A Tribute to Kenyan-born Harvard Professor, Calestous Juma

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President Uhuru Kenyatta led Kenyans in eulogizing the late Harvard University Lecturer Professor Calestous Juma in Nairobi’s Holy Family Minor Basilica during his requiem mass on 4th January 2018.

The President termed Prof. Juma as a distinguished scholar whose work has impacted the country and the world and that he has left a legacy that will navigate through generations. Other personalities in attendance include Supreme Court Judge Jackson Ojwang, University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor Prof. Peter Mbithi, Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu, Busia Senator Amos Wako, former vice-president Moody Awori, Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris and Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo among others.

The US-based Kenyan scholar died while undergoing treatment in Boston, Massachusetts, until his death, Prof. Juma was a lecturer at Harvard University and he was the only Kenyan listed in the inaugural list of ‘2017 Most Reputable People on Earth’, he featured alongside personalities such as Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, the Pope among others.

Professor Juma appeared in lists of most influential people on earth and in the years 2012, 2013 and in 2014 he appeared in a list of the most influential 100 Africans by the New African Magazine.

Professor Juma started his career at Egoji where he attained a teacher’s certificate from Egoji Teacher’s College in the year 1974 after which he rose through a number of levels and attained his Ph.D. in Science Policy Research from the University of Sussex, a public research university in Falmer, Sussex, England.

His career started as a science teacher in Mombasa between the year 1974 and 1978, he then became the first science and environment journalist in the Daily Nation between the year 1978 and 1979.

Prof. Juma started as a science teacher in Mombasa between 1974 and 1978 before becoming the first science and environment journalist for The Daily Nation between 1978 and 1979. Between 1979 and 1982, he worked as an editor and researcher at the Environment Liaison Centre in Nairobi. Later on, he started his own magazine by the name Ecoforum.

At the period of his death, he was teaching graduate courses on science, technology and development policy and biotechnology at Harvard University. His casket was wrapped in a gown as a sign of honor for his exemplary service and contribution in public Universities’ development. His body will be laid to rest on Saturday in Busia County.

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