Okoth's widow: I have led an incredible life with Ken
By Bosco Marita | August 1st 2019
A requiem was held at Starehe Boys Centre and School on Wednesday for the Kibra MP Ken Okoth.
The MP died at the Nairobi Hospital on Friday last week after a long battle with colorectal cancer.
At the service were Ken's wife, Monica Lavender Okoth, his family, friends, Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth among other government officials.
Starehe alumni and students who were sponsored by the MP were also in attendance.
Mrs Okoth delivered a moving tribute to her husband describing him as a determined and resilient man who was bound by no boundary.
Here is her tribute:
I want to start by thanking everybody. Ken is watching us and he is loving it. He would be so proud of the boys. You have sat here for so long listening for hours and you have just been wonderful.
And I want to thank everybody for this wonderful school. This school was so important to Ken.
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I have known Ken for 21 years. I came here 15 years ago.
In the first part of my knowing Ken, before I came here, I was just hearing about Starehe boys, looking at the pictures. Every house we have moved into, we have lived in many houses, the first thing he would do was to put his Starehe picture.
We came to Kenya in 2004, we spent one night in the country and the Very next morning we were getting into the bus to come here. This is the second day I was in Kenya I had not come to Kenya before.
So I come here, and I was thinking to myself that there was no way that when I take Ken to my home town we are going to my high school. Absolutely no way.
He brought me here and he introduces me to everybody in the office. He then took me to his dorm room and he showed me his very first bed and he knew exactly where it was. Then we go to the dining hall, the music room, where his pictures are.
He loved this school so much. And what he was able to get in the school was an incredible exposure. He learnt things from all over the world.
I met Ken when we were at the university and he was the only African student in Austria. We were about 70 international students and most of us were Europeans and he was the only African yet he was the student leader.
He was our voice, he was the one who would go to the head of the university to introduce us all, he memorized everybody name in two days, and everybody else was looking at each other how could this was possible.
So this school was really his second family. And he made his best friends in life who have just been fantastic throughout his whole life and especially in his time, the worst week of my life.
They have just been incredible and some of them you have heard speak, some of them have not had the opportunity to speak but I want to say the biggest thank you from the bottom of my heart.
And let the boys know that the friendships you make now are going to last for the rest of your life.
I have led an incredible life with Ken. We have lived all over the world. We had all sorts of different jobs. We have had 12 different houses together. We have been truly privileged.
And even though he was only with us for 41 years, they were 41 years that were so intense. Including all sorts of different jobs.
We visited so many countries all over the world and we were truly best friends. There was nothing that we didn't know about each other, there is nothing that we had not forgiven each other.
Unfortunately, Ken was ill for the last two years and it was just so sad to watch him suffer.
But his spirit and determination, he would go to every doctor's appointment and he would know what the doctor is going to say because he had already done his homework and he knew his latest treatment. And the doctors were just amazed.
He just never ever gave up and nothing was impossible for Ken. When people would say don't even try politics it is a waste of time, he would say why somebody else and not me.
And that is the same answer that he gave when people asked, why you? Why did you get sick? Why did you get cancer? How unfair is this? Such a promising career? Such a wonderful person? And he would say why not me?
So I don't know what to tell you except to thank you and this has been just a wonderful tribute.
I want TO thank his colleagues, I want to thank all his friends, I want to thank this school. This school with his two universities that he attended was everything to Ken.
It was not just education for him, it was the most important thing. That is why in his career he was either teaching or whether he was in politics or on other jobs that he did in between, education was his number one.
Once again, I want to thank everybody, thank you for your time, thank you for your prayers and messages and thank you so much.
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