Transgender activist Audrey Ithibu Mbugua has been issued with a new Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination certificate.
This is after the high court ruled in favour of Audrey’s bid to have her named changed from Andrew Mbugua to Audrey Mbugua.
The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) however challenged the ruling at the court of appeal, which however upheld the decision.
Audrey took to social media on Monday to share her joy of finally getting the academic paper capturing her new gender identity.
“I am happy KNEC complied with the orders of the court and issued me with a new certificate. I urge other transgender people who have changed their names to apply for new certificates. I thank all those who supported me and my transgender family. You chose the side of winners and you definitely chose justice,” she posted on facebook.”
Audrey, was born and raised as Andrew Ithibu Mbugua and during his secondary education, he attended Kiambu High School, a boys only school, where he sat his KCSE exam in 2001 and scored a mean grade of A- (minus).
Like other certificates, Ms Mbugua’s was inscribed with the mark ‘M’ denoting the male gender. The mark has now been changed to ‘I’ to signify intersex.
In January 2012, by gazette notice, she renounced the name Andrew and assumed ‘Audrey Ithibu Mbugua’.
She then requested Knec to effect the changes in her exam certificate but the council dismissed her request forcing her to move to court.
High court Justice Weldon Korir ruled in her favour but in opposing the ruling at the appellate court, Knec argued that the certificate was issued based on the registration particulars “under which he registered for the examination”.
The appellate court went ahead and upheld the high court decision, compelling Knec to change her academic certificate to reflect ‘her’ new identity.
In August, the national census exercise included the intersex persons, making Kenya the first country in Africa to recognize her intersex population.