Kenya’s first female Member of Parliament (MP), Mama Grace Onyango passed away at the age of 98 on Wednesday evening while receiving medical treatment at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) in Kisumu.
Her remarkable career began as a teacher, and she later became the first female Mayor of Kisumu Town from 1965 to 1969. In 1969, she was elected as the first female MP in post-independence Kenya, representing Kisumu Town Constituency. Mama Grace Onyango is remembered in parliament for her firm stance and advocacy for women’s rights.
In a male-dominated House, she became the first woman to act as Deputy Speaker, a position she held from 1979 to 1984. After losing her seat to Wilson Ndolo Ayah in 1984, Mama Grace took a break from politics.
Onyango’s passing left a significant void in the country and her family. Her daughter, Pauline Akwacha, described her as a mentor and pillar whose work positively impacted women throughout Kenya.
Mama Grace Onyango’s passion for championing women’s rights is reflected in the numerous key positions held by women in the country today. She was widely regarded as a trailblazer who played a critical role in shaping the development of Kenya. Kisumu Governor, Prof. Anyang Nyong’o, described her as a pillar of women’s leadership and a role model who blazed a trail in the county’s political leadership.
Her death just hours after being honoured during the International Women’s Day celebrations, he said, was a big blow. “Grace was selfless, focused and visionary. A mother and grandmother to many. She will be remembered for mentoring young girls and women leaders,” he said.
Copyright: News Central TV
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.