According to the official UNEF website (http://www.unep.org/) she met doctor James Ang’awa (Obama’s birth doctor) on December 5th, 1964 in Kenya:
Before joining UNEP in 1979 – I had worked for a number of UN Agencies in both Kenya and Ethiopia – but the powerful flashback that is permanently in my mind is the day that I graduated from College. It was the afternoon of Friday, December 5th 1964 – Prize Giving Day – which instantaneously changed the course of my life. My plans for going into Medicine and eventually specializing in Pediatrics were put on hold (or so I thought) as I was intrigued and fascinated by the work of the UN – especially that of UNICEF and WHO, who were providing Emergency funds for children and working on Tuberculosis. Fate was moving its huge hand and I felt an inner power of spontaneity that was guiding my every move. In those days, I was a rather shy youngster and certainly not the forthcoming extrovert that I turned into in later years!
At the prize giving, diplomas were being handed out by a very polite and soft-spoken man, the WHO Representative, Dr. James Ang’awa. When it came to my turn, I looked up into a gentle face when he asked what my future plans were? I didn’t hesitate with my response of very much wanting to work for the United Nations – especially WHO and UNICEF. In a flash, I saw a sad look cross his eyes when he told me that it was a shame that I didn’t have any experience as he had a vacancy in his office. He required the services of an able assistant to work together with a large number of doctors and experts in the research of Tuberculosis.
I lost my breath – but just for a split second – before I blurted out a rather impulsive and probably a cheeky request. “May, I please make a suggestion?” I asked, my heart thumping in my chest. “I will work for you, free of charge for a month and if I don’t prove suitable, there will be no hard feelings on either side.” I felt I was going to faint when he shook his head in agreement and very calmly said, “You can start on Monday!”
She then met Bruce Steadman!
That was the start of my 40 years of service in the UN! As luck would have it, I was offered a contract with UNICEF, in Ethiopia, two months later. I knew that a career with the UN was my destiny and I was to embrace every opportunity that was given to me.
When UNEP inaugurated its offices at the Kenyatta Conference Centre – before the move to Gigiri – Bruce Steadman, Deputy to UNEP’s first Executive Director, Maurice Strong, asked me to join him, as his Personal Assistant when he moved from Addis Ababa to join UNEP. Family obligations and having to care for a year-old baby, sadly forced me to turn the offer down. But, 2 years later, in February 1979, I joined UNEP to work with Peter Thacher, Deputy to Dr. Mostafa Tolba. I felt that the most valuable experience that I carried with me, at the time, was how to work in grueling circumstances having just survived one of the cruelest revolutions to take place on African soil. Our UNDP offices were bombed, colleagues were imprisoned, close friends lost loved ones while some even fatally collapsed in front of our eyes. That horrible experience helped me develop – in a weird sort of way – a sense of calmness and level-headedness in dealing with crisis. As luck would have it, this was put to test, in a much milder way, during the attempted coup in Kenya in 1981!
The forgoing was an excerpt from an article at UNEF.org titled, Reflections by Teddy Gianopulos, long-serving former UNEP staff member: Down memory lane – 40 years in the service of the UN.
I don’t think that this Bruce Steadman is our Bruce Steadman from here a WOBIK but we absolutely had to make a record of this strangeness!
We also found a picture (adjacent left) of UNEF’s Bruce Stedman, and a full page article regarding Deputy Executive Director Bruce Stedman, in a tangible publication called The Courier: European Community – Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (No. 45), September – October 1977.
Bruce was interviewed by The Courier at the Gigiri headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme which was located several kilometers outside of Nairobi, Kenya.
As you may have noted by now The Courier spells his last name as Stedman as opposed Steadman which is listed at the United Nations Environment Programme’s official website.
Which spelling is correct? Is this another example of doctor Helton Maganga vs Heltan Maganga?
From what we’ve been able to gather today we believe that the official UNEP.org website has the incorrect spelling (if there is such a thing) their ex-Deputy Executive Director. We believe that he probably spelled his name as Stedman.
Having said that, is it really so difficult to believe that Coast Province General Hospital in Kenya used the Helton spelling for doctor Maganga?
Directly below is The Courier full page article on Bruce Stedman:
Below please find an embedded PDF of the complete volume No. 45 of The Courier (78 pages):
Please exercise your free speech in the comments section below. There are no stipulations of political correctness on this blog. Speak your mind, give us your thoughts, both objective and subjective. Share your ideas, hunches, inklings or your expertise. Please provide recommendation and corrections if you spot errors in fact within the blog report. Lastly, remember that posting a comment is much like casting a vote, so please do so.