Spice Participants 2017

Mary Ndiritu | Spice Mentor

Mary Ndiritu is a feminist and a strong believer of equal rights for both sexes and especially for women who have been marginalized due to social construction. She works to deconstruct and unlearn some of the cultures that continue to undermine the women. She is committed to fighting for a world that recognizes the differences between male and females and recognizes both as equal humans.

Reginald Onduru | Spice Mentor

Reginald Onduru is an accountant by profession and an entrepreneur, he quit employment to start Café Afrikana, an fast food joint in the shoping malls of Nairobi. He is an introvert of some sort but there lies business wisdom that will change the way you manage your enterprise.

Josiah Adiema Adiema | Spice Mentor

Josiah Adiema is a former national debate champion when he was a student at Uganda Christian University, Josiah was instrumental in the founding of the Kenyan National Debate Council where he is the CEO. He is a debate trainer. He has designed debate training programs for Global Platform-Nairobi, a youth training hub for ActionAid. The practical and online trainings are focused on empowering young people to engage in policy and politics. He is a speaker and a great communicator.

Leah Karimi | Spice Mentor

Leah Karimi is a renowned author and mentor on matters Financial literacy and business.She has been hosted in various Kenyan mainstream media TV shows and print. She is passionate about empowering individuals especially women simply looking for financial literacy and business lessons, mentorship and guidance. Despite struggling to accept her writing passion for a long time, Leah Karimi grew to embrace and monetise it after her first major business – Newstart- Wellness Lifestyle Centre at the Nairobi CBD failed, in her early twenties. She finally found the courage to share her costly lessons gained since childhood through her writing passion and ultimately change the world.

Erick Inghatt Matsanza | Spice Mentor

Erick Matsanza is a social change catalyst who employs disruptive means in challenging the status quo at the backyards. As a brand builder and community catalyst, he is the founder of Spice Without Borders, a movement of social change accelerators who use their inner spice to transform society. Inspired by the struggles of the women in his childhood to impact his life when he was about to miss his secondary education. His mother and sister who despite their meagre resources, stepped in when no man in the family was willing to take up the responsibility. This has stired him to see more women empowered with the necessary skills that will foster creative and critical thinking so that they are able to transform society.

As a social activist and a public speaker, his spicy talks have provoked many mindsets, changing their perceptions on harmful traditional ways of doing things so he created SpiceTalks, a platform for exceptionally spicy ideas from the backyard of society, and a catalytic accelerator for intense social change. The platform is devoted to transforming the society by the creative and critical voice of the people.

Akol Miyen Kuol | Spice Mentor

Akol Miyen Kuol, commonly known as Akoldit, launched a peace initiative titled ‘Save The Last Train’ in Nairobi in March 2016 at the SpiceTalks by Spice Without Borders as part of the efforts to save South Sudan peace agreement that was signed in August 2015. In 2017 he was nominated by Defy Hate Now as a Guest Speaker on International Peace Day on 21 September 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Akol is an author, poet, journalist, peace advocate, mentor, influencer, optimist and public speaker. The poet left his home region Abyei for Khartoum in 1978 due to the political instability which is still ongoing until the present time. Akol underwent his studies in Khartoum and Al-Jazirah State and deserted Sudan in January 1993 for Egypt and has since lived in exile until the country split into two in July 2011.

As an author he has published three collections of poems entitled, The Sun Will Be Rising, The Last Train, and Intizar (meaning Waiting in Arabic), and two analytical books titled, A Case For the Capacity of South Sudanese to Rule Themselves, and Sudan: Understanding the Oil-Rich Region of Abyei. He also co-authored a booklet for UNICEF entitled, ‘Life Skills Programme for South Sudan, HIV and AIDS, Information and Activity Book for Mentors’, 2001.

As a mentor Akol offers public speeches on various occasions to direct individuals (especially South Sudanese) towards the future with confidence and determination by employing their skills, experiences and knowledge. As a journalist he worked with BBC for ten (10) years until he voluntarily resigned in March 2017 to dedicate his time, efforts and energy to national and peace issues, and writing as well.  He has contributed to various Sudanese, South Sudanese and East African newspapers, as well as the BBC on Sudanese, African and world issues. Being a Peace Activist, Akol advocates for peace nationally and internationally, mainly through his poetry.

Akol visited a number of countries and eventually came to Kenya in 1999 taking it as his base. During those years, he worked with UNICEF, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). Akol is married to Christine Nyanakol Gordon Riak with whom he has three children: Mijak, Nyenawut and Kuol (popularly known as Mandela, jr).

Alis Okonji | 2017

Alis Okonji, a Red Spice, is keen on teenage issues. Orphaned by HIV at a tender age and loosing their last born to the HIV scourge, she has bared the brunt of stigmatization. She grew up in various homes but owes it to her grand parents who had to shoulder her orphanhood. She quips, “HIV is not a killer disease, stigma is.”

Winie Choni Barawa | 2017

Winie Choni Barawa, a Green Spice, is a woman who the word determination befits her well. Having struggled with the english language as a child till in her teenagehood with hardly being able to construct a proper sentence, her academic performance was drastically affected. She did all she could from purchasing translation books to joining the debating club just to be able to hack the English language. Today she is a master of the English language and initiated a community based organization called “Washindi” Africa, swahili for “overcome” and formulated groups in schools where she offers mentorship. So what is her favourite quote, “You were born with wings, don’t forget to flap them.”

Charles Mulwa Kyenze | 2017

Charles Mulwa Kyenze, a Purple Spice, is a thought provoking poet. Born with an albinism condition has had his fair share of discrimination in the society given the myths and misconceptions behind people with living with albinism. Life to him has been a challenging journey given who he is. His poetry seeks to challenge the status quo and push for diversity and inclusion.