2016 M.I.C Honorees
Co-Founder: I-Care Operation
An investor with diversified portfolio, promotes healthcare services to community members, potential doctors,and business partners within the Dallas and Collin region. Noel MButhia Mck epitomizes the requisite qualities espoused by Men Impact Change. He continuously seeks opportunities and has devoted understanding of the social, cultural and economic challenges facing business people in the African region, with special objectives to the East African Community – specifically in Kenya and Tanzania. He is responsible for business development management that empowers, and allows members to manage and perform a wide range of financial transactions from their mobile phone to other channels.
Noel is a seasoned project manager with an extensive background in technology. He has a Bachelor of Science Computer Information System, Electronic Engineering Technology Bridge Program from Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario Canada and a real estate license from the Champions School of Real Estate. He is also a graduate of leadership Allen/Fairview program.
Noel the quintessential classic man. His wife, Lucy McKenzie is the most important person in his life. Noel and his wife are the founders of ICare Operation a 501 (c) 3 non-profit located in Allen. ICARE Operation provides assistance and creates awareness of the needs of the homeless in Dallas and Collin counties that reside in the shelters and the streets. The organization was awarded the 2015 DEAR awards , 2016 Mashujaa awards ( Houston) & the 2016 Mashujaa awards ( Atlanta). Noel is an ICN ( I Change Nations) Goodwill ambassador of the United Nations.
Busy as he is, Noel and his wife have volunteered in DFW community since 2009, feeding and clothing the homeless. He believes in Servant Leadership. Through his work, he has become a real masterpiece, a perfect example of Men Impacting Change.
Dr Kevin A Storr, PhD
Director, The Global Value Initiative
“The Professor of Value”
Professor Kevin A. Storr is originally from New Providence Bahamas and came to the United States for his college education. While growing up in the Bahamas he was personally impacted by family, educators and other leaders. All of whom had a part in his development and achievements. His path to fulfillment was often met by challenges, which helped develop the passion and leadership he demonstrates today.
Professor Storr graduated with undergraduate degrees in Physics and Computer Science from Prairie View A&M University. He also went on to earn a Ph.D. in Physics from the Florida State University. Prof. Storr is currently a tenured Associate Professor of Physics and is a Researcher in Low Temperature Condensed Matter Experimental Physics.
Professor Storr for the past fifteen years has meticulously studied, developed and practiced hismaterial on Value, Leadership, Vision, Character and Family to ensure well balanced and enhanced presentations. Some of his seminars have been conducted for the Republic of Burundi as a consultant, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services, the Florida Pharmacy Association and International Leadership Conferences and Seminars. Dr. Storr was recently appointed as Advisor to the Office of the Ambassador at Large for the Republic of Burundi. Dr. Storr was responsible for developing curriculum and trainings for leaders in different spheres of leadership and organized the first annual Leadership and Development Conference (LaMDa Conference) which is still in existence.
For years he hosted the Leader’s Advantage a weekly radio program designed to develop individuals desiring to become and improve in leadership.
Professor Storr uses his unique training as a Professor, Physicist and Pastor in the facilitation of his colloquia and the development of his pedagogy for advancing the areas of Family, Leadership, Value, Science and Education. His inspiring lectures are filled with lucid illustrations as he communicates that we are all people of value, with unique patentable abilities, capable of influencing others. He also shares how to increase in Personal, Educational and Character value and the value of those with whom we interact.
Professor Storr is the director of, “The Global Value Initiative,” a successful grant writer and
has self-authored two books. His many awards include:
Recipient of the Girma Wolde-Giorgis, Human Conservation Solutionist Award named
after the former President of Ethiopia
The International Golden Rule Award
Appointed as Advisor to the Office of the Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi,
First Recipient of the CELA University Lifetime Achievement Award and
Multiple recipient of the Texas A&M System, Chancellor Teaching Award of Excellence.
P. Frank Kanobana
VP, Niza Ltd
When it comes to leadership no one epitomizes the requisite qualities espoused and promoted by Men Impact Change better than P. Frank Kanobana. He is married father of two. Native of Rwanda, Mr. Kanobana has a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the Indiana University South Bend. After graduating he relocated to Dallas where he worked as a Quality Control manager.
