In the first of our Throwback Thursday segment here at JamesMurua.com, we shed a light on Kenyan writer and Dr Margaret Ogola.
Dr Margaret Atieno Ogola who was a Kenyan paediatrician and the creative force behind 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 won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature. The book has been on the KCSE syllabus for many years including the last few year years.
She has also written Place of Destiny and Cardinal Otunga: A Gift of Grace. Her final book was Mandate of the people” which focuses on an election in a fictitious Kenyan constituency. The book which we loved was completed before her death and was released posthumously. It is a book as we in Kenya go towards yet another scary election that can be used to learn about the fractious nature of our voting process.
In addition to her writing career, Dr. Ogola served as a paediatrician and the medical director of Cottolengo Hospice, a hospice for HIV and AIDS orphans. She was also the recipient of the Familias Award for Humanitarian Service of the World Congress of Families.
She was also a world renowned activist and received the Humanitarian Familias Award in 1999 for her contribution to family values and her relentless crusade against HIV/AIDS during a time when it was highly stigmatised and still considered a death sentence.
To learn more about Dr Ogola the woman and her passions I recommend that you check out the following documentary from Maverick Artitude Entertainment. Here you see the legendary writer at home and work. She is helping her kids with homework and playing scrabble alongside her husband. We also glimpse of her philosophy on life and her prophetic and almost poetic acknowledgment of her own mortality.