, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Former Assistant Minister and author Grace Ogot died on Wednesday in Nairobi while being rushed to hospital after falling ill, according to family members.
Leaders across the political divide sent their condolences to her family, friends and relatives.
In his message, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the late Ogot was an extraordinary woman who demonstrated service to her country, through her immense talent and unwavering patriotism.
“There are many in this nation and beyond who will deeply miss her work as she truly demonstrated a life of service, love, compassion and excellence. May she rest in peace,” said the President.
He said the late Ogot will be remembered as a loving and caring Kenyan leader who always had a smile to help brighten others.
“She was truly a gem and always a pleasure to be around her,” said the President.
President Kenyatta said it was because of her commitment and loyalty to the nation that she was appointed to serve the nation in various capacities. He pointed out that Ogot was an intelligent writer whose works possessed a rare grace and compassion.
“Her beautiful works are evidence of her deep connection with the mood of our nation, as well as the temper of its communities as they navigated their heritage through rapidly unfolding modernisation. She spoke to a life that she understood profoundly through study and experience and directed our minds to the possibilities that lie in bridging the lived life with living ideas,” he stated.
“I will always treasure the simplicity, beauty, honesty and hope that shone through her elegant words. A woman of many parts – leader, teacher, manager, story teller, parent, mentor and humanitarian – Dr Ogot is heroine and a national treasure.”
He said even as the family and nation mourn the passing of one of the Kenyans women legends it is equally important to thank God for having given the country such a unique leader.
He said the late Ogot was keen to fight for the rights of the girl child and ensured that many were accorded opportunities to acquire education.
The President said though the late Ogot had opportunity to serve outside the country, she opted to return back to her motherland to join other Kenyans in setting foundation and building a strong nation through her skills and expertise.
The former Gem MP served as an Assistant Minister for Culture and Social Services during former President Daniel arap Moi’s regime. CORD leader Raila Odinga also sent his condolences.
“In her death, the country at large and the people of Nyanza in particular have lost a leader who was many good things to many people,” Odinga said.
United Democratic Forum leader Musalia Mudavadi on his part described Ogot as “a stalwart and pioneer leader in women liberation in Kenya.”
“She lend a motherly blend to Kenyan politics always concerned about the less privileged, especially the girl child. She spoke less but achieved a lot. She was the untypical politician who remains a role model on how to be a leader without losing her feminine identity.”