Frank has been in the forefront in promoting trade between US and East Africa, He is the former Chairman of East Africa chamber of Commerce-USA ( EACC) and has been working extensively to establish trade relations between East Africa and USA.
Frank is co-owner and vice president of Niza LTD, an international corporation that primarily focuses on real estate investment in Rwanda. He is also the owner of P and I Carrier LLC, a freight forward company that operates across USA and Canada. Frank is also active in the Dallas community and is the immediate former elected President of Rwanda American Community in Dallas/Fort worth. He currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas.
His wife Aline Umutozo K is the most important person in his life. He strongly believes in the power of mentorship and strives to guide young men in the DFW. Busy as he is, Mr. Kanobana gives back to the community by hosting events and raising funds for the genocide victims in Rwanda.
Founder: Belle Secours Foundation
Founder and CEO at Belle Secours Foundation - Where hope is given through love, Bryan Makombe is a young man impacting change in both the USA and in Africa, providing food, clothing and other essential products to the homeless. Through his foundation, Bryan and his team have been successful at mobilizing the millennials in the annual Thankgiving food drive in the DFW.
He believes in Robert Ingersoll saying , “We rise by lifting others.” He is an anti-xenophobia activist, advocating against the attacks in South Africa. He is the brainchild of the anti-xenophobia media campaign aimed at raising awareness to the attacks. Through his foundation, he empowers the young generation to get involved in the community. He believes in being the change we want to see.
Bryan is the 2015 ZYAA Community Organizer of the year awardee. He strongly believes we were all created equal and material possession should never define ones happiness in life. He believes through love we can offer hope to the world.
Impact: Journalism & Photography
He is a journalist and a photographer with a passion for social activism. He is the leading voice in the quest to ban single use plastic bags in Kenya. James Wakibia has become an environmental advocate constantly engaging town officials in regards to their lackluster performance when it comes to city drainage, garbage collection, asbestos removal and any other issues affecting the community.
Wakibia is a graduate of Egerton University where he studied Communication and Media.
His unbridled love of nature fuels his activism and forces him to act to protect the environment. His role models include Wangari Maathai , the founder of the Green Belt Movement and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the fiery activist Boniface Mwangi whose courage and political antics have won accolades as well as dumbfounded many.
Wakibia is well aware that fighting to protect the environment puts him against powerful forces bent on thwarting his efforts but he remains undeterred spurred on by the enduring words of Margaret Mead “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed , it is the only thing that ever has." Due in part to his efforts, Plastic ban came into force in August 2017. He hopes his efforts will lead to a green revolution that extends to all spans the globe.
Founder: Strategic Fathering Ministries
He recalls it all, every bit of it, some things you just do not forget. The details may be hazy but the memory tenaciously persists, seared into his memory with the iron rod of time, of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse he persevered from the man who had given him a life and a name and who he called daddy. They say you can tell the greatness of a man from the obstacles he has had to overcome. You would not know without his telling you what he has been through to get where he is and yet it has not stopped him.
Pastor Jay Cookingham has been married for 34 years. His wife Christine is the most important person in his life. He has a degree in graphic design, holds a theology degree from the Christian Life School of Theology. It is his PhD from the school of Hard Knocks he is proudest of the most. Jay, as he's popularly known, is also the founder of Strategic Fathering Ministries, an organization “whose goal is to encourage, equip and help men become stronger fathers, husbands and brothers." He has spoken nationally at numerous events and even at the Iron Sharpens Iron men events. He is also the host of ManUp Moment a two minute radio spot for men with over 200 episodes on the Sound of Life Radio Network and Men living Up Radio.
Jay is also a prolific author. His critically acclaimed works have been featured in more than 8 books. Thomas Nelson recently published his two works “God Makes Lemonade" and "A Man after God’s Heart: When a Father’s Spirit Soars." His advice to all- Forgive. Stop being a victim and forgive. He has had to forgive his father for the ten years of incessant abuse. He forgave because he wanted to be free from the “prison of wounds and the poison of abuse. Forgiveness was the only way he could be free, he adds.
Jay's favorite quote is from the Sci-fi Movie Buckaroo bonsai “No matter where you go, there you are."
