29 January 2013

Kenya: Award Winning Author's Book Launched Posthumously

Nairobi — Mandate of the People, a book written by the late Dr Margaret Ogola, was on January 28 posthumously launched at the Nairobi Intercontinental Hotel.

Tom Odhiambo, a teacher of literature at the University of Nairobi in his review noted Margaret Ogola's attempt to confront the stereotype of the apolitical middle or business classes in Kenya to be proactive in politics.

"This is Ogollas most forthright argument about the urgent need for all Kenyans to reengage with problems of poverty that afflicts millions of Kenyans in the country's cities and the countryside; to honestly create opportunities, provide incentives and an appropriate education for the millions of idling young Kenyans to participate in economic production t rethink our political culture," said Mr Odhiambo.

The chief guest Mr Charles Nyachae, chairman of the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) termed the launch as timely with the current electoral mood in Kenya as the characters in the book reflect the behaviours of Kenyan politicians as they seek the people's mandate to lead in 2013 General Elections.

According to Mr Nyachae, there is a lot in the book that we can relate to. The politician who counts on his money to buy peoples votes, those who would use any form of treachery against opponents, be it creating negative propaganda or instigating violence but who on ascending to position spend the electoral cycle doing everything else but representing the people who gave them the mandate.

Apart from writing Margaret Ogola was a medical doctor and human rights advocate. Her first novel, The River and The Source, won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for literature and the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for the Best First Book, African Region in 1995. Her other books include I swear by Apollo and A Place of Destiny.

In 1997, she co-authored with Ms Margaret Roche a brief biography on The Servant of God, Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga titled Life of Grace. She also wrote 'Educating in Human Love: guiding children on sex', a handbook for parents. In 1998, she became the National Executive Secretary for Health and Family Life at the Kenya Episcopal Conference.

The event brought together fellow writers, family, friends and fans who came to witness the launching of her last book.

Margaret passed away on September 22, 2011. She left behind a husband and six children.

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