By Prudence Minayo
Dorothy Nyong’o, fondly referred to as Mama Kisumu, is the current First Lady of Kisumu county. The amiable First Lady is married to governor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o. She is a health advocate and a director at 7th Sense Communications. She is recognized for her efforts in advocating for cancer awareness and empowering women in the society.
She is an alumni of the United States International University (USIU) and the University of Nairobi. She attended Pangani Girls High School back in the 70s.
Dorothy Nyong’o is known for her impeccable work in both cancer awareness and philanthropy. She has provided consultancy services for the public sector, international and national NGOs, such as, International Planned Parenthood Kenya (IPPK) and Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK). She has conducted research for some of these organisations and wrote a project called Strategies for Increasing the Visibility of NGOs in Kenya.
Mrs. Nyong’o is the Managing trustee of Africa Cancer Foundation (ACF) where she advocates for healthcare. Her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010. She has used her position to create awareness on the prevention, management and treatment of cancer in Nyanza and beyond. She is optimistic that through the Africa Cancer Foundation, the continent will become cancer free.
Awards and Recognition
She was feted with Harvard Global Health Cancer Advocacy Champion Award at Harvard University in 2019. The award was in recognition of her efforts to fight cancer through AFC.
In 2010, alongside Lupita Nyong’o, she was recognized by the Harem School of Arts for the Visionary Lineage Award. The event recognized extraordinary black women who led by example as advocates for the importance of arts education through their inspiring accomplishments.
In June 2021, she was feted at the Woman of Magnitude Award (WOMA)at a ceremony held in New York. This was to recognize her efforts in women empowerment. The prestigious award acknowledges trailblazers who dedicate their time to support women’s agenda in society.
Dorothy Nyong’o, as stated in the introduction, is married to Kisumu governor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o. She is a mother of six children- including Oscar award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and Zawadi Nyong’o who is a director at 7th Sense Communications and a creative director at Zero by Zawadi.
Influence On Lupita Nyong’o
In an interview with Good morning America, the award winning actress told the host Robin Roberts that her role in the movie The Jungle Book, where she played the role of Raksha, was inspired by her mother.
Lupita voiced Raksha, Mowgli’s adoptive wolf mother.
“I channelled my own mother, who is fierce and unwavering in her motherly ways. I just think as a woman, I think we all have it somewhere in us and it was about finding it,” she said of her role in the movie.