, Nairobi, Kenya, Jan 6 – Professor Calestous Juma was buried at his rural home in Budalangi Saturday, in a ceremony attended by hundreds of mourners—including leaders from the government and Opposition side.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was represented at the funeral by two of his Cabinet Secretaries—Amina Mohammed (Foreign Affairs) and Judy Wakhungu (Environment)—who read out his condolence message to the family.
On the other hand was NASA brigade—led by Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula among others.
In his message, President Kenyatta urged Kenyans to emulate the distinguished fallen scholar who will be remembered for his efforts in innovation.
On his part, Odinga seized the opportunity popularize NASA, while reiterating his resolve for electoral justice.
“We will continue until we achieve electoral justice in this country because our people have been denied what is rightfully theirs,” he said, “rigging of elections must come to an end.”
Juma was mourned as an afro optimist who believed in the Ability of Africans to solve challenges in their continent and did not allow the circumstances he grew in to limit his possibilities.
Odinga fondly remembered their close friendship and the times they spent together, Odinga said Juma would invite him to go and speak to his students in Harvard about African politics.
“Juma was an afro optimist and not an afro pessimist like me. Juma is a true nationalist. He came from Budalangi but he spoke about Africa. He is a man who believed in bringing people together,” he said.
NASA co-principal Moses Wetangula eulogized Juma as a hard worker who rose from a humble background to lead in the world of academia.
“Juma rose from a very humble background to become a world intellectual giant. What we can learn from his life is that nothing is impossible,” he said.
The Bungoma senator also lamented what he termed as a culture of mediocrity where average people are celebrated more than deserving ones.
“As we mourn Juma, let us think about our country. We have a character of celebrating mediocrity in place of deserving people,” he complained.
The US-based Kenyan scholar died while undergoing treatment in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Harvard professor was listed in the inaugural list of “2017 Most Reputable People on Earth.
At the time of his demise, Juma was a Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Faculty Chair of the Mason Fellows program at the Harvard Kennedy School.