We are winding up the year 2019. And like every other year, this year had its good and its bad sides. While all of us would choose happiness and joy if we were asked to choose what we would like our lives to be, we have no control over misfortunes that befall us.
Death is inevitable and it hits when least expected. When it comes, it robs families, relatives, friends and even a nation of loved ones.
2019 was marked with deaths that shook the country and in this article, we have compiled a list of Kenyan personalities whose deaths shook the country.
The late Safaricom’s CEO succumbed to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) on the 1st of July 2019 at his Kitisuru home in Nairobi. In his ten year tenure, Bob was said to have engineered great innovations and taken Kenya’s giant Telco to great heights. His death shook the country and the world that Monday morning.
Millions of Kenyans went to social media sites to mourn and pay tribute to a man most described as smart and kind. One thing that stood out about him during this time was the fact that he was ready for his death. He knew he would not live past July 2019.
Ken Okoth was a Member of Parliament for Kibra Constituency. He succumbed to Colorectal Cancer on 26th July 2019 after a fierce battle with the disease. He was one vibrant individual that even on his hospital bed could still manage to be strong and even make plans for his constituents.
He had undergone treatment in France, after which he came back home and was taken to The Nairobi Hospital. At the time of his death, reports from the family indicated that he had multiple organ failure shortly after being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
The late Bomet County Governor Joyce Cherono Laboso also succumbed to cancer on 29th July 2019 after a 28 year battle with the disease. She was first diagnosed with cancer in 1991 and was on remission before her condition deteriorated again.
She sought treatment in the United Kingdom and India, and finally at The Nairobi Hospitals VIP’s ward until the time of her death.
Governor Laboso tossed herself into politics after her sister’s Sotik MP Lorna Laboso’s death.
The Gikuyu Benga musician died in a tragic road accident on the Thika Super Highway where his car rammed into a lorry from behind.
The musician, whose death occurred on 18th August 2019, was said to be loved and hated in equal measure. He was known to compose songs that touched on politics which apparently rubbed some people the wrong way.
In his lifetime, He had released 50 albums and 375 songs.
Ex-President Daniel Moi’s eldest son, who was little known to Kenyans as compared to his brothers Phillip Moi and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi died on 19th April.
Jonathan was described as a down to each individual who at the same time was sociable. Years ago, Jonathan participated in Safari Rally sports which were normally held during the Easter holidays. Coincidentally, the Safari Rally enthusiast also died on an Easter weekend.
Kone, a celebrated actor who featured in several Kenyan TV series succumbed to injuries he sustained from an accident he got involved in September 2018 at Naivasha geothermal site.
The actor sustained severe spinal injuries and was fighting for his life at the Nairobi Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) until he died five months later.
He played Reagan in Maisha Magic series ‘Selina’. He also had roles in TV series like Mali, Changes and New Beginnings.
Rapper Chris Kantai
This was one of Kenya’s pioneer rappers, famously known for ‘Huu ni Nani’ and ‘Ting Badi malo’. He died on 27th February, two days after being admitted at St. Francis Hospital Kasarani.
Kantai had been battling alcoholism for years and is remembered for introducing Kenyan rapper STL to the game after their ‘happy’ collabo.
She was a human activist and founder of the Dandora Community Justice Center, which investigates and documents cases of police killings in the impoverished areas.
She went missing on 7th February and later on 12th February her body was found at City Mortuary.
Being an individual who stood up for human rights and pointed out the rot in society, details of her death were surrounded by controversies as police were quick to declare that her death was as a result of abortion even before an autopsy was done.
Her death was one painful one, highlighting how dangerous it can be for people who fight rogue leadership systems in the country.
Joe Kadenge, a Kenyan football legend died at 84 years of age having suffered a stroke in 2006 and the second one in 2019 February.
The former Harambee Stars striker, famed by the ‘Kadenge na Mpira shuti goal’ phrase, was described as the finest footballer ever produced by Kenya.
Kadenge played for Maragoli United, and scored the fastest ever goal in the Kenyan Premier League, and has also played club football for Abaluhya United, winning the Kenyan Premier League in 1966.
He played for the National team Harambee Stars for 14 years before he quit for good in 1970.
Robert Gwaro Ouko, a renown athlete died on 18th August aged 70 after ailing for some time.
The legendary athlete was a member of 4×400 meters relay team that won gold for Kenya at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.