Editor's Review

According to Magoha, while growing up in Eastlands, he was part of ‘Sicheki’ gang and would always have trouble with rival gangs and other groups in society.

Kenyans were on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, hit by unpleasant news on the passing of former Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha. 

Prof Magoha died shortly after being checked into the Nairobi Hospital, with reports indicating that he succumbed from a cardiac arrest. 

Following his death, political leaders led by President William Ruto and Kenyans at large mourned Magoha as a transformative leader who played a critical role in Kenya’s education sector.

Magoha was a key player in the Kenyan education system having been the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi; a key institution of higher learning in the country.

He later moved to the Kenya National Examination Council where he streamlined national examinations and later headed to the Ministry Education where he served as Cabinet Secretary and oversaw implementation of new education curriculum among other key developments.

The deceased was known to be a no-nonsense person who was always focused on achieving goals and getting things done.

Speaking at a past interview, Prof Magoha divulged that prior to joining Starehe Boys Centre for his secondary education, he was cheeky and involved in gang matters.

File image of Prof George Magoha interacting with Starehe Boys students. [Photo: Courtesy]

According to Magoha, while growing up in Eastlands, he was part of ‘Sicheki’ gang and would always have trouble with rival gangs and other groups in society.

“I grew up in Eastland as one of the tough guys there and I used to be deputy commander of a juvenile gang called Sicheki.

“We used to have skirmishes with all other groups at Kaloleni and Makongeni…,” he was quoted.

Apart from being involved in a gang, Magoha was also a musician and played bass guitar for a local band.

According to the former CS, his love for music was so deep that he would occasionally sneak out of school to go play with the late Ochieng Kabaselleh’s band during their shows in clubs and other entertainment joints in the city.

“I used to play the bass guitar before joining Starehe and after I joined the school… I had rich classmates who had komerera bicycles. Since I was attracted to the bicycles that are splendid, I would escape during lectures through the window, borrow the bicycle and go to town,” he said while issuing an address at Pangani Girls in April, 2022.

The CS appreciated his time at Starehe, stating that it made him a disciplined and focused person thanks to the value that were instilled on him by the institution.

He noted that by April 2022, he was the only surviving member of the band he used to play with back in the day.

“Once I got there, the discipline that was there is why I am what I am today, because all the band members including Kabaseli himself died many years ago,” he divulged.

He used his story to encourage students to take advantage of the programmes and different initiatives offered by their schools as they could be life-changing.

The deceased has left behind his wife Dr Barbara Odudu Magoha and their only child Dr Michael Magoha.