Curtain falls on distinguished scholar and consultant

A few people can be described as “larger than life” for the great things they accomplish or their imposing status in society.

Prof Dinguri Mwaniki who died on August 15 in Nairobi was one of them. His family eulogised him as an icon and an institution.

Mwaniki left for the US at the dawn of independence, excelled in academics with four degrees to his credit, set up a consulting firm straddling three continents and exercised his responsibilities as a husband and father.

Born in 1942, the don epitomised the Kenyans who went, saw and conquered, more or less like our athletes who put Brand Kenya on the global stage during the just-ended Rio Olympics.

He was a distinguished scholar, having earned his PhD in Economics of Education and Planning, International Economics and Public Finance from Stanford University in 1972.

Mwaniki then became an associate professor at the Universities of Nairobi, California and Helsinki, Finland.

He expanded his professional horizons by setting up Coda Corporation Group — a consultancy firm that developed leading business interests in the US, Europe and Africa.

Some of his clients were the UN, World Bank, Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, World Trade Organisation and the East African Community.

Coda also provided technical advice  and investment services to private firms through its offices in the US, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Mwaniki was an outstanding leader, who served in many organisations.

He touched the lives of many with his prowess and humility. The professor was a mentor to his children and many young people.

The don owed his success and character to his father, Crispus Mwaniki Ndinguri, who was a pioneer student of Alliance High School, secured a job in the civil service in the 1930s and resigned a few years later to start a successful dairy and cash crop business in Kiambu.

When Mwaniki Sr was detained during the independence struggle, Dinguri assumed the responsibility of supporting his mother, Josephine Thitu, and  bringing up his siblings. 

The professor ensured they received good education in Kenya and the US. 

He was married to Dr Mebo Mwaniki and Mrs Juliet Mwaniki. He will be buried in Githunguri tomorrow.

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