Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Day late Prof. Magoha’s Volkswagen Beetle was stolen in Nigeria


The late Professor George Magoha, a celebrated paragon in the world of academia had once narrated a story of how he was robbed of a brand new Volkswagen Beetle in Nigeria.

Quick biography, Magoha was born in Kisumu. He moved to his older brother’s homestead in Nairobi due to his asthmatic condition. Magoha attended Dr. David Livingstone primary school, then Starehe Boys for his O-levels.

He proceeded to Strathmore School for A-levels and graduated with a high school diploma. In 1973, Magoha was awarded a scholarship to study human medicine at the University of Ibadan Medical School, in Lagos Nigeria. His alma mater are Nigerian and Ireland universities.

In college, Magoha recalled how he lived in a very humid hostel.

“It was very hot and humid so we contributed money to purchase an electric fan to keep our room cool.”

In his autobiography titled Tower of Transformational Leadership, Professor Magoha says that he was inspired greatly by his Vice-Chancellor Professor Ade-Ajayi.

While he was a fresher, Prof. Ajayi took Magoha to his house for lunch.

“I was completely dumbfounded by his humility and simplicity because, despite his very high position, he had taken the time to receive me. All my life, therefore, I have tried to emulate this.”

Upon completing writing his final exams and completing Med School in 1978, Magoha rewarded himself by buying a small Volkswagen Beetle. He had passed all his papers without having to repeat a single paper.

“This could only happen through the grace of God and I was most grateful to him,” wrote the departed Professor.

“To celebrate my graduation and becoming a medical doctor, I bought my first car, a Volkswagen Beetle. The car came in handy especially during emergency calls at night, on my internship.”

“However, one night as I was serving my pediatrics posting, the car was stolen, right outside the pediatric casualty. It was a very difficult period as it took me another six months to purchase another car,” he wrote.

George Magoha then went on to Postgraduate studies at Nigeria’s University College Hospital and later Royal Postgraduate Medical School in Ireland, Dublin. He returned to Kenya in 1987, a fully qualified medic specializing in Urology.

He immediately landed a job as a lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s Faculty of medicine ‘without taking an interview’. This vacancy had arisen following the demise of Professor Nelson Awori in a road accident.

The late professor is survived by his Nigerian wife Barbara Magoha and his son Michael Magoha. His untimely death was an aftermath of a cardiac arrest. Efforts by his medic son to resuscitate him proved futile as the former Education CS succumbed aged 71 years.

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