The Big Tree in Ken Okoth

He led from the front, being a beacon of hope to many people.

When you were born, the whole world smiled while you cried. On your death, the whole world is crying while you are smiling. Hon. Ken Okoth touched every life on his way and the sombre mood in every corner of the continent isn’t a surprise. He inspired hope and put a smile on many faces, but this has crumbled because he left without saying goodbye.

Ken was born and raised in Kibera – one of the biggest slum in Africa – by a single mother in a family of six. This was definitely the drive behind his commitment to improving lives of those in informal settlements.

Having had several complaints he was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer.  He flew to France for special treatment and vowed to overcome the disease.

Being a fighter, he came back in improved health on 7th July 2019 and started going about his job. He first attended education function at his constituency where he stated that chemo was taking a toll on him but couldn’t stop his passion to serve his constituents. The disease could not hinder him from what he loved most. His passion for education is unmatched.

On 25th July, he was rushed to Nairobi hospital after his health deteriorated. He was put under life support.  Unfortunately mheshimiwa passed away on Friday 26th July at around 4pm.

He was an astute leader who transcended political barriers in bringing development to his constituents. This was evident on the effortless interactions he had with both sides of the house.

His resilience throughout the ailment is inspiring. Of course being a big tree, many birds are now hopeless. To many, the future is now uncertain like never before. But I am sure we shall get solace from your dreams of upholding social democracy through education. Besides, you’ll remain with us in this journey because to us you’ve turned into a butterfly.

A cancer warrior, an educationist, a humanist and a trailblazer, we will forever celebrate you our hero.

You are a winner.

Rest in peace Okoth Ken