Dr Davji Atellah, 33

Secretary General

KMPDU
My Story

If there is one thing that stands out for Davji, it is his voice. Not how it sounds, but how he uses it. For many years, he has used his voice to champion the rights of healthcare professionals. Davji is the secretary general of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU).

Growing up, being in the medical field was not what he dreamt of. His true calling manifested after he scored straight As from St Joseph’s Rapogi. He got a slot in pharmacy school, otherwise, he would have been a man with a distinct collar — a priest.

The dream of becoming a priest was strong as he served as an altar boy from a tender age, through to high school, and Archbishop Philip Anyolo actively mentored him to join the priesthood.

Davji’s journey to the top was never rosy. He grew up in Kenya’s largest slums — Kibera in Katwekera. He stayed with his parents together with 13 other siblings. It is only when he was 10 that his maternal grandmother, who lived in Homa Bay, opted to live with him.

Education lifted him out of poverty and the father of five is now pursuing his Master’s degree in Clinical Pharmacology at Moi University and a Master of Philosophy in Medical Law and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh.

He also sits in the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) governing council where he is the youngest member. His success has propelled him to represent Cotu in the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, as a member of decent work, social, and solidarity economy.

He believes his tenure at the KMPDU is not only revolutionary but also result-oriented.

Hellen Shikanda