Dr Joyce Laboso died on 29 July 2019 after suffering from cancer for 27 years.Here are the 10 things you didn’t know about the former Bomet Governor:
- Dr Joyce Laboso on Monday passed on at the Nairobi Hospital after a long battle against cancer. Born 58 years ago, Laboso lived an impressive life of excellence in her private and professional life.
- She had a PhD in Linguistics – Before joining politics, Laboso excelled in the academia at a time when the profession was dominated by men. Dr. Laboso attained her bachelor’s degree in Literature and French at Kenyatta University before securing a scholarship to pursue a post graduate degree in France. She later proceeded to the United Kingdom for a Master’s Degree at the University of Reading and later joined the University of Hull for her PhD.
- The Labosos have always been a political family, even though Joyce was not very keen on joining politics. Her mother, Sarah Laboso was one of the first female politicians after being elected a counselor. Joyce’s sister, Lorna Laboso, joined politics in 2002 where she unsuccessfully sought the Sotik parliamentary seat. Lorna returned to the ballot in 2007 where she emerged victorious in male-dominated race. Unfortunately, she passed on during a plane crash, a year after her election, upon which Joyce was requested to succeed her.
- In 2013, Laboso became the first female Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. She held the position until 2017 when she sought the Bomet Governor’s seat.
- In August, Laboso made history as one of the first female governors in Kenya, alongside Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru and Kitui’s Charity Ngilu.
- Dr Laboso was married to businessman Edwin Abonyo with whom they had three sons. Joyce was proud of her marriage even as political detractors sought to use it as a political weapon in a country where patriarchy in deeply rooted. “I have not broken a record by getting married to a non-Kalenjin. I am not the first person from Bomet to get married outside the county and you should give me a break”.
- The former French lecturer at Egerton university had been called from the classroom to fill the gap left by her younger sister, the late Lorna Laboso, who with the then Roads Minister, Kipkalya Kones, died in a plane crash on June 10, 2008.
- Dr Laboso had a love for African music and would dance rhumba for hours. She also loved working out and would spend hours in the gym. She also loved reading and her favourite book was ‘From Third World to First’ by deceased Singapore Lee Kuan Yew.
- Dr Laboso is the mother of sons, Bryan and Ted. Her first born is in Australia, while the second born is training to be a pilot in South Africa. She adopted the son of her deceased sister who sat for his KCSE at Kabarak High in 2016.
- She was first diagnosed with the ovarian cancer in 1997. She has braved it for 27 long years. And when she could not bear the pain any more, she said “ I want to go home and rest’. And resting she did on Monday afternoon.
She fought the good fight, she finished the race, and she remained faithful.
May God rest her soul in eternal peace!