DEATH OF A SOCIOLOGIST

Covid-19 fear keeps dons, politicians off Ken Ouko burial

Quiet send-off in Kasipul constituency on Friday was attended by 100 people.

In Summary
  • The don was described as a good man whose generosity won him many friends.
  • The LBDA chairman urged residents and Kenyans to continue abiding by Covid-19 rules.
A health official fumigates the casket with the body of University of Nairobi don Ken Ouko during burial at his home in Nyandiwa village, Kasipul constituency, on August 7, 2020
FINAL RITES: A health official fumigates the casket with the body of University of Nairobi don Ken Ouko during burial at his home in Nyandiwa village, Kasipul constituency, on August 7, 2020
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

Professional colleagues and politicians gave the burial of University of Nairobi sociologist Ken Ouko a wide berth in Homa Bay on Friday.

 

The quiet event was attended by not more than 100 mourners.

Police officers manned the gate, allowing only family members, relatives and other mourners who had been cleared to attend.

 
 

Residents of Nyandiwa village in Kasipul constituency were locked outside the home. Some were seen looking through the fence to get a glimpse of the proceedings.

The Nairobi University was represented by Peter Owade, Ouko's colleague in the  Department of Sociology and Social Work.

The only prominent personality at the funeral from the area was Lake Basin Development Authority chairman Odoyo Owidi.

Ouko died on August 1 at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi after contracting Covid-19.

Owade regretted that the pandemic could not allow Ouko’s friends and professional colleagues to attend the burial.

 
Widow Grace Ouko is consoled by her children during the burial of the Nairobi University don Ken Ouko at Nyandiwa village in Kasipul constituency on August 7,2020
Widow Grace Ouko is consoled by her children during the burial of the Nairobi University don Ken Ouko at Nyandiwa village in Kasipul constituency on August 7,2020
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

“We’re burying not only a brother but also a friendly don who thought sociology is a profession one should be proud of,” Owidi said.

The LBDA chairman urged residents and Kenyans to continue abiding by rules for prevention of Covid-19.

He told residents to be watchful on the kinds of food they eat.

He emphasized the need for more sensitisation on the pandemic to avoid panic.

“Ken is being buried this way because of the Covid-19 situation. Were it not because of the virus many of his colleagues and students would have gathered here,” Owade said.

He described Ken as a good man whose generosity won him many friends.

He said the university will take long to get another person of Ouko’s character.

“The Department of Sociology and the Nairobi University as a whole condole with the family. Death has robbed us of a great man and friend,” Owade said.

Owidi said he grew up with Ouko in the same village, adding that he was humble and did not like controversies.

He said the was eloquent in his speeches and made many people proud of sociology as a profession.

The don's father Caleb Ouko and widow Grace said he was a bright and committed person.

The father said Ken always supported him and the family.

“Ken was a dedicated person who loved his work as a lecturer. I will miss him as a father,” Ouko said.

Grace said Ken was a generous and lovely man. The lecturer is survived by Grace and four children.

“The greatest joy I have now is that Ken loved the Lord,” Grace said.

Edited by Henry Makori