How Raila’s dramatic arrival brought Magoha’s burial ceremony to a standstill
The burial service of former Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha, that is ongoing at Odera Akang’o University, momentarily came to a standstill after Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga made his way to the venue.
Mourners jerked themselves in excitement as Mr Odinga, dressed in Luo traditional mourning regalia, while brandishing a shield, spear and flywhisk, performed Luo funeral rituals.
“Jowi! Jowi! Jowi!” Mr Odinga repeatedly chanted while facing the coffin bearing the remains of the deceased as he song a dirge in praise of Magoha.
His dramatic arrival forced Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu to momentarily halt his speech as the mourners cheered wildly.
Later, the ODM leader, returned to the venue clad in a blue suit and sat next to the former president Uhuru Kenyatta.
Magoha died on 24 January 24, 2023, of cardiac arrest at the Nairobi Hospital. He had collapsed at home before being rushed to the hospital.
Magoha established his career in surgery at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital as an intern and rose to the position of Senior Resident and Clinical Lecturer in Surgery. He also served as a lecturer in the same hospital and a Consultant Surgeon in various leading hospitals in Lagos.
He joined the University of Nairobi as a lecturer in Urological Surgery in 1988 and rose through the ranks to become a full Professor of Surgery in 2000.
He served in various administrative positions at the university, rising from chairperson of the Academic Department of Surgery in 1999, Dean of the School of Medicine, Principal of the College of Health Sciences, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration and Finance to Vice-Chancellor in January 2005 after a competitive recruitment process.
During his stint as Education Cabinet Secretary, Magoha was credited with key changes in the education sector in Kenya.