Dr. Dan Mugubi
Founder: Mashujaa Awards
Ascending to the highest echelon of academe is no mean feat. For Dr. Dan Mugubi the journey from rural Kenya to a professorship at the prestigious University of Texas at Houston was darn near impossible it was not supposed to happen and with good reason.
Dirt poor and born to a single mother struggling to make ends meet, Dr. Mugubi was raised by his grandmother who sold produce from her small parcel of land to pay for his education. Money was tight and everyday a struggle by the tenth grade the well had dried up and he was kicked out of school due to unremitted fees. His dream of graduating had come to a screeching halt due to a lack of money. He had every excuse to quit but Dan was not about to let his dreams of acquiring an education go up in a puff of smoke. He would find a way and he did.
Spurred on by an insatiable quest for knowledge Dan devised an ingenious plan. Every weekend he would stalk his classmates, borrow and copy their notes to stay abreast of all they had covered that week. It was a last ditch effort from a young boy who stared down the odds and refused to give up.
The plan worked and a student who had not seen the inside of the classroom the entire semester beat all his classmates to come top of the class. The stellar performance by the absentee student caught the attention of school officials and he was awarded a scholarship. High school would now be free.
Dan would go on to excel in high school garnering numerous academic awards and was admitted to The University of Nairobi. Armed with a bachelor’s degree Dan applied and was admitted into the University of Texas to pursue a master’s degree. The kid who could not afford school fees was now headed for the academic major leagues.
College in Texas was no walk in the park. Dan juggled two full time jobs and carried a full school load while in graduate school where everything moved at a frenetic pace but he was undaunted. All his previous challenges had hardened and prepared him for the hardships he would encounter. His zeal and zest for education grew unabated. He would not stop until he had completed his doctoral studies.
In 2008 Dr. Mugubi was elected chairman of Bosi International Association, a Kenyan non-profit organization whose aim is to improve the well –being of Kenyans in the diaspora by addressing the social and economic challenges they face. Under his stewardship Bosi International has hosted Mashujaa awards Mashujaa Gala , an annual award ceremony that recognizes outstanding Kenyans, four years in a row.
Dr. Mugubi credits his success to his grandmother for working her heart out to keep him in school. Without her his dreams would have fizzled and faded out. A married father of three daughters, Dr. Mugubi is especially grateful to his wife Lillian for the sacrifices she has made along the way and the support she has given him without which he would not have succeeded.
Dr. Mugubi currently teaches at the University of Houston Clearlake in Texas USA. He is also an entrepreneur with a business catering to individuals with special needs and licensed by the State of Texas. His message- Never give up no matter how tough the situation.
We at MEN Impact Change salute Dr. Mugubi for his work with BOSI International Association and for inspiring a generation of young men to reach for the stars by leading by example.
The Kenyan Boys Choir
Impact: Performing Arts
Over 60,000 people gathered to watch them at the 2016 Global Citizenfestival in New York City’s Central Park. They have had top 10 album in the U.K charts for weeks after being signed to Universal music. Founded in 2004, the exceptionally talented 30 young men ages 17-26 are drawn from different high schools and colleges in Kenya. The Kenyan Boys Choiradvocates for education and mentoring of the boy child. The choir is dedicated to molding a world-class choral outfit that offers a platform for Kenyan Boys to nurture their talents in Music, dance and drama, while imparting life principles of discipline, hard work, perseverance, persistence and determination.
Through its music, Kenyanboyschoir Boyschoirofkenya aims to preserve the Kenyan musical culture by showcasing traditional songs, musical instruments, dance, language and costumes. The choir’s repertoire is of a wide range, from Kenyan tradition al folksongs and arrangement to contemporary songs from around Africa, popular renditions of cover songs and not forgetting the regular corpus of European and American choral repertoire with other classics from around the world.
The Choir has been privileged to be the only Choir to perform at PresidentBarack Obama inauguration in 2009, toured around the world in Countries Like; China, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, USA, Canada, Netherlands among other places, interacting, recording and performing with Artists such as; Usher, Raymond, Nelly Furtado, Aloe Black, Joe Jonas, Kardinal Offishal, Tom Morello, JRDN, Karl Wolf, Demi Lovato, Ellie Goulding, The Tenors, and Tony Bennet.
