Sustaining a spinal cord injury can turn anybody’s life upside down. Now imagine dealing with an SCI in a country with limited medical care, no government assistance and rare access to even a basic manual wheelchair. When Kennedy Nganga became a C3-4 incomplete quad after a diving mishap in 1992, he spent over two years in an orthopedic hospital ward before coming home. In the years after his accident, he would go on to become an accomplished painter. But his true calling may be his philanthropic work through the Momma Kennedy Mission, which empowers, educates, and helps Kenyans with disabilities find mobility equipment, food and clothing.
Nganga’s story began near the coastal metropolis of Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city. He grew up near the beach and quickly developed a passion for swimming that would carry him to becoming a decorated high school swimming champion. But a diving accident when preparing for a swim meet left him in crit