CNN meets a group of trailblazing Kenyan women who are carving their own paths to success. From doctors to content creators, they are using the power of online platforms to amplify their voices and help others flourish.
Gatuiri Irauka is an award-winning Kenyan food blogger and baker. Her brand is known as “Leo Tunapika?”, a Swahili phrase that means “What are we cooking?”. Irauka did not have any formal baking training and her business began with her making cakes for friends. The transition from word-of-mouth to internet success coincided with the increasing rise of social media. She tells the program about this growth, “The blog was a hobby, so I didn’t think much about how it can make money. Because I think even the first paying gig I got as a blogger was maybe 2015, 2016. But over time, and with the growth of social media, it has grown to the point of now scaling in the sense that I even started having to acquire equipment because now I shoot my own content.”
Dr. Amakove Wala works for the Aga Khan Foundation as their global advisor for health and nutrition. She is also the vice-chair of Kenya Healthcare Federation and sits on the Kenya Private Sector Alliance board, representing the Kenya Healthcare Federation. Wala has now founded many businesses, including one which helps women find jobs through training and placement. She speaks about her advice to other women, “I have this saying that I love living by, it’s called, do you – the world will adjust. This basically translates to, given the things that I’ve gone through in life, there’s a lot that society dictates on a woman on how she should behave, what she should do, and whatnot. And I think that places us in boxes that do not help us live to our potential.”
Adelle Onyango is a Kenyan media personality, podcaster, and founder of the Adelle Onyango Initiative. She tells CNN about the importance of talking through difficult issues, “I think one way of destigmatizing certain topics that have been deemed taboo is by story-telling because then people are seeing, or in a podcast hearing, people who sound like them, have names like them, talking about places they know, are living this reality, then it becomes not a detached thing.”
Christine Khasinah-Odero is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Supamamas. She explains what her platform does, “It’s a platform that empowers moms to be the best that they can be. We put events together where they come to network, where they come to learn from experts and, of course, connect with each other. It provides a wonderful platform where moms can vent, be themselves, have a good laugh, and go back home knowing that they can be whatever they want to be.”