Leading author Grace Ogot dies, aged 80

What you need to know:

  • Grace, the wife of leading historian Bethwell Allan Ogot, died at Nairobi Hospital around midday after a long illness.
  • The London-educated nurse and once assistant minister was also one of the country’s first women MPs.

The literary fraternity was on Wednesday in mourning after Grace Ogot, one of Kenya’s leading writers, died.

Grace, the wife of leading historian Bethwell Allan Ogot, died at Nairobi Hospital around midday after a long illness.

Best known for her novel The Promised Land and a collection of short stories titled Land without Thunder, Mrs Ogot who would have turned 81 in May, belonged to the first generation of indigenous African writers.

AMONG FIRST WOMEN MPS

The London-educated nurse and once assistant minister was also one of the country’s first women MPs.

In Yala, Siaya County, the family’s usually quiet home was busy as villagers and other mourners arrived in droves.

When the Nation visited the home on Wednesday evening, Mr Thomas Ogol Olwande, a caretaker, said the family received news of Mrs Ogot’s death on Wednesday afternoon from a relative in Nairobi.

Mama had been taken for treatment to Kisumu before her transfer to a hospital in Nairobi for further treatment. She had been ailing for some time but we did not anticipate her death this soon. We are truly shocked,” he said.

Scholars paid glowing tribute to the former Gem MP.

They included Odera Akang’o University College Principal Joseph Rasowo, Prof Egara Kabaji, deputy vice-chancellor of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology and Dr Joyce Nyairo, a culture analyst.

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