- 80 years old
- Date of birth: Feb 20, 1936
- Place of birth:
- Date of passing: Nov 1, 2016
|For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus|
This memorial was created in loving memory of our father Professor Washington Aggrey Jalango Okumu of Sakwa Wayendhe, Siaya County, who passed away peacefully on 1st November 2016 in his ancestral home "Dala Kwe" (Home of Peace), Nyang'oma near Bondo, Sakwa, Siaya County in Kenya.
One of Africa's foremost development experts and international diplomats, he was an internationally renowned mediator on peace, educated in economics and finance at Harvard and Cambridge, a tour de force and leading intellectual.
During his career Professor served in many important positions dealing with African political and economic issues, subsequently becoming a specialist in industrial development in the Third World based at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in Vienna, Austria, where he served for 15 years as an international civil servant and diplomat.
He came to international prominence through his intervention in South Africa in 1994, when he mediated between Nelson Mandela of the ANC, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi of Inkatha and President F.W. de Klerk of the National Party in the run up to the first non-racial democratic elections in that country. He continued to play a key role in conflict resolution and as a mediator throughout Africa, lecturing widely on peace and development issues.
Professor Okumu was the son of the late Joram Okumu and the late Mariam Okumu and Grace Okumu; husband of the late Rispah Achieng Okumu; father of Martha Okumu-Oshomuvwe, Dorothy Okumu-Miller, Edith Okumu-Neeley, Caroline Okumu, Sara Okumu, Rosslyn Okumu, Isaac Okumu and David Okumu; father-in-law to Dr Joseph Oshomuvwe, Brian Miller and Darrin Neeley; grandfather to Belinda, Rene, Benjamin, Fiona, Lydia, Alexander and Davina; son-in-law of the late Patrick Agol and Zilpah Agol of Seme, Kombewa, the late Dorkas Agol and Wilikista Agol; brother to the late Richard Ataro, Helidah Anyango, Godfrey Ajuong, Frederick Ouko, Jane Riako and the late Morris Awino of Sakwa, Francis Okumu, and Pamela Adhiambo; uncle to Ruth Oliech, Nickolas Odhiambo, John Omondi, Dick Okumu, Robert Okumu, Paul Okumu, Mariam Berry: nephew to William Odhiambo Okello, Murulo Okello, Francis Okomo Okello; brother in-law to Mama Jane Okumu, Deborah Okumu, the late Charles Otieno, Martha Onyango, Susan Mbori, Elizabeth Akoro and Dick Otami. He was cared for in his final days by Josephine Owiti.
We have lost an incredible treasure. Larger than life in every sense of the world, his public life spanned 56 years; a man of great influence who shaped us in many ways and inspired us to want to achieve the extraordinary in our own spheres of influence. To his family, however, he was much more than that: a son for 80 years, a husband and best friend to our mother Rispah for 53 years, and our father for 57 years.
Daddy you will be sorely missed. An idealist right up until your passing, your gift and belief in peace and mediation was evident in all that you did. You will remain one of Africa's proudest sons with indelible spoors in the sands of the continent you once stradled in the diplomatic sphere like a colossus. We love and honour you. May your memory live on forever.
Your prayers and donations are greatly appreciated.
"I met you once, my father met you the once too. In 1985. He waited in your home while I went for a run with Sara. Met your two young sons and of course your wife who fed us well during that short visit. I met all of your daughters, some of them many times. Though my father is sixteen years your senior he is not ready to join you yet.
Thank you for helping Madiba. Thank you for your peace."
"Rest in Peace.
I managed to meet him on few accessions during family meetings.
Your contribution to global peace is amazing and unmatched. Your contribution to a better world is indeed an everlasting legacy.
A foundation would be a great way to honor professor and bring to reality his dream of a peace institute"
"Never met you in life but met your daughter Martha, who also is a peace loving creature. Rest in peace Prof. Okumu.."
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