Finally the former Prof Fredrick Ngawo Onyango , Maseno University VC has been laid to rest at Uriri District, Migori County.
Onyango who raised the profile of Maseno University during his decade long reign as VC which ended on 2011 was eulogised as an academic giant and a maverick administrator by mourners.
“Prof Onyango was a consummate person and a honest administrator who has a firm believe in the role of technology in life which saw him add Information Technology as a compulsory unit in Maseno” Prof Dominic Makawiti, the current university VC said.
“He steered the university from its humble beginning to touch lives of thousands of alumni students. He served the nation well which made him win the Silver Star of Kenya ward by the head of state in 1993” Makawiti who took the baton from the late don as he served as his assistant during his reign said.
The late don died on 11th last month aged 72 years after a brave fight with cancer. He collapsed in a Kisumu hotel and was later pronounced dead when he was taken to Aga Khan Hospital.
Apart from being the VC at Maseno, Onyango held several positions and lectured from 1969 in Universities of Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Kenyatta.
Equally he was a member of other bodies like Kenya Academy of Science (FKNAS), Solar Energy Society of Africa (SESA) and the first African professor to elected in Associate of the International Center of Theoretical Physcis (ICTP) based in Trieste, Italy.
Onyango started his schooling at Pe-hill in Awendo district before proceeding to University off Nairobi where he majored in Mathematics and Physics. He got his masters from University of Uppsala in Sweden, doctorate and Phd in Solid State physics from University of London, UK.
Prof Onyango had three wives, Valeria, Jasmine and Halima, and left behind nine children.
“He was a great person who spoke his mind even though it offended people in a quest to be on top off what he did in his profession. We will miss him as a father of the family” Valeria told mourners.
His children eulogised him as a hardworking, responsible and caring father who enjoyed playing golf and soccer and had time for his family.
©Manuel Odeny, 2012