On Tuesday, 8th August 2023, a solemn and poignant event will take place at Taifa Hall, University of Nairobi, as esteemed guests and dignitaries gather to pay their final respects to the revered scholar, Prof. Micere Githae Mugo. The memorial event will run from 9 AM to 5 PM EAT and will be a day of reflection and celebration of her impactful works. The theme of the event will revolve around the intellectual legacy and significant contributions of this esteemed academic and public intellectual.
The ceremony will begin at 8:30 AM with the arrival of guests, graciously welcomed by the Corporate Affairs department. Anthems of national, East Africa, and the University of Nairobi will be performed by the ICT Department, setting the stage for a day of national pride and scholarly appreciation.
The program will open with a heartfelt prayer led by Canon Francis Omondi, followed by a captivating welcoming performance presented by the University of Nairobi Travelling Theatre. The distinguished academic community will then take the stage, commencing with Dr. Miriam Maranga-Musonye, the Chair of the Department of Literature at the University of Nairobi, and Prof. Jack Odhiambo, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, sharing their reminiscences and profound thoughts on Prof. Micere Githae Mugo’s life and works.
The event will be graced by notable personalities such as Prof. Margaret Hutchinson, DVC – Research, Innovation & Enterprise, and Prof. Julius Ogeng’o, Vice Chancellor (Ag.) of the University of Nairobi. Joining via Zoom will be Prof. Robert Gateru from Riara University and Hon. Justice Martha K. Koome, Chief Justice & President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, both of whom will honor Prof. Mugo’s remarkable contributions.
Throughout the day, various interludes and performances by the University of Nairobi Travelling Theatre, Ndungi Githuku, and Riara University Students will pay tribute to Prof. Micere Githae Mugo’s love for the arts and culture.
The event will explore different facets of Prof. Mugo’s life and work, with sections dedicated to her roles as a public intellectual, cultural scholar, human rights defender, and her philosophy of Utu (humanity). Esteemed colleagues, including Chief Justice (Rtd.) Dr. Willy Mutunga, Prof. Wangui wa Goro, Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, and Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o, will share insights on her contributions as a public intellectual. They will be joined via Zoom by Prof. Ngotho Kariuki and Prof. Eddah Gachukia, who will shed light on her role in academia and as a cultural scholar.
Prof. Kamoji Wachira, Njeri Kabeberi, and Hon. Paul Muite will discuss her endeavors as a human rights defender. The Alliance Girls High School and Limuru Girls High School will commemorate her commitment to education, while the Orature Collective will deliver captivating performances.
The event will also explore Prof. Mugo’s international impact, featuring online addresses from Brian Kagoro, Prof. Beth Maina, and Prof. Shadrack Gutto, sharing “The Zimbabwe Experience.” Prof. A Bukenya, Prof. Dominica Dipio, and Prof. Issa Shivji will represent East African perspectives, and Prof. Horace Campbell from Syracuse University will join via Zoom.
As the day progresses, insights into Prof. Mugo’s Utu philosophy will be shared by Dr. Rahab Njeri, Dr. Justus Makokha, Prof. Eunice Sahle, and Rachel Mwikali. Prof. Ndirangu Wachanga, her biographer, will offer valuable perspectives on her life and accomplishments.
At the end of the ceremony, family members, represented by Mumbi Mugo, will express their gratitude and receive a special gift presentation from Peter Ngunju. A vote of thanks will be delivered by Dr. Kenneth Ombongi.
The event will be masterfully hosted by Dr. Jennifer Muchiri and Houghton Irungu from the Department of Literature, University of Nairobi, ensuring a seamless and dignified ceremony.
Indeed, the day will stand as a testament to the immense impact Prof. Micere Githae Mugo had on academia, culture, human rights, and the arts. Her legacy will continue to inspire generations to come, as her works continue to enrich society and foster meaningful conversations on identity, culture, and the essence of humanity.