A woman of many firsts – Orie Rogo Manduli’s private life

Thursday, September 9th, 2021 16:49 | By
Orie Rogo Manduli, known for her wide colourful and sharp head-scarfs, died yesterday at her Nairobi home. Photo/PD/file

She is the first African woman rally driver whose star started rising at the tender age of 16 when she was crowned Miss Kenya, this is none other than Orie Rogo Manduli.

She was named Mary and died aged 73. She was born in Maseno, Kisumu County to Zeruiah Adhiambo and Gordon Rogo. 

Both her parents were teachers but her father later became a celebrated councilor.

The known schools that she attended include; Ng’iya Girls’ High School, Butere Girls then later Machakos Girls High School. 

She later joined Machakos Teachers College where she studied Education a career she never pursued. 

Manduli who to many is described as a woman of steel died on Wednesday, September 8, at her home in Riverside, Nairobi County.

Those who spent moments with her always said that she was interesting to hang out with since she was never boring. 

Known for being a woman of standard not only on beauty but largely also on beauty.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday evening mourned the deceased as a lady who broke records in many fronts.

“She scored a series of firsts including being the first woman of African descent to participate in the East African Safari Rally in 1974 and 1975. 

A trailblazer in many aspects with her signature African dressing style,” said Odinga, adding that she left a mark in many fields including being a politician. 

Odinga mourned the deceased saying that the country had lot a great personality, a great daughter and a trendsetter.

She was the former chairperson of the Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) in Kenya- a position she was appointed to in 2005.

In 1974, she was appointed administrative manager at the Coffee Board.

A year later she was appointed marketing and public relations manager with Metal Box in charge of East Africa. 

Her marriage life at first had lots of issues and she parted ways with her husband and father of three.

Manduli later got married to Norman Manduli who was first cousin to former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba. 

Norman passed on in 2003 after they stayed in marriage for 23 years. 

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