Triumphs of a Herd's Girl (Paperback)

Madam Leah's Life Against All Odds

By Catherine Makhanu

Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 9781517753290, 196pp.

Publication Date: November 21, 2015

List Price: 8.10*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Educational opportunities were few and far between for rural Kenyans living under British colonial rule in the 1940s. For women, such opportunities were practically nonexistent.

As a young girl watching over her father's cattle, sheep, and goats, Madam Leah longed for an education. At thirteen, she made the daring decision to pursue learning, despite the odds in her way.

Her age and gender were obstacles. Her impressive height led to bullying and teasing from her fellow students, but Madam Leah persevered. She valued education too much to fail.

Triumphs of a Herd's Girl recounts Madam Leah's journey from humble goatherd to teacher, eventually serving twenty years as headmistress of a local primary school, cofounding women's organizations, and helping needy children receive the education they so desperately needed.

Catherine Makhanu, Madam Leah's oldest daughter, remembers her mother in this inspiring memoir: A woman who ensured her seven children all received college educations. A woman who was an exceptional farmer, teacher, and humanitarian. A woman who began as a young girl watching over her father's herds and dreaming of a better life.

About the Author

Born in Kenya, Catherine Makhanu is Madam Leah's oldest child. She came to the United States in the late 1980s to attend college, receiving a master's degree in mathematics from Wichita State University and a bachelor's degree in biology from Bethel College in Kansas. Catherine also holds a diploma in agriculture from Egerton University in Kenya. While attending graduate school at Wichita State University, Catherine taught undergraduate mathematics. She relocated to Omaha, Nebraska, after graduation and has since worked for several major US corporations as an analytics professional. She is also a certified business consultant and certified associate in human resources.