Good-Bye Dr Ken Ouko; A Wide Gap Left By A Dependable Employee.

Tom Kamaliki | 3rd August 2020

Good-Bye Dr Ken Ouko; A Wide Gap Left By A Dependable Employee.

Good-Bye Dr Ken Ouko; A Wide Gap Left By A Dependable Employee.

Tom Kamaliki | 3rd August 2020


It is exactly two weeks after Kenya woke up to the sad news of the demise of her icon in the comedy sector, Charles Bukeko alias Papa Shirandula on that fateful Saturday of 18th July 2020. Earlier on 10th July 2020, Kenya had also lost one of her promising medics, Dr. Doreen Adisa Lugaliki who succumbed to COVID-19 while in line of duty.


Too painful again as the dark sky of COVID-19 covered the Kenyan sky on Saturday 1st August 2020 when we all woke up to the shocking and saddening news of the demise of Dr. Ken Ouko, a University don in Sociology at the University of Nairobi.  To sum it all, Ken is a hero who spoke with a lot of strength and hope during his battle with COVID-19 at the hospital. Most Kenyans will never forget his encouraging text messages while undergoing medication especially the text when he was being transferred to the Intensive Care Unit where he breathed his last and I quote ‘I think this thing had damaged my lungs’’.


Oh Jesus! Have mercy on the family and mainly his fellow colleagues and students. I have a picture in mind of the corner he used to sit probably with his colleagues. Will anyone sit in that chair? I know the vacuum that is ever left behind by a colleague.  Not a simple issue to deal with especially those in the same department. Though an HR myself, I’m a Sociologist by passion at my undergraduate which played a key role in my enrolment as a young HR in the 1990s because HR hadn’t been introduced in Kenyan institutions.


I feel I have lost a colleague in the same fraternity because Sociology and HR are ‘close cousins’ so to say because they both deal with people.  I feel for the students and probably whose CATS he was yet to mark at the time he was hospitalized. I shed tears during the 9.00 pm news on  Citizen TV on 1st August 2020  when the University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor, Prof Stephen Kiama almost broke down while explaining how it will be a big challenge to get Dr. Ken’s replacement, the University has invested a lot in him globally and locally. How I strongly suggest that special counseling programs be organized for both staff in the department and Ken’s students, considering that Dr. Ken was a love of many.  It will be a traumatizing scene when those staff members and perhaps some students will witness the Bishop’s Farewell message at the grave;  ‘Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it’- Ecclesiastes 12:1. 


This reminds me of Sir Elton John at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 with his 2-week composition ‘Candle in the Wind’ in Diana’s memory. And so is Dr. Ken – a candle in the wind indeed. As Dorothy Ferguson the poet says Only a moment you stayed, but what an imprint your footprints have left on our hearts.?” Ken’s life touched many. How have you touched the lives of people around you?   Have you made any mark in someone’s life?


Ken, we loved you, but God has just plucked His best rose flower from His garden. Just as Paul said in 2Timothy 4:6-7 at the point of his death, ‘ For I’m already being poured out like a drink offering and the time has come for my departure.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Ken, you fought a good fight.  May the Almighty God rest your soul in eternal peace as I dedicate this hymn to you, your family, and your beloved ones:  


                                                       My hope is built on nothing less
                                                       Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
                                                        I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
                                                        But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

                                                          On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
                                                          All other ground is sinking sand,
                                                          All other ground is sinking sand.


The writer is an HR Generalist at Director Level with Consulting skills with having over 10 years in Senior Management.

1 Like | Login to Like

Professional CV Editing

For a detailed, targeted, concise and well-presented CV, talk to our CV Editing experts.

Free CV builder

Create your resume in no time at all!

Downloadable CV templates with advice

Choose a resume that suits your professional profile

Exclusive Placement

Get seen by employers as we rank you on top of the employer search list. We offer exclusive placement services matching your career and Interview coaching to land your dream job.

Self Assessment

Improve your job score ranking with intriguing psychometric tests!