The late Dr/Prof Ken Ouko, sociology lecturer at The University of Nairobi
Quite a sad day to begin August and quite a painful reminder that Covid-19 is harvesting many good people.
Every university has a super lecturer. That one lecturer that students love and can’t dare miss their class. Famous for their big ideas, and ways in which they teach that make the University experience all the more pleasurable.
Ken was one of the greatest Sociologists, in academia and in actual practice.
Charismatic, brilliant, and deeply knowledgeable in his line of work. The reason he became a regular feature in our television and newspapers for a time between 2008-2015 and less frequently in the last few years.
Ken Ouko was one of the guys who interpreted the 2007-08 post-election violence to Kenyans in a way that reminded us why we need social sciences and humanities. Later, he shined with his specialty:marriage and relationships.
I never took Sociology but those who did made me feel so envious. Because his reputation preceded him. He was terrific.
I have had chats with him as a journalist who specialises in lifestyle issues and marriage/relationships especially. He always picked the phone or answered that email. And he was always a well of wisdom, always startling me with pure insights and wisdom, born of long experience and his innate wisdom. A while back, while writing on women who are selective when choosing mates, he told me this quote, that stuck with me, “Love that we seek is never as pure as the love that finds us.”
I am glad that in 2014 or 2015, I shared a stage with him alongside Dr Chris Hart (two of the best brains in Sociology and Psychology in the country) and Tony Ontita at the University of Nairobi where we explained to anxious students stuff about relationships, cheating and all that. I was dwarfed in their presence and the session was a learning experience to me as well.
Ken has served the country well. He was still too you and had a lot to give, but he is now in the other world.
Rest in Peace Man.
For those not familiar with him, you can just go to YouTube, there are so many sessions he had with local television stations.
By Silas Nyanchwani via Facebook