A bleeding nation: Tribute to Gen Francis O. Ogolla

Everything is in place ahead of General Francis Ogolla's memorial service at the Ulinzi Sports Complex on April 20, 2024.

Photo credit: Wilfred Nyangaresi | Nation Media Group

My country is bleeding, 

I weep for a man my eyes know not, 

A gallant and highly decorated soldier, 
Who alongside his comrades in arms, 
Have paid the ultimate price, 
In serving and defending the nation.

I weep for a man, 
Whose decisions and actions, 
Have impacted nations near and far,
Even my kinsmen and our neighbours,
Have felt the transformative weight of his decisions,
Like the gentle soothing wind that you see not,
Yet your body hair feels it. 

I weep for a man, 
Who has been fighting on land and air, 
To bring peace to the volatile Valley of Death, disarming the warring parties, 
And returning normalcy to the cantankerous groups. 
Classrooms that had been abandoned and ruined, 
Is what you went to supervise their rebuilding and reconstruction,
Your brave and gallant soldiers that were in the frontier,
Are what you went to encourage and boost their morale.


May your blood and that one of your colleagues, 
Not be shed in vain, 
May it water the vulnerable seedling of peace, 
May it wipe away the silent tears of the widows, 
Whose husbands were violently snatched away from them,
By the cruel hand of the bandit, 
May it give hope to the orphans, 
Whose lives were turned topsy-turvy, 
And left to wander this earth, 
Without parental support. 


May this be a turning point for bandits, 
That your asinine and reckless actions, 
Have cost us a noble man, 
May it grant peace and serenity to these troubled lands. 


You were paradoxically a silent yet effective gentleman,
A gentleman par excellence with amiable character,
A patriot who loved his country to the core, 
Media shy yet a man with a heart of a lion, 
A fighter pilot who was summa cum laude in his class, A man who has protected the Kenyan skies and her territorial integrity with chutzpah and alacrity, 

Kenya will forever remember you, 
Generations to come will learn of your name, 
This nation is eternally grateful and indebted to you, As the bowels of the earth open to receive your gentle body, 
May it be a harbinger for a national peaceful coexistence,
For all the warring parties of the valley and country. May your soul live forever!

Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel is the County Chief Officer of Medical Services at Turkana County Government and a friend of Gen Francis Ogolla.