Writers Famous Writers from Kenya

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List of famous writers from Kenya, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Kenya is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Kenyan writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of Kenya and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

Examples of writers on this list: Kinoti Gatobu, Kuki Gallmann and many more.

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Kenyan writers?" and "Which writers are from Kenya?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of Kenya in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in Kenya, but they're all of Kenya descent.

1
Wangari Maathai is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Died at 71 (1940-2011) 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

2
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 80 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

3
Elspeth Huxley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Died at 90 (1907-1997) 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

4
Mark Peploe is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 75 Mark People is a screenwriter and film director.

5
Liaquat Ahamed is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 63 Liaquat Ahamed is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. He was born on November 14, 1952.

6
M. G. Vassanji is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 68 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.

7
Richard Leakey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 74 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

8
Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
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

9
Daniel arap Moi is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 94 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

10
Jomo Kenyatta is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Died at 89 (1889-1978) 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

11
Kuki Gallmann is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 75 Kuki Gallmann is an Italian-born Kenyan national, best-selling author, poet, environmental activist, and conservationist.

12
Meja Mwangi is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Meja Mwangi age 70 Meja Mwangi is one of Kenya's leading novelists. Mwangi has worked in the film industry, including screenwriting, assistant directing, casting and location management.

13
Binyavanga Wainaina is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 47 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

14
Kyzza Terrazas is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Kyzza Terrazas is a film producer, screenwriter and a film director .

15
Louis Leakey is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Died at 69 (1903-1972) 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

16
Mukoma Ngugi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 47 Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ is a Kenyan poet and author. His father is the author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.

17
Daphne Sheldrick is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 84 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

18
Josiah Mwangi Kariuki is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Died at 46 (1929-1975) 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

19
Kiraitu Murungi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Kiraitu Murungi age 66 Kiraitu Murungi is a Kenyan politician.

20
Koigi wa Wamwere is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 69 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

21
Margaret Ogola is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Margaret Ogola Died at 53 (1958-2011) 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

22
Atieno Odhiambo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Died at 64 (1945-2009) 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

23
Grace Ogot is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 88 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.

24
Kivutha Kibwana is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Kivutha Kibwana 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

25
Aidan Hartley is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Aidan Hartley age 53 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

26
Rawson Macharia is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Rawson Macharia Died at 97 (1911-2008) 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

27
Michael Ndurumo is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Michael Ndurumo age 66 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

28
Ngugi wa Mirii is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Died at 57 (1951-2008) 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

29
Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
age 66 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

30
Kinoti Gatobu is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Kinoti Gatobu 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

31
Wahome Mutahi is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Wahome Mutahi Died at 49 (1954-2003) 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

32
Gitura Mwaura is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Writers from Kenya
Gitura Mwaura 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

33
Rocha Chimera is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Writers 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