The Leaders of Tomorrow – Dr. Hannah Mugure Kamano

The Leaders of Tomorrow – Dr. Hannah Mugure Kamano


Dr. Hannah Mugure Kamano: Never give up!”


Hannah is a 43-year-old mother of 10 children. She currently works as a research scientist at the Food Technology Research Center, based at the Kenya Industrial Research & Development Institute. She holds a PhD in Food Science and Technology from the University of Nairobi, a Master of Science in Food Science and Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology from the same University. She also holds a diploma in IMIS (Management of Information Systems) from Strathmore University.

Q: Tell us a few things about you! Your background, your childhood and early beginnings! 

I was born and raised in a small town in Kenya (Muguga) in a family of five. It was hard growing up as we had to walk many miles to school every day and sometimes in extreme weather. However, it was fun being in the countryside, enjoying beautiful nature, scenes that were characteristic of where I lived. I have fond memories of my childhood. My mum and dad were very loving and caring. My grandmother too, who doubled as my mentor encouraged me to work hard in school and excel academically. Though it was not easy, by the grace of God, I have come this far!

Q: What are some of the key challenges in your society currently?

There is not enough support for women from our society particularly for mothers in business and with careers.  There are differences in money remuneration between men and women

Q: Share with us some of the hurdles that you had to overcome in your life so far? How did you handle them? 

1.  Schooling and motherhood – by balancing and being flexible

2.  Mentality of the people – believing in myself and my capabilities

3.  Lack of parental policy – on a personal level I had to multi-task; finding an appropriate schedule to obtain my goal.

Q: Why is the role of a mentor important for you? 

My mentor has helped me focus on my Personal Positioning Concept (PPC), goals and potential to obtain those goals, to give support on a personal level on time management.

Q: Do you have a lesson that life has taught you and you would like to share? 

Never give up, always believe. If you have a plan, you have the potential to achieve it.

Q: Name a project, a foundation or a person in your country that you think is doing great work in helping improve other people’s lives! 

The late Wangari Maathai – who was a Nobel Prize Winner helped to save so many forests from destruction The Wangari Maathai Institute is continuing in the footsteps by helping transform so many lives. The Kenya Red Cross – who are ever selfless and help in saving lives; whenever there is a disaster, they are the first to arrive and offer help.

Q: What are some of the challenges that women in your country face and what efforts are being made towards gender equality?

Working time

Salary range harmonisation

Government support for families with more than three children is missing; this holds back many women from excelling in science.

Q: Share with us a motto you live by. 

The earlier, the better. Never say never. Never give up.

Q: If you had all the money needed to launch the project of your dreams, can you describe what you would do? 

To define and establish my own laboratory and Institute which can provide world-class research facilities and mentorship for young scientists.

Q: Anything else that you may wish to add? 

I am very grateful for this opportunity to be mentored by Mirjana Prljevic, who is the best. I have had an excellent experience with her and this has helped me clarify where I am and where I want to go. Now, I can confidently say, I know what I want and how to get it!

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