Peninah Mukabane: The Iron Lady eyeing Kakamega Woman Senatorial seat in 2022

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Peninah Mukabane

THE MAKING OF A LEADER SERIES

By Collins Matubwi

Kakamega

She is probably the natural face of a typical, fearless, descent and dignified African woman who has been accepted in the society.  A brave and an advocate of women and girl’s rights as well as the vulnerable in the patriarchal society.

Penninah Mukabane hails from Isukha South in Shinyalu Sub County and her matrimonial home is in Butsotso East in Lurambi constituency.

“The question, ‘Who am I not to make it?’ has often driven me in doing things extraordinarily and indeed I’ve achieved a lot but the sky is the limit,” said Ms Mukabane. 

Ms. Mukabane is an embodiment woman in leadership, the reason she will be on the ballot come 2022 vying as a woman senator under the new constitutional reforms commonly known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI)

In an interview with the County Splash, Mukabane avers that her journey of success is defined by her discipline, principles, hard work and self-confidence.

“The question, ‘Who am I not to make it?’ has often driven me in doing things extraordinarily and indeed I’ve achieved a lot but the sky is the limit,” said Ms Mukabane. 

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala (left) and Peninah Mukabane (centre) at a past function

Mukabane is an Alma mater of Egerton University. Prior to that, she schooled Wanzalala and Mukumu Girls Primary schools respectively and later proceeded to Lugulu Girls High School where she got an (A – Minus) in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) before joining Egerton University where she pursued a degree in Education later a Master’s from Kenyatta university. 

She says that teaching was her passion, a career she realised back in school and strived to see it come to fruition.

After her undergraduate, Ms Mukabane briefly taught at Kakamwe secondary school in Tongareni Sub County and later founded Ematia Secondary in Lurambi. She also taught at Mukumu Girls High School.

Peninah Mukabane (right), First Lady Margaret Kenyatta (second right) and Kakamega Deputy Governor at a past function

She switched gears and got employed by the Ministry of Agriculture Kilifi Agricultural College and later Bukura Agricultural College. 

While at Bukura, she was spotted and made a County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of various dockets namely Environment, Agriculture and Health and after the 2017 polls, she was by Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as his gender advisor.

In the Department of Health, Mukabane spearheaded the establishment of the New Kakamega County Teaching and Referral hospital that is being constructed as a cost of Sh6.2billion, upgraded 12 health facilities to Level (IV) status across the 12 sub counties of Kakamega.

The New Kakamega County Teaching and Referral Hospital that was the brain child of Peninah Mukabane

 While serving at the Agriculture docket, she was the brainchild behind of one cow initiative, artificial insemination and countywide vaccinations and helping farmers reduce on cost of production through offering of affordable inputs and availed feed milling machines for fish farmers.

Peninah and the husband David Mukabane

Throughout her administration in the said departments, she faced a myriad of challenges such as political interference, frequent strikes by medics and the revamping of the collapsed Mumias Sugar Company.

“Political interference existed, as much as I was in good terms with the county assembly, balancing their political interests and the technical function was a problem.  They always wanted funding of their own projects to satisfy their political interests,” said Ms Mukabane. 

After the 2017 general elections, Ms Mukabane was appointed the Gender Advisor of the County Government of Kakamega a position she says gave her a platform to nurture, protect and touch the lives of the girl child and women in society. 

“We formed a gender sector technical working group which handled gender based violence, women empowerment, leadership and decision making, peace and conflict resolution in partnership with several organizations like youth empowerment network, USAID amongst others.” she said. 

According to Mukabane, women have less access to resources a reason many of them fail in political aspirations. She however insists that the girl child should be given more attention to realise their dreams.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (second right) and Peninah Mukabane (third right) with governors admiring the dummy of new Kakamega County Teaching and Referral hospital

Mukabane is a devoted wife to Mr David Mukabane and a proud mother of four.

She practices dairy and poultry farming as part of her hobby.

“Agriculture is my passion, I give it great attention, in my free time I love reading motivational works especially the bible that gives me hope and inspiration. What has bonded me more with people is my discipline, character really counts,” she said.

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