Kenny Mann was born and raised in Kenya, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology, botany and chemistry, followed by a postgraduate Diploma in Film Technology and Theatre History from Bristol University, UK. In 1970, she moved to Hamburg, Germany, to work as researcher and script writer on a series of films on animal behavior for the production company, Windrose-Dumont-Time. She also wrote and produced Chefa Jila, a documentary on an Ethiopian village, which was broadcast on German television and PowerPlay, a black-and-white experimental film that screened in several Hamburg theaters.
In 1982, she moved to the United States and obtained a Masters Degree in Education from Bank Street College in New York. Since then, she has taught African studies and creative non-fiction and fiction writing to students of all ages. She also taught many courses in professional development and curriculum design, in the US and abroad. She has authored several books for the educational market, among them an award-winning six-part series titled African Kingdoms of the Past (Simon & Schuster/Dillon Press, 1992 – 1996), as well as The Ancient Hebrews and Isabel and Ferdinand in Fifteenth Century Spain (Benchmark Books, 1995 and 1996).
Among other works are the short film Sundiata – The Lion King, which she wrote for Houghton Mifflin, and Earthwatch Kenya, a promotional film for this NGO. From 2002 – 2005, her short film Surrender was frequently broadcast on the Independent Film Channel, and is now distributed by Renew Media (Tribeca Film Institute), along with a travelogue called India – And Other Thoughts. She currently has two documentaries in post-production and a feature length film script in the works.