The literary community in Kenya lost one of the pioneer African writers, Grace Ogot, who passed on yesterday, Wednesday 18th, at the Nairobi Hospital.
Grace was Kenya's first woman assistant minister and one of Kenya's pioneer, post-independence politicians but ironically had trained for nursing in London. After hanging up her political boots, she found her muse in literature and as they say, her star shone the brightest when it came to the written word.
Mrs. Ogot's illustrious literary career spanned decades and she is a part of an elite generation of indigenous African writers. She is indeed celebrated and appreciated across the continent due the resonating and relative gist she gives to her work.
Her most notable work and a favorite among literature lovers include; The Promised Land which focuses on the Luo migration to northern Tanganyika in search of fertile land and resources in the 1930s. Moreover, her novel, Land without Thunder, which is an insight into the Luo culture in pre-colonial East Africa, was published in 1968.
Mrs. Ogot's other notable works published in both English and Kiswahili include: The Other Woman (1976), The Island of Tears (1980), The Strange Bride (1983), Aloo kod Apui (1981) and Ber Wat (1981).
She has been eulogized across the literary divide by critics and academics alike. Prof Egara Kabaji who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Joseph Rasowo the Principal of Odera Akang'o University College and Joyce Nyairo a culture analyst all agree that indeed Kenya has lost a literature heroine.
Through her beautifully-told African stories, Grace Ogot will live on forever in our minds and souls.