Kenyan Legislator renowned for his progressive development agenda and youth empowerment initiatives within East Africa has lost his battle with cancer. The Legislator who has been battling the disease which claimed the life of Safaricom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Collymore is said to have been rushed to hospital on Thursday and moved to intensive care unit today following multiple organ failure.
The Legislator had been undergoing treatment for colorectal cancer in France for the last five months.
The 41-year-old lawmaker is said to have had stage VI cancer and despite putting on a brave face for the last five months as the disease took a toll on his body, he was not able to beat it this time.
The lawmaker is said to have been one of the first people in the country to push for legalisation of marijuana in Kenya. The driving force behind his lobbying was his own personal battle with cancer as he believed that it could be beneficial for cancer patients.
He had already given notice to the country's Parliament and it is not known whether someone else will pick up the torch from where he left with respect to legalisation of the herb for medicinal purposes.
In the meantime, the family has requested for privacy amid an outpouring of condolences from all over the country and region.
Honourable Kenneth Okoth's background
The late Honourable Kenneth Okoth came from a humble background and his is the classical grass to grace story. The legislator grew up in the Kibera slums of Nairobi in a family of six children and a single mother. He attended Olympic Primary School and Starehe Boys’ Centre. The legislator was a scholarship student at St. Lawrence University in New York, where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Writing, German, and European Studies in 2001.
In 2005, he earned his Masters of Arts Degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington DC. He was a teacher, coach, mentor, director, and professor at various institutions including the Potomac School, Georgetown University, the University of Dar es Salaam, and the Children of Kibera Foundation. He also served as a trustee of his alma mater St Lawrence University from 2006 to 2010.
In March 2013 the lawmaker was elected to represent the people of Kibra Constituency in the National Assembly of Kenya where he served as a member of the Committee on Education Science Research and Technology. He was also a founding member of the Kenya Parliamentary Human Rights Association, a bi-partisan caucus of like-minded legislators committed to promoting a rights-based society in Kenya through representation, legislation, and oversight.
Header Image Credit: Nairobiwire