As 2019 draws to a close today, we reflect on some of the great personalities whose deaths griped the nation. From the gruesome murder of Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen to the death of corporate titan, Bob Collymore, and the loss of Kibra's exemplary leader Ken Okoth, here are some of the prominent people who died in 2019:
1. Tob Cohen
Cohen, a former chief executive officer of Philips Electronics East Africa wen missing between July 19 and 20, 2019. His body was later found in an underground water tank at his post Kitusuru residence on September 13. Police zeroed in on his wife, Sarah Wairimu, whom they charged with murder alongside one other person.
2. John De'matthew
Famous for wearing a white cowboy hat, a majority of his fans believed DeMathew was a modern prophet, as his songs that touched on social, political and economic topics were a true reflection of the real life.
He debuted his music career in 1987 with the hit song Peris Nduku. He had since released many other songs including Ngoro Gitina, Mteja, Muoyo Ti Kibandi, Nengereria Kane, Purity, Njambi, Nyoni Ya Njamba, Pin Number andUhiki Ti Undu Munene.
He met his untimely death through an accident at the blackspot near Blue Post Hotel on Thika Road. He reportedly produced more than 50 albums in a three-decade career.
3. Bob Collymore
The former Safaricom CEO died on July 1, 2019, leaving the nation the nation in deep pain and shock. Collymore died after long battle with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia at his home in Nairobi.
4. Dr Joyce Laboso
The death of Bomet County Governor Joyce Laboso left the county in shock and Kenyans across the country engulfed in sadness.
Her death from cancer came weeks after Kenyans bade farewell to Collymore who died of the same disease afters months of treatment.
5. Kibra MP Ken Okoth
Ken Okoth died on July 26, after a long battle with colorectal cancer. He died at the Nairobi Hospital two weeks after arriving in Kenya from France where he had been receiving treatment for the disease. Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer and colon cancer, is the development of cancer from the colon or rectum (parts of the large intestine).
His brother, Imram, took over the Kibra parliamentary seat after winning a hotly-contested by-election that was largely seen as a supremacy battle between ODM party leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.
6. Jonathan Moi
Jonathan Toroitich Moi, the son of former President Daniel Moi, died April 19, 2019, in Nakuru. Jonathan, who was Moi's eldest son, was a celebrated Safari Rally driver who lived a quiet life. He died of pancreatic cancer barely three weeks after being diagnosed with the disease that blocked an artery in his lungs.
7. Joe Kadenge
Long before he breathed his last on Sunday, July 7, 2019, Kadenge had been immortalised in the folklore of Kenyan football history. He was the most talked-about Kenyan football player of the past and present generation and widely considered to be country’s all-time greatest. After quitting the fame so many years ago, young people still quipped "Kadenge na mpira" to cheer on their peers across football fields in the country.
8. Binyavanga Wainaina
A renowned author, gay rights activist and 2002 winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, Binyavanga Wainaina died at the young age of 48.
Wainaina, an acclaimed African literary giant and founder of the Nairobi-based journal Kwani?, died after suffering a stroke, according to his family and sources at his Kwani Trust.
He was one of the most prominent personalities to announce their sexuality in Africa.
9. Charles Rubia
Rubia was one of the notable fathers of the country's second liberation, the agitation for multiparty politics. He was arrested days before the famous Saba Saba Day of July 7, 1990 and detained for agitating for multiparty democracy. He was the first African mayor of Nairobi and later joined Parliament where he rose to the Cabinet.