Today, if you type google.com in your browser you will get a doodle image of a familiar looking Kenyan health practitioner and literary icon-Margaret Ogola.

Born on this day in 1958, Kenyan author, pediatrician, and human rights advocate Margaret Ogola graduated from the University of Nairobi, oversaw over 400 health centers in Kenya, worked with HIV-positive orphans, and also wrote the award-winning novel, The River and The Source.

Its because of her remarkable work across Kenya and her literary prowess that Google honors her today with a Doodle with her bespectacled face.

Her literary debut focuses on the lives of several generations of Kenyan women, starting in a rural 19th-century village and tracing the descendants of a matriarch named Akoko all the way to modern-day Nairobi. Along the way, the novel addresses political and cultural changes as well as the AIDS crisis, always highlighting the role of women in African society.

This strength and support that is found in the African family is the most important part of our culture and should be preserved and nurtured at all costs.”
—Margaret Ogola

After being rejected by various publishers, Ogola’s novel went on to win the 1995 Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature and the 1995 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book.

“The inspiration for this book came from my mother,” said Dr. Ogola, “who handed down to me the wisdom and lives of her own mother and grandmother.”

Highlighting the courage of African women in their everyday lives, Dr. Ogola’s book became required reading for many Kenyan secondary school students.

Most of you who sat for their KCSE national test in the years around 2000 remembers vividly this story book that was being assessed.

In addition to writing two other novels, a biography, and a book on parenting, Dr. Ogola practiced at Kenyatta National Hospital and served as Medical Director of Cottolengo Hospice for HIV and Aids orphans. She was also the country coordinator of the Hope for Africa Children Initiative, a partnership of NGOs including World Vision, CARE, Society for Women and AIDS, and Save the Children.

In 1999, Dr. Ogola was honored with the Familias Award for Humanitarian Service of the World Congress of Families in Geneva, Switzerland.

May her soul forever rest in Peace.

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One Comment

  1. […] Google Honors Margaret Ogola With Doodle on Her 60th Birthday Kenyan author Margaret Ogola honoured posthumously in Nairobi. […]

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