Top Kenyan Thinkers Under 35

Top Kenyan Thinkers Under 35
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Every society is always dependent on its scholars, thinkers, theoreticians, and intellectuals to help it make sense of the complex nature of humanity and reality…

Any time you encounter musings by David Ndii, Patrick Gathara, John Githongo, Dr. Wandia  Njoya or Dr. Njoki Ngumi it is never in doubt that they, armed with the tools of deduction, induction, logic are able to point out flaws, correct misperceptions, generate new ideas and set the nation on a path of introspection and change if we are willing to listen.

Much has been said about the dearth of intellectuals (at least in the profound sense of the word) during the Kibaki era, with many attributing that to the relative stability and peacetime focus just after the tumultuous Moi era. But now as we walk into Kanu 3.0. the need for newer, and fresher ideas to help a beleaguered nation make sense of its predicament is the most needful responsibility of our time. As much as Wandia & Co still control the narrative the younger generation have to build their own pool of thinking heads that’ll help it make sense of their time. Here are our proposed intellectual heirs to the greats who have steered the discourse so far.

Gabriel Oguda

Oguda is a trained anthropologist and an alumnus of the University of Bergen (Norway) and the University of Nairobi. He is one of the deepest social commentators, using Facebook primarily as his outlet. He is one of the foremost left-leaning thinkers when it comes to contemporary history and politics. His writings mainly centering on cultural constructs, gender dynamics, and power systems within both rural and urban communities. And he can be funny too while delivering a punch. His village madman Chrispinus Adhiegra is now Facebook famous. Few writers in the Kenyan Facebooksphere get more likes, get more shared for writing straight up political and social commentary.


She is known as mononymously as  Waambui on Twitter. She is very articulate about governance and other trending issues that touch on gender, politics and development. One of the finest brains.  Her grasp on the Kenyan urban socio-political landscape is exemplary. Wambui is a tech pro and a social critic of the Kenya society especially on pertinent socio-political dynamics and always offers an out-of-the-box thinking that exposes the paradoxes of living in Kenya presently. She also has a knack to point out the absurdities that define the Jubilee regime. 

Darius Okolla

Darius Okolla is a Finance graduate of Kenyatta University and one of the key voices in the trending millennial conversations. He is a regular contributor to the Business Daily, the Elephant and for urban online magazine Nairobi Cool. Since late 2017, he has lit the Kenyan Twittersphere (@Tweetinbandit) with social commentary that breaks down the socioeconomic situation in the country, and he is a passionate crusader to make the president declare unemployment a National Disaster. He’s been an ardent voice on issues of unemployment, the philosophical logic of the Kenyan state, and Christian apologetics. He is also a published author. His thriller based on real-life accounts, Our Man in Nairobi went on sale in January.

Harriet Ocharo

Popularly known as Savvy Kenya, one of earlier vocal voices in Tech in the formative years of Twitter in Kenya. She graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Computer Science from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and currently is in her final year of a PhD in Computer Science at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST). Academic accomplishments aside, she is a well-known blogger, globe-trotter, using her pen name Savvy Kenya. Prior to leaving for Japan, she was one of the influential tech bloggers who wrote about technology in an easy to understand manner and had contributions in a weekly magazine in one of the dailies.

Aleya Kassam 

Aleya Kassam is Bachelor of Arts –Anthropology graduate from the McGill University. She’s a Kenyan reader, writer and performer who is a former Storymoja Festival Producer and an ardent advocate for minority rights. Aleya Kassam adds acritical flair to the cultural commentary in the country and a critical voice within the art sphere and creative platforms in the country.

Laureen Akoa Wesonga

A Masters graduate of Public Policy from Warwick University, Akoa is a bookish, erudite and articulate voice when it comes to how modern societies reorganize themselves on issues of sustainability, resource use, and Afrofuturism. She’s one of the finest abstract thinkers and generative intellectual in the country famed for her critical piece on the anthropology of money within the mobile transfer systems in the country.

Richard Oduor Oduku

Oduku is both a great scientist, statistician, writer, and artist. His work is at the intersection between science, political commentary, and creative arts. He’s one of the founders of the creative space, Jalada that has seen him travel around the world and help young writers get published and jumpstart their careers. Oduku has the knack for combining logical thought and artistic flair in ways that give greater interest and readability on a wide range of sociopolitical issues especially those that affect the young.

Joe Kobuthi

Joe is a sub-editor at The Elephant, a contemporary erudite e-magazine dedicated to the deconstruction of national political, social, cultural and religious issues. He has two master’s degrees in philosophy and public policy. He remains one of the critical voices in diagnosing the Kenyan body politic; its views, contradictions, and blindsides. He’s also one of the leading voices driving the millennial conversation.

