Writers Famous Authors from Kenya

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List of the most popular authors from Kenya, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries authors have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of storytelling. Whether they're known for fiction, non-fiction, poetry or even technical writing, the famous Kenyan authors on this list have kept that tradition alive by writing renowned works that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable Kenyan writers, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

The list you're viewing is made up of many different authors, like Kiraitu Murungi and Liaquat Ahamed.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous authors are from Kenya?" and "Who are the best Kenyan authors?"

For further information on these historic Kenyan authors, click on their names. If you're a bookworm then use this list of celebrated Kenyan authors to discover some new books that you will enjoy reading.

Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Ode to Lata Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla born in Mombasa, Kenya, is a Los Angeles-based writer. He is most famous for his novel Ode to Lata published in 2002, that was adapted to a film in 2008 under the title The ...more

Wangari Maathai is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Unbowed: A Memoir, The Green Belt Movement: sharing the approach and the experience, State of the world's minorities 2008: events of 2007 Wangari Muta Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and political activist. She was educated in the United States at Mount St. Scholastica and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the University ...more

Richard Leakey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Human Origins, El Origen De LA Humanidad, Nuestros Origenes Richard Erskine Frere Leakey is a Kenyan politician, paleoanthropologist and conservationist. He is second of the three sons of the archaeologists Louis Leakey and Mary Leakey, and is the ...more

Elspeth Huxley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
The Mottled Lizard, Brave new victuals, Their shining Eldorado Elspeth Joscelin Huxley CBE was a polymath, writer, journalist, broadcaster, magistrate, environmentalist, farmer, and government advisor. She wrote 30 books; but she is best known for her ...more

Louis Leakey is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Defeating Mau Mau, Kenya; contrasts and problems, Aggression and violence in man Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey, also known as L. S. B. Leakey, was a Kenyan paleoanthropologist and archaeologist whose work was important in establishing human evolutionary development in Africa, ...more

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Petals of Blood, The River Between, Matigari Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is a Kenyan writer, formerly working in English and now working in Gikuyu. His work includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social ...more

Yash Pal Ghai is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Yash Pal Ghai The Asian minorities of East and Central Africa, The Political Economy of Law, Public Participation and Minorities Yash Pal Ghai is a Kenyan academic in constitutional law. As of 2007 he is the head of the Constitution Advisory Support Unit of the United Nations Development Programme in Nepal. Until 2008, he ...more

Kuki Gallmann is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Die Nacht der Löwen, Ich träumte von Afrika, Afrikanische Nächte Kuki Gallmann is an Italian-born Kenyan national, best-selling author, poet, environmental activist, and conservationist.

M. G. Vassanji is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, The Assassin's Song, Amriika Moyez G. Vassanji, CM is a novelist and editor, who writes under the name M. G. Vassanji. A citizen of Canada, Vassanji's identity easily straddles three continents.

Meja Mwangi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Meja Mwangi Carcase for Hounds, The Mzungu Boy, Striving for the wind Meja Mwangi is one of Kenya's leading novelists. Mwangi has worked in the film industry, including screenwriting, assistant directing, casting and location management.

Raila Odinga is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Raila Odinga Raila Amolo Odinga, also popularly known to his supporters as Agwambo, Tinga, Baba, RAO, and Jakom is a Kenyan politician hugely regarded by many as the father of democracy in Kenya owing to his ...more

Liaquat Ahamed is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World Liaquat Ahamed is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. He was born on November 14, 1952.

Jomo Kenyatta is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Facing Mount Kenya, The challenge of Uhuru, Kenya Jomo Kenyatta was the leader of Kenya from independence in 1963 to his death in 1978, serving first as Prime Minister and then as President. He is considered the founding father of the Kenyan ...more

Mukoma Ngugi is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Conversing with Africa, Hurling words at consciousness Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ is a Kenyan poet and author. His father is the author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.

Daniel arap Moi is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Transition and continuity in Kenya, Kenya African nationalism, Continuity and consolidation in Kenya Daniel Toroitich arap Moi is a former Kenyan politician who served as the second President of Kenya from 1978 to 2002. He removed Kikuyu ministers and replaced them with ministers from his own ...more

Binyavanga Wainaina is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Kwani? 02, Kwani? 1, Beyond the River Yei Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina is a Kenyan author, journalist and winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing. In April 2014, Time magazine included Wainaina in its annual TIME 100 as one of the ...more

Margaret Ogola is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Margaret Ogola Cardinal Otunga, I Swear by Apollo, River and the Source Margaret Atieno Ogola was the Kenyan author of the novel The River and the Source, and its sequel, I Swear by Apollo. The River and the Source follows four generations of Kenyan women in a ...more

