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Nyiva Mwendwa- The first woman to serve as a Cabinet Minister in Kenya

 Nyiva Mwendwa

Winfred Nyiva Mwendwa just turned 75. Nyiva is an accomplished politician who has many points to her card, she is the first woman to serve as Cabinet Minister. She headed the Ministry of Culture and Social Services in the Moi government. She is Widow of the late Kitili Maluki Mwendwa, Kenya's first African Chief Justice who died in a grisly road accident in 1985.

Nyiva was elected by the people of Kitui West Constituency to represent them in parliament, a position she successfully defended and retained in the 1972, 1992 and 2002 elections. When the new Constitution was enacted, Nyiva again successfully contested the position of Kitui Woman Representative a position she holds to date. It will never be forgotten that Nyiva was part of a high-powered delegation of Kenyan women that attended the famous Women's Conference in Beijing in 1995 where she controversially brought her hairdresser to take care of her appearance.

An alumni of the Alliance Girls High School and a former teacher at Kenya High School where she taught for a year (1965-1966), Nyiva has led a successful political life which she is set to retire from after declaring that she will not defend her seat in the upcoming elections in August. Having sat in several parliamentary committees such as the Catering and Health Club Committee and the Departmental Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations, it is evident that Nyiva has a wealth of political experience.

With her great achievement safely tucked in the archives of history and having set the pace for women leaders, the mother of two is now set to retire in order to pave way for a younger generation of women leaders in Kitui County.

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