The Kenyan Boys Choir draw their inspiration from God. They are also inspired by the King’s College Cambridge choir, Vienna Boys Choir, Boys II Men and the Backstreet boys. The Kenyan Boys Choir are mentored by the pioneer, St. Louis African Chorus (currently African Music Arts) and Dr. Fred Onovwerosuoke, a renowned Musicologist and Cross Cultural educator, who was the brainchild behind the inception of the Choir. Their favorite quotes: “Set the music free.” and "The foundation stones for a balanced success is based on your perception of the world. The world is You."
E Arabis Zemill
Impact: Performing Arts
Poet, author, lyricist and musician…these are all elements of artistry that merge to form E Arabis Zemill. One of the most versatile artists on the spoken word and poetry scene today, Zemill is dominating the mic with his innovative musical and poetry stylings inspired by the father of jazz and poetry fusion, Langston Hughes. Famous for his ability to not only engage but interact with audiences during his live shows, Zemill is spreading the word from coast to coast. After thirty-years in corporate America, Zemill decided it was time to take control of his destiny and pursue his poetic passions. He took the compilation of poems and lyrics he had accumulated over a lifetime of writing and pulled several poems together for his book: "Thoughts in Vision: Poetic Works of Love, Life and Inspiration."
In 2012, Zemill began promoting the book through a series of readings at small gatherings, book clubs and private homes where he received positive feedback and was encouraged to begin showcasing his work on a larger scale. Having reached a point in his artistic pursuits of wanting to take things to the next level, Zemill began to study the art of spoken word and poetic performance. Zemill made the daunting transition from scribe to performer through daily practice and total commitment to honing his skills on the mic. That same year, Zemill took to the stage for the first time to perform at an open mic night at Brooklyn’s Jazz Café. Zemill took the audience on a lyrical journey with topics ranging from inspirational to erotic, love and romance, to the streets and social consciousness. His powerful words which ebbed and flowed on the rhythm and beats of his original music left the audience snapping, clapping and begging for more from the dynamic new artist.
Zemill continued to set the poetry community on fire with live performances at venues around the country including The Apache in Atlanta, Houston’s National Black Book Festival, ASCAP Convention in Los Angeles, International Poetry Festival in Austin and Dallas’ prestigious Black Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2013, he released his first poetry CD, In the Mix produced with long time musical collaborator Joel McCray. The album boasts two CDs and 30 tracks including the audience favorite “You Are My Kryptonite” and his poem “To My Sisters” celebrating strong women of color. His sophomore CD Timeless – A Jazzy Poetic R&B Ride, is a sizzling cool blend of Smooth Jazz, Neo-Soul, Smooth R&B and Lyrical Poetry. The piano and sax will soothe you and the songs within his melodies will move you. It is truly a mellow experience!!! In addition to performing on stage, Zemill has taken his messages of life and inspiration to the classroom, places of worship and community outreach programs with poems like “Relevance” which encourages one to “Run when there is no race…Try when you don’t think you can.
If you don’t win the race, make them know you ran.” Words Zemill himself has truly taken to heart. Poised and ready to take his work to even higher ground, Zemill continues to draw inspiration from all facets of life. Audiences are definitely receiving the message and loving the Zemill PoJazz experience which is a fusion of Jazz, R&B and Poetry. One fan recently gushed, ”Will You Stay?" unveils the realness from the heart of a man in love…"the melody was as sweet kisses to my heart that made me want to cry." Today M.I.C honors E Arabis Zemill for impacting change as a poet, an author and a musician.
Anthony Thuo aka Thuothuo
Founder, Editor: Jamhuri News
A Serial entrepreneur , business oriented ,ambitious and prayerful. Anthony Thuo ( a.k.a Thuothuo) believes education is important but not sufficient. He graduated with a diploma in Tourism and Recreation Management from Association of Business Managers and Administrators (ABMA) in 2007 and immediately started his company before going onto pursue his degree. He registered Tourism and Recreation Research Agency, offered services to high end tourist hotels in Kenya. His company was highly rated and featured on national TV stations like NTV, Daily Nation and “The Star”. He relocated to the USA and took a business program at the University of Connecticut (UConn). He had also joined nursing school out of peer influence in 2012 but later dropped out to focus on business.