Josiah Mwangi Kariuki is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
'Mau Mau' detainee, J.M. Kariuki speaks his mind, JM Kariuki in Parliament Josiah Mwangi Kariuki was a Kenyan socialist politician during the administration of the Jomo Kenyatta government. He held different government positions from 1963, when Kenya became an ...more

Aidan Hartley is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Aidan Hartley The Zanzibar Chest: A Memoir of Love and War Aidan Hartley is a Kenya-born journalist. Hartley was born in Nairobi in 1965. He attended Sherborne School, in Dorset, England. He read English at Balliol College, Oxford University and went on ...more

Wahome Mutahi is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Wahome Mutahi The house of doom, How to be a Kenyan, Three days on the cross Wahome Mutahi was a beloved humourist from Kenya. He was popularly known as Whispers after the name of the column he wrote for The Daily Nation from 1982 to 2003, offering a satirical view of ...more

Kivutha Kibwana is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Kivutha Kibwana An introduction to the constitution of Kenya, Sowing the constitutional seed in Kenya, Making our constitution Kivutha Kibwana is a Kenyan politician. He was minister for Defence, minister for Environment and a former member of parliament for the Makueni Constituency. He is also a former advisor to ...more

Kiraitu Murungi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Kiraitu Murungi The song of my beloved, Ethnicity, multi-partism in Kenya Kiraitu Murungi is a Kenyan politician.

Atieno Odhiambo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Mau Mau & Nationhood Eisha Stephen Atieno Odhiambo was a Kenyan academic, born in Muhoroni, who was known for his contributions to the understanding of dangers inherent in politics of knowledge and sociology of ...more

Quassim Cassam is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Quassim Cassam The possibility of knowledge Quassim Cassam is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick. Cassam was born in Mombasa, Kenya and educated at Keble College, Oxford. He writes on self-knowledge, perception, and ...more

Koigi wa Wamwere is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Negative ethnicity, I refuse to die Koigi wa Wamwere is a Kenyan politician, human rights activist, journalist and writer. Koigi became famous for opposing both the Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi regimes, both of which sent him ...more

Rawson Macharia is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Rawson Macharia The truth about about the Trial of Jomo Kenyatta Rawson Mbugua Macharia was the key prosecution witness at the trial of the Kapenguria Six, who included Jomo Kenyatta. Kenyatta and the others were Kenyan nationalists jailed for managing Mau

Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
The position of Kiswahili in Kenya Professor Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha is a Kenyan playwright and Swahili language educationalist. He has served as an executive secretary of the Inter-University Council for East Africa, and was the ...more

Daphne Sheldrick is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story Dame Daphne Marjorie Sheldrick, DBE is a Kenya-based British author, conservationist and expert in animal husbandry, particularly the raising and reintegrating of orphaned elephants into the ...more

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor Weight of Whispers Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor is a Kenyan writer, who was named "Woman of the Year" by Eve Magazine in Kenya in 2004 for her contribution to the country's literature and arts. She won the 2003 ...more

Ngugi wa Mirii is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Ngaahika Ndeenda Ngugi wa Mirii was a Kenyan playwright who lived in exile in Zimbabwe, where he died in Harare. He was known for his play, I Will Marry When I Want, which he co-authored with fellow Gikuyu ...more

Grace Ogot is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
The other woman Grace Ogot was a Kenyan author, nurse, journalist, politician and diplomat. Together with Charity Waciuma she is the first Anglophone female Kenyan writer to be published.

Michael Ndurumo is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Michael Ndurumo Exceptional children Michael M. Ndurumo is a deaf educator from Kenya, who was the third deaf person from Africa to obtain a Ph.D., in 1980. He obtained his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. degrees from Peabody College of ...more

Kinoti Gatobu is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Kinoti Gatobu Wheels within wheels Boniface Kinoti Gatobu is a Kenyan politician who was elected as a member of the Kenyan Parliament in the 2013 parliamentary elections. At 26, he is the youngest member of Kenya's 11th ...more

Gitura Mwaura is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Gitura Mwaura Portraits of the heart Gitura Mwaura is a Nairobi, Kenya-based writer currently working as a media consultant with various organisations. He is a published author and development journalist previously involved in the ...more

Rocha Chimera is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Authors from Kenya
Rocha Chimera is a Kenyan writer. He received the Noma Award in 2000 for Ufundishaji wa Fasihi: Nadharia na Mbinu. Chimera holds a B.Ed. and M.A. from Kenyatta University, and a Ph.D. from Ohio ...more