be timely to get to know the man. His interview (p74) reveals more about what can be achieved through focused, hard work.
But perhaps the most arresting story in this issue is that of Catherine Wanjohi (p30), who has dedicated her life to working with women affected by the sex trade. It is a humbling example of selfless, caring service to the community. If you know more people like Catherine, we’d love to feature them in our record of unsung heroes.

These articles all started out as disparate pieces, earning their inclusion in Kenya Yetu on their individual merits. But as the magazine came together, it became apparent that they were all linked: a group of individuals, in very different situations and circumstances, working hard to challenge themselves and make a difference. In recognising these remarkable people, we are reminded of the wealth of talent and human potential in Kenya. If we all encourage and celebrate each other’s hard work and commitment, yet more Kenyans will be achieving greatness on the world stage.

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