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How the 2017 Hbay Governor Sammy Wakiaga eulogized Prof Okoth Okombo

A great son of the soil, Prof. Duncan Okoth Okombo left us on the night of 1st November, 2017. In our hearts we mourn, yet we celebrate the achievements of his life. I am honoured to have known him since my childhood in Rusinga Island, Homa Bay County. In my childhood, stories were told about his academic excellence right from his days at Kaswanga Primary School. Added onto this was his determination and strong spirit that have been the hallmark of his lifetime achievements; rising from an untrained primary school teacher to the distinguished academic he was.

The most remarkable thing about Prof's life was his humble and unassuming personality, something that is generally lacking in most scholars of his caliber. Prof. Okoth was always willing to share, with the public, from his reservoir of knowledge. In his characteristically witty style, he justified this by saying that of all the resources known to mankind, it's only knowledge that defies the principle of marginal returns. As a public intellectual, he displayed an unmatched passion in advocating for social justice not just at the global and national levels, but readily shared his thoughts with the local communities in his native Homa Bay County.

Of the community engagements Prof. Okombo and I jointly undertook, the most memorable was a project aimed at improving Education standards in Rusinga and Mfangano Islands. From his contacts, we managed to mobilize not just the human resources, but also finances with which we accomplished the goals of the project. On a ten hour bus trip to Mbita from Nairobi, the good storyteller and humorous Professor kept the professionals on board in high spirits throughout the tiring journey. As a close friend, I'm not shy to say I often drank from this fountain of knowledge. This loss is personal to me. I have lost a close friend, a confidante and a trusted relation. This wonderful and gentle soul will forever remain in my heart. The family has set 17th November, 2017 for the final journey and celebration of his life in Kaswanga village, Rusinga Island of Homa Bay County. Shine On Wuo Kaswanga. SW. Nairobi. 05-11-2017.. Prof Okoth Okombo Digital Condolence Book will be availabe here soon..