The general adage since the years of yore holds that women must always fight twice as hard as men to make a mark in the world.
Truth is that women have left lasting footprints on the social and economic fabric of our human existence, footprints that have remained visible for many years. Women have many enviable firsts.
In Kenya for instance, the first African woman to own and drive a car, as told by author Mike Eldon, was his mother-in-law, Marjorie Kimenyi.
Kimenyi descended from a long line of high achievers and according to a book, A Profile of Kenyan Entrepreneurs, her grandmother Medrin Wanjiru wa Rara, was among the first landowners in Nairobi.
She was a landowner in the 1900s and owned some land in Nairobi, around Globe Cinema area.
Wanjiru wa Rara once accommodated Jomo Kenyatta, who was young at the time, alongside other veteran freedom fighters in Nairobi.
Kenyatta had just arrived in Nairobi as a water-meter reader.
Eldon is married to Marjorie’s daughter, Evelyn Mungai, who founded Speedway Bureau in 1970 which was the first African-owned personnel selection agency. She founded it while in her twenties.
Evelyn is also the founder and proprietor of the iconic Evelyn College of Design in Nairobi.
She and Eldon met in 1995 after Mungai had been widowed for 18 years from her first marriage from which she had two children – Eric and Wacuka.
Eric Mungai is a prominent businessman and a close associate of President Uhuru Kenyatta. He is also the father of Kenyan musician Karun Mungai.
Eldon also revealed that he had grown close to Dr Njoroge Mungai, a one time Foreign Minister in Kenya, who also played Jomo Kenyatta’s role at President Uhuru Kenyatta’s wedding.
He explained that Mungai also played the role of his father at his pre-wedding event with his wife Evelyn.
“Before I close let me explain that Dr. Mungai’s parents were Godparents to my mother-in-law Marjorie Kimenyi, and that the late Hon. Jemimah Gecaga – Dr. Mungai’s sister – was Matron of Honour at her wedding.
“Jemimah was one of the earliest Nominated MPs… My mother-in-law, the first African woman to own and drive a car, would give her a lift,” stated Eldon in a tribute to Mungai.