Justice Gatuyu a.k.a Gatuyuriana

Gatuyu is a trained lawyer from Kenyatta University, He runs the Gaturiyana Journal, that focuses on history, religion, business and finance. He has run the journal since his day as a student. He is a regular contributor to Daily Nation and Business Daily. He is a critical intellectual voice on matters of economics and resource allocation and taxation. He writes a lot of issues on intellectual capital, power, and resource modeling.

Ciku Kimeria

Ciku is a Kenyan communication specialist and scholar based in Dakar, Senegal. She specializes in women’s issues, minorities, art, and traveling. She’s the author of, Of Goats and Poisoned Oranges. Kimeria is one of the finest content curators around with a critical eye for cultural and geopolitical issues around the world with a particular focus on African and back minority issues.

Ephraim Njega

Njega is an economist and one of the leading voices on debt, governance, interest rates, and the political economy. He’s been a leading critic of the current regime since they came to power on their fiscal and monetary recklessness. His capacity for articulating the impact of economic policy and planning on the masses endears him to a wide audience of Kenyans especially as the economic conditions in the country continue to deteriorate.

Scheaffer Okore

Scheaffer Okore is an International Relations and Diplomacy graduate from the University Of Nairobi. A powerful voice on public issues. She’s an amplifier of voices on social, economic and political issues, regular TV pundit and uses her Twitter to channel uncomfortable truths about the class wars, politics, development, and where we stand as a country. She’s one of the founders of Ukweli Party an alternative political voice within the Kenyan political sphere.

Ciru Ngigi 

Ngigi is a graduate of Daystar University in Counseling Psychology. She’s been a critical voice in contemporary and generational issues exploring the facets of structural, cultural and operational violence and related traumas as manifested in politics, church system, politics and personal relationships. Ciru does general commentary on a wide range of social issues with a focus on their impact of the daily lives of individuals.

Abiud Onyach

Abiud Onyach is a Media trainer with a great interest in politics and governance. He has taught Media Studies in college since 2011; at some point heading the Media Department at Zetech University. Towards the end of 2014, he took a break from teaching to help a friend put up a digital agency in Tanzania. The first ever 3D studio in the country, producing 10 mins animated political satire video aired on the local TV channels. 

Once the Startup was in good hands and stable, he came back home for a new opportunity. Today he lectures part-time and works full time with Mzalendo Trust-a Parliamentary monitoring organization. Additionally, he runs a news magazine website (Native East Africa) he founded in 2013 that covers East Africa. The website however shut down and he’s planning a relaunch with a specific niche for EAC audience.

Mukurima Muriuki

The Los Angeles based Conflict and Resolution expert is perhaps popular on Facebook and quite a familiar face in the commentary section of our local dailies where he derives from his endlessly elastic memory about the country’s history. He runs the African Warrior platform that seeks to tell the stories of Africans in the diaspora. He authored a chapter in a book on Conflict Transformation with renowned professors in the field. He is a Conflict Resolution expert. 

Gitungo Wamere 

At 26, Gitungo Wamere is a social justice activist, a print and TV political and policy analyst. He is currently a DAAD scholar at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, Germany. His work at Mzalendo Trust, a pioneer Parliamentary Monitoring Organisation in Africa involved using technology to enhance accountability and openness in Kenya’s Parliament.

Joe Muburi 

Muburi is a 31-year-old electrical engineer and IT geek turned filmmaker. He runs a Nairobi film startup called Afrikan Film Centre where he shares the African story – the tears, the struggle, the pain, the laughs, the dreams and aspirations, the triumphs and the good times every time the cameras roll. Muburi combines engineering problem-solving skills with the power of storytelling offered by the film to create compelling films, documentaries, and social campaigns. He is a 2018 Ongoza fellow, works as part of the 2018 Kenyan cohort of Harvard University CopyrightX course and is passionate about Africa, sports, law, and technology.

Kwemoi Kamary, Ph.D.

Kwemoi is an academic who lectures at Wilbur Wright College, one of seven City Colleges of Chicago and work as Academic Advisor for various professional development and career training programs. He contributes Africa’s diaspora perspectives to various academic and media forums in East Asia and North America. Before moving to Chicago, Kamary served as the Kenya Community in Korea chairperson. He holds a Ph.D. From Kosin University, South Korea, an M.Sc in Instructional Technology, from Fort Hays State Kansas U.S.A.





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