Professor Leah Marangu, first woman Vice Chancellor of Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi Kenya and Director of the Character and Creativity Initiative (CCI) in Kenya, received the Strengthening Families Leadership Award at the close of the Global Peace Convention 2013. The Global Peace Award highlights Professor Marangu’s commitment community development through strengthening youth and family.
At the end of her acceptance speech, Professor Marangu invited her husband on stage and said, “They say that behind every man there is a successful woman. I am here to say that behind every successful woman there is a successful husband.” She recognized that her success is as much her husband’s as it is her own. She brings up a crucial point in her simple remark, that women can and need to foster crucial partnerships between men and women in every part of a community; and that humility and grace go a long way to making those relationships work. She said that it is, “through teamwork that this noble process will be successfully implemented.”
Professor Marangu believes that families are an important part of improving education and social stability. She has put her conviction into practice as Vice Chancellor at African Nazarene University and Director of CCI in Kenya. As Vice Chancellor, she has expanded her investment beyond the student body through mentoring programs that she has established between the University, local middle and high schools.
Her leadership with CCI has been a crucial part of its measured and recognized success. CCI programs “strengthen families to live in creative ways to solve their problems amicably, not only in society but also in the family.” In 2013, the independent Kenya Institute on Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) published a three year assessment of the program that concluded CCI does improve school culture and student academic performance.
She is a wife, mother and grandmother, who also dedicates herself to the advancement and success of her students. Her passion for family is evident in both her professional career and personal life. She is an advocate for the family, a champion of education and a servant of peace. Through her relationships and partnerships in all aspects of her life she is bringing sustainable development and peace to her community and family.