Prof Ouma Muga.
In this era and age where a University certificate is slowly losing value, it is difficult to find a graduate who can be described as ‘Impossibly Intelligent’. The internet has possibly made academic research a very easy process. Examination results today, are by no means true reflection of students capability. The number of A’s in the last year’s KCSE has been a subject of debate in the field of academia of late.
Along the University corridors and lecture halls, he has earned great respect from his peers. Nearly all the university Dons recognise his name. The ones who have shared ideas with him would even lack any good adjective to describe him.
He is Prof Ouma Muga. Born and raised in a remote village-Kochia- in Homa Bay district, he went through what any other boy would experience while growing up.
His brilliance caught the public attention when he sat for his Kenya African Secondary School Examination (KASE) at St. Mary’s Yala. He emerged the top student nation-wide.
He proceeded to sit for the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate in 1957 in the same school and once again topped the whole country.
He joined Makerere University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography. Afterwards, he did his Master of Science degree(MSC) in Australia and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in fluvial geomorphology in a record time-frame.
Prof Ouma became a lecturer at Makere in 1966. There, he held a post of Secretary General and then Chairman of the University Academic Staff Association of Makerere.
Proffesor has done a lot of research. Of interest is the one he did on Ozone layer which earned him worlwide recognition. He was in fact, among the elite group of researchers who contributed in the revolution that took place in Australia 1964.
He has written a book on Luo History and two others on Evolution of Environment Resource Base in East Africa and English Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Dholuo language.
He became Vice Chancellor at Moi University and founded the School of Environment Studies at the same institution.
He later ventured into national politics and was elected MP for Rangwe in 1989 on KANU ticket. He was appointed Assistant Minister for Environment. He recaptured the same seat in 1992 on FORD Kenya ticket after the introduction of multi-party democracy.
Due to his nature of speaking his mind, he easily disagreed with Raila Odinga who was the Luo community political leader. This led to his failure to win the parliamentary seat of Rangwe.
Being the kind of a man he is, nothing can never stop him from speaking his mind. In 2006 at a funeral in Kochia West that was attended by a majority of Luo Leaders, he publicly claimed that Raila Odinga wasn’t going to clinch the Presidency seat. This would later spark a wave of public uproar and the former chairman of Luo Council of Elders immediately responded to him terming him a ‘mad man’. History later vindicated him.
Today, not even his county government can employ him. Kenya has turned its back on such a genius and no one is willing to put such brains int good use. As usual, we are waiting for them to die and then celebrate them. Sad!!