My Inspirational Teacher: by Kenyan TV presenter Anne Kiguta

As part of our My Inspirational Teacher series we talk to Anne Kiguta, who in her role as Senior Anchor at Royal Media Services & Citizen TV Kenya has hosted news and talks shows and interviewed global leaders. Anne, 29, is a nutrition advocate with Save The Children and a mentor with the Standard Group’s Eve-Sister programme which seeks to empower women and girls.

Who was the teacher, or person, who really mattered in your life?

I’ve had many people throughout my life who have meant a great deal to me. From the teaching community, I really believe I was fortunate enough to have some of the best teachers ever. But because I must pick one, it would be my A-level history teacher Mrs Wanyoike.

What did they say or do to make them so special?

Her passion for her job made me extremely interested in the world around me in a way that probably I would never otherwise have been. Her class was the place where I began to understand politics and at a global scale. I was fascinated! She was always so vivid and enthusiastic about what she was teaching that it made subjects the the Ottoman Empire, forming the League of Nations and the world wars come alive for me. She listened to my contributions and encouraged me, making even more interested in learning.

What was the moment you realised this person was influential to you?

I was 17 when she gave our senior year, which happened to be a class of girls, necklaces with our initials on it. I remember wearing that shiny “A” with pride like the “S” on superman’s chest! For a long time I wore it daily and I truly felt invincible. I grew to understand it was because of what she had deposited in me – that I was bright, special and I mattered.

Would you have been successful without this person’s encouragement?

Yes … I think I would have eventually come around but perhaps it would have been a longer and much tougher road for me. I have three siblings, all of whom are girls. Her contribution to my success was reaffirming in me what my parents had instilled; I was a smart girl and if I worked really hard I would one day do something that mattered. It was that much more special because what she taught me (world history) also laid the foundation for my career.

Did you stay in touch with them?

Yes, for a few years.

Did you ever tell them what they meant to you?

I did then back then. But perhaps it’s time for a reminder. I’m on it!

Who in the world today would you describe as inspirational?

Kenya’s First Lady H.E. Margaret Kenyatta. She runs marathons to raise funds and awareness for the Beyond Zero campaign which aims to stop maternal and infant deaths. She is also the patron of the Scaling Up Nutrition movement in Kenya which aims to reduce the malnutrition and resultant problem of stunting in the country. Stunting prevents proper brain development in children which ultimately limits their ability to learn. Incidentally the First Lady was a teacher.

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