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The Nyong’o's: How family’s value for education created an ‘empire’

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 Governor Nyong’o's family [Photo: Courtesy]

Canon Hesbon Nyong’o valued education and was instrumental in the establishment of Maseno Girls Primary School.

With his wife Dorca, they ensured that their 10 children got a decent education, ultimately creating some kind of a scholarly family ‘empire’ before his death in 2006.

1. Dorca Nyong’o: The matriarch of the Nyongo’s and the inspiration behind Twiga Association for the education of the girl child.

2. Prof Aggrey Nyong’o:  He was a renowned Nairobi Hospital Chief Pathologist and lecturer at University of Nairobi’s (UoN) School of Medicine. He was an alumnus of the universities of Indiana (where he met wife, Dr Verna Jean, the mother of Kwame, Tavia, Omondi and Isis Nyong’o).

He proceeded to Chicago for an Msc degree in microbiology, before getting his PhD in pathology. He died in a mysterious road accident on Ngong Road in May, 2002.

3. Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o: He is the Kisumu Governor. His sharp mind was evident in his alma maters - First Class Honours at Makerere (BA, Political Science), from where he proceeded to the University of Chicago for an MA and PhD in political science.

4. Susan Mudhune: She is the younger sister of Prof Anyang’. She got her BA (Education) and MBA from the University of Nairobi and was the first woman chair of KCB.

5. Dr Nyagoy Nyong’o:  The youngest sister of the Nyong’os is a development consultant and President of Twiga Association.

6. Dorothy Nyong’o: Wife of Prof Anyang and mother of Lupita and her five siblings. The alumnus of USIU and UoN is the Director, Africa Cancer Foundation and 7th Sense Communications.

7. Lupita Nyong’o: She is the first black African actress to bag an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress), which she got in 2014 for her role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. She attended UNAM Education Centre in Mexico, Rusinga, St Mary’s Schools and Hampshire College for a degree in film and theatre studies and Yale School of Drama for her MFA Master’s degree in acting.

8. Zawadi Nyong’o: Lupita’s sister is a director at 7th Sense Communications and Creative Director at Zero by Zawadi.

9. Kwame Nyong’o: Lupita’s cousin is an animator, illustrator, storyboard artist and winner of Best Animation, African Movie Academy Awards in 2012.  The alumnus of Academy of Art University is a director at Apes in Space Animation.

10. Tavia Nyong’o: Professor of African performance studies, New York University.

11. Dr Omondi Nyong’o: Ophthalmologist, Palo Alto, California.

12. Isis Nyong’o Madison: The alumnus of Stanford and Harvard was Vice President and Managing Director of InMobi, the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network, but is now Principal at Asphalt & Ink.

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