Prof. Laban Ayiro is Feted with the Utumishi Bora Award !!
By Dr. Lydia Radoli
School of Communication – Daystar University
A celebrated Kenyan Professor of Research Methods and Statistics, and Vice Chancellor of Daystar University Prof. Laban Peter Ayiro on Saturday December 4th, 2021, became the 7th Kenyan to receive the Utumishi Bora Award.
Prof Ayiro also received the research and writing award for the numerous works he has done in this area for the past 40 years.In the feted event organized and conferred by the Kenya Christian Professional Forum (KCPF), the award honors Christians doing extraordinary activities aimed at improving lives of people in the community, and society at large.
The award recognizes the fact that in every society, there are good people who are doing good things despite numerous societal ills as espoused in Psalms 78:72: “And David shepherded them with Integrity of the Heart, with skillful hands he led them.”
KCPF envisions through such recognition and honor, a person results in an enlarged heart of godliness thus encouraging integrity, ethics, and good stewardship in the society.
Hence the Utumishi Bora connotes good service or servant leadership, of which Prof Ayiro has demonstrated in his various leadership roles. The KCPF governance committee realized that although Kenya has about 85% Christians, its social fabric was tattered with negative ethnicity, tribalism, and corruption posing as serious cancers.
Last year’s had 5 categories including: Media Champion, Research and Writing, Mentorship, Leadership and Committed Service. In addition to a special category recognizing a Christian Profession manifesting all aspects of Servant hood, Integrity and Leadership – Utumishi Bora Award.
Receiving the Utumishi Bora award which he termed as a surprise Prof. Ayiro, related his life saying that God has used him to serve and made a commitment to continue inspiring servant leadership through his professional and personal life.
He said that the award was very significant for him, coming from his humble background to see what he has accomplished. “Please feel free to use me in any way in the great works of this foundation. We can form an army of believers of God who can do great things for this country”. Prof. Ayiro implored.
The jury committee was tasked to review profiles of several Christians Professionals who were committed to servant hood and demonstrated high levels of integrity and selfless service.
Speaking during the event the KCPF Chairperson Charles Kanjama related that the goal of the awards was to get many Christian professionals involved and as part of the solution to heal the malaise of vices in the country through the Utumishi Bora – Servanthood.
He said the award sought people of integrity that were not necessarily holding high political positions but were ordinary Christians making efforts to instill values in the community. Kanjama noted that the secret to Christian excellence is “doing ordinary things in an extra ordinary way”.
He added that the award was not about self-congratulatory gesture but was meant to motivate the awardees to aim higher.
He pointed out that the awarding foundation was set up with the encouragement of P.L.O Lumumba who served at the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) from September 2010 to August 2011. The foundation is inspired to recognize individuals doing great works from the grass roots, including at the county government levels to encourage community towards servanthood.
In 2020, the Utumishi Bora award went to the governor of Makueni County-Kivutha Kibwana. Other awardees have been Christian Professions that had demonstrated virtues and aspirations of being credible men and women as leaders and professionals.
The foundation seeks to introduce two corporate categories that will recognize family first organizations, and institutions of integrity fighting negative vices in their leadership and management.
Each of the awardee went through a rigorous verification process, internal assessment and background checks that confirmed their commitment and demonstrated performance.
Making his Keynote address Dr. Ceasar Mwangi CEO of ICEA Lion Insurance Holdings and Chair of Strathmore University Council said it was rare to recognize people of reputable virtues and ideals, yet it was important because the world and country at large was in desperate need of servanthood.
He argued that it was common for Christian countries to have high levels of vices like corruption and violence, while non- Christian countries demonstrated levels of integrity and encouraged the awardees to continue working within their capacities towards good service, building solid organizations through hard work innovation and customer service.
During the event that took place at the Trademark Hotel in Village Market, Prof. Ayiro was cheered by members of his immediate family, representatives from the Daystar University Management, Deans, Directors, Faculty members and students.