Kenya's first female Member of Parliament (MP) Grace Onyango has passed on while undergoing treatment at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Onyango, 98, died on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 6 pm while undergoing treatment after a long illness.
Her daughter Pauline Akwacha confirmed her demise and described her death as a big blow to the family.
"It is true she has passed on while undergoing treatment," she said.
Kisumu County Governor Anyang Nyong'o noted that he learned about her death with great shock.
"Mama Grace, a woman of many firsts, passed on this evening, four hours after we celebrated and honoured her during this year’s International Women’s Day at a social center we fondly named after her," he said.
Grace Onyango legacy
In a press statement released to the media, the county boss said Mama Grace was a pillar of women's leadership and a great role model who blazed the trail in political leadership in Kenya.
Nyong'o eulogized her as a selfless, focused, brave, and visionary woman, a mother and grandmother to many, and also noted that she will be remembered for mentoring girls and young woman leaders.
"It is only last week when I visited her at her home in Kisumu. We joked and discussed many issues affecting our country today. Her death, on International Women’s Day, is as remarkable as it is confounding," he stated.
Mama Grace had an illustrious career in public life.
She was Kenya's first woman mayor, elected in Kisumu in 1965.
In 1969, she became the first woman to be elected as MP. She held the position until 1983.
She was also the first woman Secretary General of Luo Union (East Africa).