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World renowned Kenyan-born scholar Calestous Juma dies in Boston, USA

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BY BMJ MURIITHI and Agencies

Renowned scholar and Havard University lecturer Prof Calestous Juma is dead.

Prof Juma, who was listed among most reputable on earth in 2017, died in Boston, in the US. A family member confirmed the sad news in an interview with KSN Friday.

“It is indeed true and very sad. Prof has been sick for two years and has succumbed to the ailment,” she said and promised to give more details later.

Prof Juma, who until his death was teaching at Harvard University, was the only Kenyan to be listed in the inaugural list of “2017 Most Reputable People on Earth”.

US-based Kenyan scholar Calestous Juma who has died while undergoing treatment in Boston, Massachusetts. The Harvard professor was listed in the inaugural list of “2017 Most Reputable People on Earth”.

Prof Juma died while undergoing treatment in Boston, Massachusetts.

UNWELL FOR A WHILE

“Prof has been unwell for the past two years and today we received the sad news of his passing. Any more details will come from his family,” lawyer Peter Wanyama told a Kenyan daily.

According to Mr Wanyama, Prof Juma’s mother was buried just two weeks ago, but because of his sickness, he was not able to attend the funeral.

“He had, however, told me that he was planning to travel to the country in the early part of next year. Unfortunately, that will not be possible,” Mr Wanyama said.

INTELLECTUAL GIANT

 

Prof Juma was one of the most sought after experts in the field of application of science, technology and innovation to sustainable development in developing and developed countries.

A public intellectual, he was very prolific in social media, frequently sharing his writings on Twitter.

In the June list of fame, Prof Juma featured alongside luminaries such as Bill Gates, Barack and Michelle Obama and the Pope.

It was not the first time that Prof Juma was being picked for honours.

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS

In 2012, 2013 and 2014 he had been listed among the most influential 100 Africans by the New African magazine.

The Budalang’i-born scholar began his career as a science teacher in Mombasa between 1974 and 1978 before becoming the first science and environment journalist for Daily Nation between 1978 and 1979.

He later started his own magazine, Ecoforum.

He later worked as an editor and researcher at the Environment Liaison Centre in Nairobi between 1979 and 1982.

The scientist, who attained a teacher’s certificate from Egoji Teacher’s College in 1974, also held a PhD in Science Policy Research from the University of Sussex.

At the time of his dearth, he was teaching graduate courses on science, technology and development policy and biotechnology at Harvard University.

Juma, a Professor of the Practice of International Development, was  the Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalisation Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Faculty Chair of the Mason Fellows Program.

He also directed the Center’s Agricultural Innovation Policy in Africa Project and Health Innovation Policy in Africa projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In addition, he served as Faculty Chair of the Edward S. Mason Fellows Program as well as Faculty Chair of the “Innovation for Economic Development” and “Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa” executive programmes.

“I have received the news of the passing on of my friend, compatriot and a role model Professor Calestous Juma, with a deep sense of great personal loss. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed tweeted.

Michael Lesnick of Valley Cottage, NY  wrote: Tremendously saddened by today’s news that long-time friend and colleague, Calestous Juma, has died. I and we at Meridian had the great pleasure of working with Calestous since 1987 way back when he was still working out of Kenya and founder of the African Centre for Technology Studies. Named as one of the world’s 100 most influential Africans and a good, good man. Truly saddened. The world has lost a bright light.

May you rest in peace, Professor Juma.

“We are sad to hear of the passing of Harvard’s Professor @Calestous Juma. Not only was he an inspiration but helped us in many way ways. May his soul rest in peace,” iAfrican, a news outlet dedicated to science, technology & innovation in Africa, which were close to his heart, tweeted.

The late Prof Calestous Juma

 

Juma is a former Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and Founding Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi.

He co-chaired the African Union’s High-Level Panel on Science, Technology and Innovation. He is on the jury of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, and the Africa Food Prize.

During his scholarly journey, Dr Juma was elected to several scientific academies including the Royal Society of London, the US National Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences, the UK Royal Academy of Engineering and the African Academy of Sciences.

He also won several international awards for his work on sustainable development. He holds a doctorate in science and technology policy studies and has written widely on science, technology, and environment.

Juma served on the boards of several international bodies including the Aga Khan University and the Pan-African University and was the editor of the International Journal of Technology and Globalisation and theInternational Journal of Biotechnology. His new book, Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

 

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Lifestyle

Uhuru’s adopted son Daniel Owira says he nearly left school after becoming rich

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Daniel Owira aka Otonglo time, saw his life change in the blink of an eye back when he was in high school.

After delivering a grand performance during drama festivals, he was quickly branded as the president’s son by none other than Uhuru Kenyatta.

Several years later, the young actor told NTV he nearly dropped out of school after becoming rich.

A year after Uhuru had offered to pay for his school fees, Owira joined university and as days went by, his pockets and bank account became heavier.

