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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Former Assistant Minister Grace Ogot died Wednesday morning at the Nairobi Hospital where she had been taken for treatment.
The former Gem MP was the wife of renowned academician Prof Bethwel Ogot.
Following her death, leaders led by President Uhuru Kenyatta sent condolence messages to her family.
President Kenyatta eulogised Mrs Ogot as a “loving and caring Kenyan leader who always had a smile to help brighten others.”
He said Mrs Ogot was a great writer and that she would be remembered for caring for others.
“The late Grace Ogot was an extraordinary woman who demonstrated service to her country through her immense talent and unwavering patriotism.
“Ogot's beautiful works are evidence of her deep connection with the mood of our Nation, as well as the temper of its communities,” President Kenyatta said.
Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi described the late Mrs 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,” Mr Mudavadi said.
Mrs Ogot was born in Asembo in the then Nyanza Province in the 1930s.
She trained as a nurse at the Nursing Training Hospital in Uganda and later worked in London before returning to Kenya in 1958 to work at Maseno Hospital.
Besides nursing, she worked as a journalist with the BBC Overseas Service as a radio announcer and a script writer.
She also successfully tried her hand in writing and is well known for her first novel The Promised Land which was published in 1966.
In 1968, her collection of short stories titled Land Without Thunder was published.
Mrs Ogot was recognised for her blossoming literary career and was named as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1975.
In 1976 she was named as a member of the Kenyan delegation to Unesco.
She was also the founder of the Writers' Association of Kenya and served as its chairperson from 1975 to 1980.
President Daniel Arap Moi later appointed her to Parliament in 1985 and as assistant minister for Culture.
In 1988 she was elected as the Member of Parliament for Gem Constituency and was reappointed to her ministerial position.