The President of the Republic of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta on August 28, 2018 at Statehouse Nairobi led Kenyans in honouring the country’s female high achievers whose heroic works have contributed immensely to shaping Kenya.
Among the recepients of the the State Honour of Order of the Burning Spear award (OBS) was Prof. Leah Marangu, a Member of FAWE Africa since 1996.
Orders, decorations, and medals of Kenya are awarded by the President of Kenya “in recognition of outstanding or distinguished services rendered to the nation in various capacities and responsibilities”. Awards are made by the president upon the advice of a National Honours and Awards Committee in the president’s office. Individuals are nominated for awards by district committees, government ministries, religious organisations, non-governmental organisations, individuals and others.
Prof. Marangu is the immediate former Vice Chancellor of Africa Nazarene University, from where she retired in 2017 after 21 years of dedicated service s there.
Prof. Marangu has a wealth of knowledge, experience, and expertise in university education, having previously served as a founding member at the Commission for Higher Education (now Commission for University Education); chair of the Department of Home Economics at Kenyatta University; chair of the Board of Directors at the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation; a member of the task force that created Egerton University, and the longest-serving Senate representative to Kenyatta University Council, where she served for 11 years after its inception.
As ANU’s first female professor, Prof. Marangu remains a role model for women in academia and helped create career paths for women like Prof. Olive Mugenda, previous vice chancellor of Kenyatta University; Prof. Margaret Kobia, chair of the Public Service Commission, and several sitting deputy vice chancellors in Kenya today.
Prof. Marangu has been recognized globally for her efforts, receiving 20 national and international awards for leadership. She received two head of state commendations — the Silver Star of Kenya and the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear. Prof. Marangu was also awarded the Women Leadership Award by the World Women Leadership Congress & Awards in Mumbai, India, as well as the Global Peace Strengthening Family Award by Global Peace. In addition, she received the Maggie Sloan Crawford Role Model Award from Olivet Nazarene University for her efforts on issues related to women and girls.
Academically, Prof. Marangu is a Fulbright scholar, a visiting professor to 11 U.S. universities, a member of 27 international bodies, and author of 20 international publications and 46 featured articles. She was the first African to receive the Achievement Citation Award from Iowa State University and an honourary Doctor of Letters and the “O” award signifying outstanding alumni from Olivet Nazarene University. She is also an honourary alumnus of Kenyatta University, where she was recognized for Professional Exemplary Service and Mentorship in the Advancement of Education.