Barbara Magoha: Why I did not wail and cry to mourn my husband
Since the death of her late husband, former Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha, to the moment he lowered to his grave, Dr Barbara Magoha has maintained an air of dignified calmness while mourning.
On Saturday, as she prepared to bid her final farewell to her husband, Dr Magoha explained why she has not shown any emotions throughout the mourning period.
This, she says, is because of her new role as the head of the family. In addition to this, she explained that according to Nigerian custom once a person has lived past 70 years then upon death, he is only celebrated.
“People were upset, some were astonished that I did not wail and cry to enter the home. Sorry to let you down. My new position in the family does not give me such privilege to do public display of emotions. I am a Nigerian I was born in Nigeria. I will be buried in Kenya but I mourned my husband the Nigerian way,” she told mourners during the burial ceremony Odera Akang’o Campus in Yala, Siaya County.
“I mourned him in my own way and did songs of lamentation at the hospital. Now, according to our custom, I had to mourn my husband in two ways. I had to bring him home as the custom, and as the new head of the home, I had to welcome him and receive his blessings,” she said.
Dr Magoha also said that despite her husband’s perceived highhandedness the former Cabinet Secretary had a soft side too.
“They said my husband does not smile but everybody who has seen him knows that that is his smiling face that has left the world. That is what I want him to be remembered for, his smile that gave hope to the hopeless, it is not the certificates,” she said.
Prof George Magoha died on January 24, 2023 of cardiac arrest at Nairobi Hospital at the age of 70.