Kenyan author Margaret Ogola was honoured posthumously with a Google doodle and an event at Prestige Books in Nairobi on June 12, 2019.
Margaret Ogola was a Kenyan paediatrician and author of the novel The River and the Source, and its sequel, I Swear by Apollo. The River and the Source follows four generations of Kenyan women in a rapidly changing country and society. It won its writer both the 1995 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best first book, Africa Region and the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature. Her final work of fiction Mandate of the people which focuses on an election in a fictitious Kenyan constituency was completed before her death on September 21, 2011. It was published posthumously and we loved it. Her only work of nonfiction was Place of Destiny and Cardinal Otunga: A Gift of Grace.
The author and doctor received an honour that isn’t accorded to many Kenyans as her image was the Google Doodle for June 12, 2019 on what would have been her 61st birthday. The Google Doodle is that image that you see on your Google browser when you first logon to the world famous website. Only Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai has been given this honour by the multinational corporation in the past.
Happy to celebrate Kenyan award-winning author, activist and doctor, the late Dr Margaret Ogola, author of The River and the Source. Which is your favourite quote from the book? #RememberingMargaretOgola #GoogleDoodle pic.twitter.com/jOpphTCkLZ
— Google in Africa (@googleafrica) June 12, 2019
The beloved author and excerpts from her work, especially The River and The Source, were shared on Social Media trending for most of that Wednesday.
In the evening, there was a reading of her work hosted at the Prestige Books with Google Eastern Africa Government Affairs & Public Policy Lead Michael Murungi conducting affairs. Attending the event were Paulette and Vivian, the daughters of late Dr Ogola who read from The River and The Source and shared aspects of their lives with their mother. Also reading excerpts on the day were her long time publisher Seraphina Mwangi as well as poet, playwright and performer Sitawa Namwalie.
Here are a few videos of the evening taken with my trusty cellphone.