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Marjorie Kimenyi: Kenya’s First Female To Own A Car And Travel Abroad

Marjorie Kimenyi goes down the annals of history as the first African woman to own and drive a car in Kenya. She was also the first woman to study abroad. Through determination, resilience, and the pursuit of excellence, she kept alive the rich legacy of her family who were trailblazers and high achievers. 

WoK into the life and accomplishments of Marjorie Kimenyi, highlighting her pioneering spirit and lasting legacy.

Early Life and Family Background

Marjorie Kimenyi was not the first history maker in Kenya. In a book titled A Profile of Kenyan Entrepreneurs by author Mike Eldon, Marjorie’s grandmother, Medrin Wanjiru wa Rara, was among the early landowners in Nairobi, along Globe Cinema during the 1900s. 

According to Eldon, who is married to Marjorie’s daughter Evelyn Mungai,Wanjiru wa Rara accommodated Jomo Kenyatta when he first arrived in Nairobi as a meter reader.

Her father, Ishmael Ithong’o, cemented this family legacy by becoming one of the first Kenyan Africans to pursue education at Oxford University in London.

Her was known as Gladys Ithong’o.

Education and Career

Marjorie Kimenyi, like the other family members, pursued education with zeal. She became a history maker by being the first woman from Kenya to travel abroad for further studies.

This was a major feat considering educational opportunities for women were limited at the time. 

Upon returning to Kenya, Marjorie worked at the Kenyatta National Hospital for over three decades. Her commitment to healthcare and service to her community left an indelible mark on the medical landscape of Kenya.

Marjorie Kimenyi: Kenya's First Female To Own A Car And Travel Abroad
The Wedding of Marjorie B. G. Kimenyi to Daniel Noah Kimenyi on 04th Sept. 1942

Marjorie Kimenyi Marriage and Personal Life

She met her husband Daniel Noah Kimenyi during her travels to Ngayaza High School in Uganda. They married on 04th Sept. 1942. 

Daughter entrepreneurial spirit

Evelyn Mungai followed in her mother’s footsteps by founding the first African-owned personnel selection agency in Kenya in 1970 known as Speedway Investment Bureau. 

Additionally, Evelyn established the renowned Evelyn College of Design in Nairobi, contributing to the empowerment and education of countless individuals in the creative arts.

She met her husband, Mike Eldon in 1995, after being widowed for 18 years. She has two children from her first marriage- Eric and Wacuka.

Eric Mungai is renowned businessman with close ties to the Kenyatta family. He is the father of award winning musician Karun Mungai.