On Wednesday, 5th April 2017: President Uhuru Kenyatta’s step-sister Margaret Wambui passed on at a Nairobi hospital after a short illness at the age of 89years.
The deceased, who was leading a quiet life after an industrious political career where she championed the interests of women empowerment and involvement in politics
Things you know about Margaret Wambui Kenyatta Biography | Life History
Margaret Wambui Kenyatta was born on 1928 in Kenya and raised in the Dagoretti area of Nairobi. Wambui had vivid memories of her famous father:
“I can remember the crowds of people who used to visit him at home, and I often used to make him play with me and he held me up in front of the people and they all laughed.”
Margaret Wambui Kenyatta was the only daughter and the eldest of two children of Mzee Kenyatta and his first wife Grace Wahu Kenyatta. Her brother was Peter Muigai.
Margaret Wambui Kenyatta attended Ruthimitu Primary School then attended Church of Scotland Mission School, Kikuyu; and was among the pioneer students of Alliance School, when it began as a mixed school in 1947.
After high school, Margaret took a teaching post at Githunguri College, where her father was principal.
In 1952, when Jomo kenyatta was arrested for his involvement with the Mau Mau and others protesting white suppression, the college was closed by government order. At the time, Margaret was also arrested and detained for a week.
While her father served a seven-year prison term, Margaret held various odd jobs and became active in the Peoples Congress Party, which worked for African rights and the release of political Prisoners. She also joined a number of social welfare organizations, including Maendeleo ya Wanawake, one of Kenya’s most important women’s organizations. In 1959, when Jomo Kenyatta was released from prison and became head of the Kenya African National Union (KANU), a political party formed to work for African liberation, Margaret also joined the party, serving as assistant secretary and later as secretary of the KANU branch at Kiambu.
KANU was finally victorious in the general election of May 1963, and Kenya won independence that same year, after which Jomo Kenyatta became prime minister and then president.
Margaret Wambui Kenyatta previously served as deputy mayor of Nairobi in 1966 and then served as the Mayor of Nairobi – the first African woman mayor of Nairobi and the second African woman in the country to hold the position -from 1970 to 1976 , before being Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, where she served for ten years from 1976 to 1986.Her tenure in office was marked by many developmental programs, including expansion of the subways, the building of low-cost housing and sewerage, and the expansion of public health facilities.
Margaret Kenyatta, who never married and did not have children, was once described by a long-time friend as
“a mature woman with large sad eyes and a rare but infectious laugh.”
Although she defied tradition in a country where women were expected to marry, raise children, and tend to domestic matters, she remained modest about her personal victories, preferring to focus on the future of her country.