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Magohas’s son: My father was early for everything, we didn’t know it would include his death



By Wanja Waweru

On February 9, 2023, a funeral mass , in honor of the late Professor George Magoha was celebrated at the Consolata Shrine in Westlands, Nairobi Couny..

The late Magoha’s cousin and former cabinet secretary without a portfolio, Raphael Tuju, served as one of the event’s emcees.

Dr. Michael Magoha, the sole child of the late Magoha and Dr. Barbara Odudu Essien Magoha, was one of many speakers who lined up to address the grieving crowd.

He struggled to hold back tears as he assured the congregation that he was fine, that they were all there to honor his father’s life, and that he thought it odd that someone would expect him to talk about his entire life in just 15 minutes. He would occasionally become overcome with emotion as he addressed the congregation.

“…don’t look so somber, he would want us to celebrate. You know he always liked to be early for everything so we didn’t know it would include his death.

I didn’t know what to do because I’m supposed to give a tribute and that means expressing your feelings and I personally find it a bit strange because how do you condense your entire life into 10, 15 minutes with someone. Sometimes it feels a bit insulting but what would he want? He would say to just speak from my heart and be honest,” said Dr Micheal.

“The second thing that hit me was who am I talking to? There are people way above my pay grade who will never understand what you do, there’s my family and there’s friends and family. And then I realized there is one job where I’m the only person actually qualified to talk about and I didn’t have to work for this job- and that’s being his son.

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In keeping with his memory because we all have to celebrate, don’t worry, relax, relax (as he battled emotions to compose himself), I’ll explain what it meant to be his son,” added Dr Michael.

It didn’t matter if he was a surgeon or a cabinet secretary. And that’s because he believed in family, and it was always the same. One phone call, if he can talk, he talks immediately. If he can’t talk, immediately he finishes, he will come to me. And that’s for 38 years of my life.

I’m glad people touched upon it because people used to ask the question ‘How was it being raised by this kali (strict) person etcetera’ and I never saw that person. Same with my mum and that’s why I really love this picture because it’s all I saw.

He just smiled- to put it simply, he always just kept it very simple. All he kept saying was do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it. It was that simple and that’s all he did,” continued Dr Michael.

In his final remarks, he mentioned three things people would take away with them. “Family is the most important thing to a person, and giving them time, not comparing oneself to others, and doing what one is expected to do when they are supposed to do it.”

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