Joyce Laboso: An extraordinary woman of many firsts

By Evans Maritim On Mon, 29 Jul, 2019 17:14 | 2 mins read
Editor's Review

    The university lecturer turned politician Joyce Laboso made history two years ago when she became one of three women elected governors in Kenya's new constitutional dispensation.

The university lecturer turned politician Joyce Laboso made history two years ago when she became one of three women elected governors in Kenya’s new constitutional dispensation.

To achieve that feat, Dr Laboso floored the otherwise popular and vocal then Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto in 2017 general election garnering nearly double the votes the Chama Cha Mashinani candidate received.

The former don, who taught literature and gender studies at Egerton University for many years, was born on November 25, 1960 in Sotik, Bomet County just three years before Kenya gained independence.

Born into a family that would later rise into prominence after election of her late sister Lorna Laboso, Joyce was poised for greatness.

Her sister served as Sotik Member of Parliament, a seat she would win in September 25, 2008, after Lorna died in a plane crash. She served for two terms.

Dr Laboso was the first woman Deputy Speaker in Parliament.

She was also the first woman from Bomet to serve two terms in Parliament.

Her sister, Lorna, was the first woman to be voted in as an MP in Kipsigis in 2007.

Again, she was among the first Kipsigis women to attain a doctorate degree.

The first-time governor died on Monday at the Nairobi Hospital where she was admitted following her arrival from India.

Before seeking treatment in India, Dr Laboso, 58, first sought medical care in London on May 29.

She spent 27 days at the Royal Marden NHS Foundation Trust hospital in London until her transfer to India in June.

After several weeks in India, Dr Laboso jetted back into the country on July 14, and went to the Nairobi Hospital where she has been receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit.

In her absence, her deputy governor, Dr Hillary Barchok, took charge of the county affairs with assistance from the County Secretary, Ms Evalyne Rono.

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