Thuothuo Anthony wears many hats. In US, he started off as a professional event and corporate photographer at “Thuothuo Studios” (www.anthonythuo.com). He is now one of the most sought African event photographer in the Greater Boston Area. He also owns a media channel where he curates news relevant to the Kenya diaspora community (www.jamhuri-news.com), a platform for Kenyans in the diaspora to get a glimpse of Kenyan news, as well as promote their businesses and organizations. Most recently, he launched Mediaplus Ventures where investors connect with modern and innovative startups in thriving markets to invest in both Africa and USA, provides investment insight and material to guide in the fields of Technology, Manufacturing, Renewable Energy and Retail ( www.mediaplusventures.com ).
Busy as he is, Anthony finds time to give back to the community. He is webmaster volunteering his technical skills at the Kenyan Catholic Community of Boston. He is a second place awardee of the National Business Plan Competition as the most innovative entrepreneur. Anthony’s biggest challenge was his relocation to the USA. From a high achieving photographer in Kenya to job seeking in USA. Yet he did not give up. For several years , he volunteered his services to different churches and community gatherings in Boston. This experience shaped him and helped him build one of the biggest photography outlets in Boston. His parents are his greatest inspiration.
The internet technology evolution also inspires him to consistently find new and better ways to serve his clients. He strongly believes in the power of mentorship. He encourages young entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams, offers them free annual press and advertising on their startups to help them gain traction. Anthony loves books by Napoleon Hills.
His favorite quote is from "Think and Grow Rich" - "One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat."
Founder: Preston’s Practical Perspectives
Conscientious, thoughtful, honest and straightforward are Christopher Preston guiding principles. He is a contemporary and charismatic minister, life coach and motivational speaker. He is a professional truck driver and owner operator, a job he has been doing for over 15 years. He is known to create dialogue on social, political and spiritual subjects affecting our everyday life while travelling across the country. He takes his faith and delivers the message through facebook live. He has gathered a large and loyal following around the world. While driving he dedicates 1-2 hours meditating and praying. “I am not going to focus on anything else, I am not going to answer my phone. I will talk to God and you might be surprised at how often God would come in the truck, sit down and minister to me." he says.
Christopher Preston’s ministry started when he posted a video on Facebook that gathered over 7 million views worldwide. On the video he talked of a young lady who bought some antifreeze to put it in her car. She opened the hood but Mr. Preston realized it was smoking. He pulled in front of her car and said , “Ma'am I'll do that for you, you shouldn't open its hot.” But the lady said, “oh no I got it." He he insisted it was dangerous for her. He noticed she was nervous, he looked around the hood just to notice two men in her car sitting and watching the lady. They would not come out to help her. The fact that the lady was so accustomed to doing everything herself, saw nothing wrong with the men inside her car who failed to help her, bothered Mr Preston deeply and he was compelled to start a movement Preston's Practical Perspectives to help young ladies realize their worth, while at the same time mentoring young men. Mr Preston is reaching to millions of people, some of who have never been in Church.
Mr Preston has served 5 years as Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Mendenhall MS. He is currently a musician at Greater Faith Church, Laurel MS. He has been a Church musician since 1980 and enjoys playing piano, organ and bass guitar.
A father of 5, his wife Renata Magee Preston , is the most important person in his life. They both serve in the outreach ministry together. His mother’s sacrifice and dedication inspires him. She raised 4 children, worked and studied full-time.
Mr. Preston is also the founder of Men•tour 101 : An organization dedicated to empowering men to be more productive; equipping them to be accountable to themselves, their families, and their communities. He mentors boys ages 10-18.
Mr Preston has been featured on CBN/700 club. He is also a contributor to the CBN blog. His favorite quote: Romans 8:28 "For, we know that all things work together for good to them who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose."
Impact: Performing Arts
Tevin Manyara a.k.a Prince T is on the ladder to becoming the most successful rap artist, song writer and actor. At a tender age of 13, Prince T has toured the country, performing in talent contests and stage plays.
