Mama Grace Onyango has become one of the awardees of the Kenya Eminent Women Trailblazers Award 2022.
The annual award which is given to women in recognition of their contribution to gender equality, women empowerment and nation building was presented to Ms Onyango by Margaret Kobia, the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and special programs.
The short ceremony that took place at Ms Onyango’s home in Tom Mboya Estate, Kisumu County, was also attended by friends and family.
Her recognition comes barely a month to the celebration of the International Women’s Day.
Kobia who also read a good will message from President Uhuru Kenyatta and the First Lady Margaret said that she, like many other women, stand on the shoulders of Onyango, owing to her success as a woman in leadership to the foundation she laid years ago.
“I’m sure many women are where they are today because of the cut she made,” the CS said, adding that more women should come out and offer themselves for leadership positions like grace did in her early days.
Ms Onyango who was the first woman Mayor in Kenya in 1965, also became the first woman elected Member of Parliament in 1969 and the first woman Secretary General of the Luo Union of East Africa in the same year.
During her tenure as the Mayor of Kisumu, she was credited with hundreds of achievements and Kisumu was rated the cleanest town in East Africa.
In 2020, Governor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o renamed the iconic Kisumu Social Center as Mama Grace Onyango Social Center in her honour.
She was also the first woman in Kenya to sit on the Speaker’s seat as Deputy Speaker of Parliament from 1979 – 1984.
She quit politics in 1984 when she lost her political seat. She is currently 98 years old.