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‘He didn’t need the title to lead,’ Gen Ogolla’s daughter pays tribute

Lorna Achieng, the first-born daughter of General Francis Ogolla, has paid a moving tribute to her father.

Amidst the sadness of his passing, she chose to celebrate the remarkable man he was and the values he instilled in her.

Speaking with deep conviction at the funeral service held at Senator Obama Elementary School on April 21, Lorna spoke of her father’s unwavering faith and belief in God’s goodness.

“God is always good and his plans for us are always good, especially for those who love him,” she declared, finding solace in the divine in the midst of her grief.

Central to her tribute was her father’s relentless pursuit of excellence, a quality that left an indelible mark on her life. Despite his aversion to the limelight and social media, Lorna revealed how her father’s quiet dedication to his work served as an inspiration to her.

In a revealing moment, Lorna shared how a simple social media post unexpectedly confirmed her father’s death. “He didn’t like social media, he didn’t like being in the limelight,” she remarked, highlighting his preference for a quiet life.

Lorna who is based in San Francisco said: “In the aftermath of my [LinkedIn] post, I thought I was just posting for my global team so people know where I am and why I’m missing for a month, it blew up and I didn’t expect that, but I promise to tell stories of his excellence”.

Lorna explained, “A few people have been digging around and asking, ‘How is it that his daughter has done all these things, she has an engineering degree from MIT and Standford ….what kind of parent creates and raises children like this?’ I’m here to tell you what kind of man does that. Parents, if you’re wondering, can I get my child to change not just Kenya but the world? Live it. Children learn by how we show up in our lives, he didn’t need to tell us to work hard, he gave 110% to everything he did”.

Gen Ogolla read the Bible from cover to cover every year, but in 2022 he did it twice because the family was going through a hard time.

Lorna shared another instance where her father showed his resilience and hard work.

“When I was at college, he went back to university to study with students who were my age, I would never do that, but not my dad. He did the parallel programme – evening classes – at the time he was based at Laikipia Air Base he commuted between Laikipia and Nairobi to attend classes and Operation Linda Inchi was in full swing and this man excelled, he got a first-class”.

In 2005 he was posted to France, and he had 6 months to learn a new language, he learned it. Around the same time, he swallowed a fishbone and was in hospital for months, he left the hospital and took his French exams so as not to disappoint the government.

“He didn’t need the title to lead,” Lorna insisted, highlighting her father’s humility and willingness to contribute his best ideas for the betterment of society.

Amidst the accolades, Lorna’s tribute was also a call to action, urging parents to lead by example and nurture a spirit of excellence in their children.

“Parents, if you are wondering, can I get my child to change not just Kenya but the world? Live it,” she urged, echoing her father’s ethos of leading by doing.

Finally, Lorna spoke of her father’s deep love for his family and urged fathers everywhere to prioritise their presence and love.

“Fathers show up for family, your presence makes a difference,” she affirmed, a testament to the enduring legacy of a man whose life exemplified the pursuit of excellence and love.