The family of Kenya’s former Vice President Uncle Moody Awori is often described as the “Kennedys of Kenya” in reference to their success in various fields. The Awori lineage has left remarkable footprints in politics, education, commerce, medicine, engineering, sports and academia.
It is the aspiration of every living being that their lineage lives on through generations, and even better, successfully. The Awori lineage continued its dominance even after the death of their patriarch, Mzee Canon Jeremiah Musungu Awori and produced excellence in all the disciplines they ventured into.
In this article, WoK narrows down on the family of one of Canon’s 17 children, Prof Nelson Wanyama Awori and his widow, Anne Awori.
He is famed for carrying out Africa’s first kidney transplant at Nairobi Hospital in 1978.
According to Nation, he also led the team that carried out the first successful kidney transplant in Kenya in 1984 at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
He studied medicine at Makerere before proceeding to the UK to specialise as a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He had a distinguished career as a surgeon and researcher in kidney-related ailments.
Prof Nelson Wanyama died in 1986 in a car accident. The Prof Nelson Awori Centre in Upper Hill stands in his honour.
The late professor was survived by his widow Anne. In a recent interview with Citizen Digital, Awori’s widow took Kenyans on a tour of her seven-bedroom house in the affluent Kitisuru suburbs.
Anne, a former nurse, revealed that she built the house together with her husband, Nelson, and it has been a family house since the mid-1970s.
“It took a long time to build due to one thing or another, contractors et.c but eventually by 1975 we moved in,” she said.
By 1995, all her children had moved out and she began thinking on ways to use the house to make other people happy. So she started the guest house in 2006. She had thought that the business would pick up quickly but it took time, just like any other business.
“I thought that people would start coming immediately, that was in February 2006, we went on until June 2006, when we got one client, a lady, that was our breakthrough. Over the years it has evolved into different things,” Anne recounted.
She had opened up her home to the public to hold various events including weddings, group meetings, children’s camps, and leisure and rest place. She noted that the two main challenges to her business have been the 2007-2008 post-election violence, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The lavish home rests on 1.75 acres of land and has a stream towards the lower side of the compound, where occasionally people can fish. The chill compound around the house gives those looking for a quiet time the best environment to unwind.
Anne notes that the house which is over 4 decades old has its fair share of problems since it is old; it can be leakages, electricity issues, but its nothing that can never be fixed.
The house’s interior boasts a range of tastefully blended colours including white, orange, and yellow, among others. Above the fireplace, Anne has her “family corner”. This is where she has photos of her family, framed, to remind her that she has a lot of people that love and care for her.
“It’s a place where I like to come to sit and look at my people because they are not all in Kenya,” Anne says.
The living room area has basic wooden furniture from Kisumu. Anne notes that her son gave her the furniture. She, however, noted that she is looking to modernise the living room.
Her dining room boasts a dining table which is over 50 years old. She notes that all her children grew up, eating from that very table. She describes it as a place where they would come together and dine at the end of tough days. At the table, they would share their problems and successes, while reliving all their life memories.
Her kitchen walls are covered with patterned blue and white tiles. They have, however, lost their shine since they were installed many years ago. She noted that unless they fall off, they will remain in place. She also has built a cabinet on the wall where she stores her cups and other utensils.
The floor of the house is wooden (brown in colour) and easily blends with the various colours that dominate every single room in the house.
Anne recently refurbished her bathroom into a modern one. The walls of the bathroom have brownish-grey tiles with a glass partition. She also renovated another one which had a bathtub into a modern washroom as well.
The front of the house has a lawn where guests hold their garden weddings, group meetings and children’s parties, among other social events. Further down the compound is an area where visitors can participate in various indoor games.
Anne notes that running the business also has its challenges including visitors not leaving the place as they found it, or maybe failing to pick up garbage after them. She, however, notes that the euphoria of weddings sometimes gets in the way of people having to tidy up after a ceremony.
She also notes that sometimes there is no need to have many regulations, but it is good for people to be considerate.