Tevin is a straight A student. His love for music started in 3rd grade. He wrote his first song that won many accolades. He has since written three songs and currently working on his forth. His inspiration for music comes from the drive to change rap music to be more positive, raise awareness and spread hope to the world.
Tevin won 1st place at the L.A Talanta awards. He was later invited to a charity pageant, Face Of Kenya- USA 2016 where he performed in front of a large crowd that cheered and applauded him with a standing ovation. He later starred in the stage play “Heaven’s Gates Hell’s Flames.”
He recently auditioned for a role in the film, “October, ‘96”. He recorded and sent a taped audition believing that although he had little experience, he would be selected. His faith and passion won him the role. A few weeks later, Hollywood actor and producer, Adetokumboh M'Cormack of the TV Shows: Heros, Lost and NCIS, contacted him to give him the good news. Tevin is now actively pursuing a career in the film industry.
Tevin ‘s mom Sue Njeri, is the most important person in his life. She believes in him, encourages him and is always looking for great opportunities to nurture his talents. Hollywood actor , Benjamin A. Onyango, (God is Not Dead, Criminal Minds Beyond Borders) and, Director of MEN Impact Change, Mr Michael Mugo are his mentors.
Dr. David Gift Wasambla (MD, MPH)
Author: The Power Of Passion
Passionate, Loyal , Committed and prayerful are Pastor Dr David Gift Wasambla's guiding principles. His passion for humanity was the driving force in planning, coordinating and leading the very first and successful medical camp in Kenya. He used his personal resources to support over 1,500 survivors of PEV. He also established the HIV clinic ( CCC) in Moyale, a remote town in Eastern Kenya and coordinated a successful donation of over 190 space heaters to hospitals across Kenya and Zanzibar through the Cheka Mtoi Aishi Initiative.
A father of 3, his wife, Naomi, is the most important person in his life. Dr Wasambla is not only a minister of the gospel, a Motivational Speaker, a Life Coach and a doctor by profession but he is also a comedian. He uses humor and wit to raise awareness to issues affecting the community, while at the same time spreading the gospel. He is A TV actor and script writer for TV and stand-up comedy; Hapa Kule News and the renown comedy show in Kenya, Househelps of Kawangware. He is soon to be on DSTV’s Maisha Magic channel.
His career in comedy started in 1996 while in medical school in Russia. He graduated with a medical degree from Kuban State Medical University. He has over 12 years working experience in nonprofit organizations and emergency response. His most notable work was during the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa in 2015. He risked his life, flew to West Africa as a medical coordinator of Ebola treatment. Dr. Wasambla has also helped in finding treatment for Cholera outbreaks in Kenya.
An ordained Pastor of Living Faith Church Worldwide aka Winners’ Chapel Int’l, Dr Wasambla is currently serving in the capacity of Assistant Pastor in Sierra Leone, Zone 5. He is fluent in a number of languages: English, Swahili, Dholuo, Russian, basic Krio and French. His excellent grasp of the Russian language was what made him stand out in medical school.
He is the CEO of Cheka Mtoi Aishi Trust and TKO Company Ltd. The Cheka Mtoi Aishi initiative aims to entertain the audience with comedy while creating awareness on new-born mortality and how to prevent it. He aims to raise enough money to buy heaters for maternities and delivery rooms in all health facilities in Africa. A warm environment for a new-born in the first 5 minutes of life saves life by averting hypothermia (low body temperature) which is a common, preventable cause of new-born deaths across the globe, especially in developing countries.
Award winning humanitarian (Jubilee Insurance Samaritan Award JISA 2013) and first runner up medical category of Transform Kenya Awards 2014. Dr Wasambla is also the Author of the best seller book, “THE POWER OF PASSION” based on his own practical experiences and journey to success.
Despite being discouraged numerous times by his family members and teachers, some of who told him that he would never amount to anything, Dr Wasambla has remained prayerful. He constantly meditates and reminds himself that his life’s purpose is not tied to negative people but to God. (Romans 8:29-30)
Dr Wasambla favorite quote is, "Humility is not mediocrity but the ability to subject ones power under self-control." (Pastor Dr Wasambla)