Nancy Gakahu


I am a commonwealth scholar and a PhD fellow at the school of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, UK where I double up as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in Communication Research Methods. The focus of my doctoral study is on the potentiality and impact of digital technologies in facilitating political engagement. Specifically, my doctoral study explores the use of social media for political representation by women political leaders in Kenya. 

My research interests include the place of social media in political conversations; media, citizenship and democratic processes; media, gender and politics in hybrid/transitional democracies. In Autumn 2022, I will be IAMCR's conveyer of the presidential PhD research webinar where I propose to host conference presentations that are geared towards "Communication, Citizenship and Representative Democray: Theoretical and Practical Approaches".

Besides being a beneficiary of the Commonwealth Scholarship (2020), I was also awarded the Newcastle University Overseas Research Scholarship (NUORS, 2020), which I forfeited in favor of the commonwealth scholarship. I am a member of several professional and academic bodies which include:

  • The International Communication Association (ICA)
  • The International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)
  • The Forum for African Women Educationalists – Kenya Chapter (FAWE-KE)
  • The Academic Council of the United Nations System (ACUNS)
  • The European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA)
  • The Communication and Media Studies Research Network

Research interests

Publications and research

  • Gakahu, N. 2017. “Lyrics of Protest: Music and Political Communication in Kenya.” In Onyebadi, U (Ed). Music as a Platform for Political Communication. Hershey, P.A.: IGI Global, Pp 257–273. ISSBN 1522519866
  • Gakahu, N. 2010. “The Role of Broadcast Media in Behaviour Change and HIV/AIDS Communication to the Youth: A Focus on Kenya’s Music Industry”. In Journal of Media and Communication Studies, Vol 2(7), pp 154–158.August 2010. ISSN 2141-2545@2010 Academic Journals.  
  • Gakahu, N. and Lusike, L.M. (2007) “Women’s Pages” in Kenya’s Mainstream Newspapers: Implications on the Country’s Development. In Gender and Development”, an Oxfam Journal, Vol. 15 No. 3, Pp 423–435. Great Britain: Taylor and Francis. (Also available online)
  • Gakahu, N.W. (2006). “The Hidden Curriculum: The Psychological Chain for Disempowering Female Students in Kenyan Universities” in The Role of Universities in the Attainment of Millennium Development Goals.  Chapter 12, Pp.108 –113. Nairobi: Kenyatta University

Orcid id. 0000-0003-0702-6337 


  • PhD - Media and Communication (ongoing)
  • MPhil - Communication Studies
  • PGD - Strategic Communication and Public Relations
  • B/ED - English and Literature