Professor George Magoha burial
The body of the late Prof Magoha arrives in Yala

Proffeser George Magoha burial nears, the remains of former Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha arrived in Yala, Siaya County on Friday 10, February ahead of a public burial on Saturday, February 11, 2023.

Magoha who has been described as a “brazen gentle giant who loved family and country”, died on January 24, 2023 at the age of 71 at the Nairobi hospital where he had been rushed by his wife after fell ill at his Nairobi home. 

His body was carried by a military helicopter from Nairobi after two days of various events that included a caravan tour of the hearse at various institutions where he played a role.


On Friday 10, Magoha’s body arrived at Yala Township primary school where hundreds of mourners came out to pay their last respects.

Magoha, a longtime surgeon and scholar is credited with steering the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) and the CBC curriculum development. He will be remembered as a respected human health researcher whose pioneering research was instrumental in the discovery of drugs and treatment. He also served as Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi.


The former Education CS will be laid to rest at his rural home in Umiru Nyamninia, Yala. Thousands of mourners, including senior political figures and government officials, are expected at the burial.

The late no-nonsense former Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha has finally been laid to rest at his rural home in Umiru village, Gem – Yala, in Siaya County.

During his funeral service that was held at Maseno University’s Odera Akang’o campus in Yala town and attended by several dignitaries led by former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party leader Raila Odinga, speakers – one after the other – eulogized Prof. Magoha as an astute academician whose contribution in the education sector will be indelible.


President William Ruto, in his condolence message that was read by ICT Cabinet secretary Eliud Owalo, his predecessor Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga acknowledged the contributions Prof. Magoha made in the transformation of the country’s education sector.

“Prof. Magoha loved doing his work. He had no half measures. He put his whole heart and being into everything that he did and he believed in whatever he did. If he did not believe in it he did not even begin doing it,” said President Ruto.

Former President Kenyatta stated: “If truly what everybody has said here is what they mean about what a great giant lies before us today, then implement what he started and let this country benefit from what he worked so hard to achieve. Less politics and more work…that is who Magoha was and that is what we shall remember about him.”

Mr. Odinga, on his part, stated“Magoha excelled academically and humility was his way of life. He recognised everybody. Some people say that Magoha was arrogant I say no. Magoha was just straight-talking person and people sometimes don’t like to hear the truth.”

On their part, family and relatives of Prof. Magoha – led by his wife Dr. Barbara Odudu Magoha – eulogized him as a jovial, loving and caring patriarch who gave hope to the hopeless.

Dr. Odudu also took the opportunity to apologize to the Luo community for failing to abide by some of the customary requirements when she brought the body of her husband home, noting that she had to do it the Nigerian way.

“I want to apologize for yesterday, there are people who don’t understand that Luo culture where people mourn at the home… Some cultures are good and others we have to give up,” she said.

“People were upset that I didn’t wail to enter the home, my new position in the family doesn’t give me the privilege to display emotions in public. I mourned my husband the Nigerian way.”

Prof. Magoha’s son – Dr. Michael Magoha – stated that his father believed in empowering people by giving everybody an equal chance to do whatever they could to the best of their ability, and therefore challenged Kenyans to emulate him going forward.

Just when the speeches were going on, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu was forced to cut short his speech Mr. Odinga arrived in traditional regalia while chanting dirges in honour of the late professor, bringing the ceremony to a standstill for close to 15 minutes.

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