On Friday January 24, 2014 at 8:10 pm, my grandfather, Mzee Yovani Odul, breathed his last and started the journey to join the realm of the Ancestors at the age of 102 years. As I received the news, I reflected on his life and what he mean’t to us as the Odul clan.

A proud son of the Lango nation, we are not quite sure when he was exactly born. However, his sharp recollection of events that happened later in that decade make it almost definite that he was born around 1911.

He was the last born of his father and mother by the stroke of fate (his mother died giving birth to the last born who also died) and was very keen to go to school. Sadly, with no one to provide fees for him, he would plant cotton one year and go to school with the proceeds of that harvest the following year. He would then drop out the following year and plant again. As a result, he was much taller than most of his classmates when the District Education Officer came to visit their school. Thinking he had lagged behind his classmates as a result of not grasping what was being taught, he was dismissed from school that day. Nevertheless, he had acquired sufficient reading and writing skills that would be useful later in his life.