He was earning cash he had never touched before and did not know what to do with all the wealth he was accumulating.

“I will not lie to you, at first year no one really knows what to do with a lot of money. I was getting sponsorships and gigs and did not know what to do with all the cash,” he said.

Even after boosting his mother’s business, providing her with pocket money and furnishing her house, Owira still had escess money he did not know how to put to use.

For a moment, the entertainer considered giving up on education and focussing on his successful career.

Luckily, Uhuru’s “son” chose to finish his academic journey and put to bed any irrational thoughts that crossed his mind.

Uhuru's adopted son Daniel Owira says he nearly left school after becoming rich

Daniel Owira back when he was in campus. Photo: Daniel Owira
Source: Instagram

As previously reported, Uhuru had promised to take care of Owira’s education up to university level.

While committing to take care of his school fees, Uhuru Kenyatta referred to Owira as one of his sons, of course figuratively.

Daniel Owira had plans to pursue a broadcast journalism in future, apparently to utilise his amazing oratory skills as evidenced by his Otonglo narrative.

By Tuko.co.ke

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Lifestyle

I was violently mugged at a well-lit street in Nairobi

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On Friday night, I lost my precious wristwatch and my utterly worthless cellphone to muggers at a well-lit street in the Nairobi city centre.

I was heading home from work at about 8.30 pm when a gang of five hoodlums pounced on me along Aru Lane, which is a stone’s throw away from Mfangano Street where I usually board my matatu.

They swiftly cut me off my route, boxed me into a tight corner and relieved me of whatever valuables I had on me.

The guy who initially accosted me – he must have been the ringleader – had threatened to draw a gun and shoot me if I tried anything stupid.

He had both hands in his pockets, so I couldn’t tell whether he had a gun or not, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

As this guy, who was in a greyish hoodie, and his accomplice flanked me on both sides, I took a quick backwards glance and noticed two heavyset fellows closing in. By the time I shifted my gaze forward, yet another menacing figure had sprung from nowhere.

I quickly realised I was cornered and outnumbered.

In that moment, I knew it was no use trying to fight these guys off. Not even the hard-tackling tight-head prop from my rugby-playing days would save me.

I wasn’t ready to become part of the city’s grim crime statistics of those who have been maimed, or had worse things done to them by muggers.

I meekly surrendered to their demands.

The whole incident barely lasted a minute, but in the brief moment I was held hostage in that corner, my mind raced to my wife and two young kids waiting for me at home.

Mercifully, I got through the ordeal unscathed and later got home to a warm hug from my three-year-old son.

I recounted my harrowing experience to my shell-shocked household. It wasn’t until hours later that we partook our evening meal.

Dangerous streets

I’ve since fully recovered from that experience, having had some good rest over the weekend.

When I shared my story with a close relative, he also recounted a similar mugging incident that happened on a Sunday evening at the junction of Mama Ngina Street and Kimathi Street.

Unlike me, this brother attempted to be a hero and nearly paid for it with his life.

In the middle of an ill-advised scuffle with his assailants, one of the muggers drew a knife and swung it at his abdomen. He quickly ducked, and the knife only grazed his thigh.

On seeing that their would-be victim wasn’t going down without a fight, the three thugs quickly vanished into an adjacent alley.

In retrospect, he says, he would not have tried to fight back.

That is what the streets of Nairobi have become; crowded places, bustling with human and car traffic by day but which become extremely dangerous at nightfall.

ATM machines that dot the exterior parts of many banking halls in the CDB are particularly risky places to visit in the evenings, especially when streets are deserted.

So too are alleys and backstreets, including Ngamia Lane and Tausi Lane, on either side of Nation Centre.

My priceless wristwatch is gone, but I thank God I lived to tell the tale – and write a story – of my encounter with Nairobi’s ruthless muggers.

The writer is an online Sub-editor at Nation Media Group 

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Lifestyle

Man beats up Bungoma musician for supporting DP Ruto

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Police in Webuye have launched a manhunt for a handshake supporter who reportedly assaulted a musician for backing Deputy President William Ruto.

Bungoma East police boss Valarian Obore said police are looking for Mr Bernard Wakamala, alias Jaramogi, for clobbering Mr David Sakari, who usually performs in Webuye Juakali band troupe led by Kimilili MCA David Barasa.

The short statured performer is remembered for having been awarded a customised vehicle for the disabled by Dr Ruto in 2016.

Mr Obore said Mr Sakari was assaulted at Satellite Hotel in Webuye town on Friday night after praising the DP.

“He took a beer bottle and hit me on the head twice. I bled profusely before friends took me to Webuye Sub County Hospital, where I was treated and discharged,” said Mr Sakari.

Bungoma Musicians Association Chairman Kasembeli Watila condemned the incident and called on the police to speed up investigations and arrest the suspect.

by nation.africa

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