5 impressive things about the life of the late Dr. Joyce Laboso

A woman of many firsts

5 impressive things about the life of the late Dr. Joyce Laboso

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.

Here are five impressive things about the late Bomet County boss:

1. She had a PhD in linguistics

Before joining politics, Laboso excelled in the academia at a time when the profession were 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.

2. She comes from a political family

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 councilor.

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.

The loss of Lorna was a huge blow to us. She was the most jovial child in the family and her demise left a permanent gap.”

"But while her death was still fresh on our minds, the ODM party came knocking, looking for a replacement. As a mother, I had resisted it, fearing I would lose her (Joyce) in the same manner,’’ her mother, Sarah, said of Joyce’s entry to politics.

3. First female Deputy Speaker

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.

4. First female Governor

In August, Laboso made history as one of the first female governors in Kenya, alongside Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru and Kitui’s Charity Ngilu.

5. She was married with three sons

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”.

Yes! Obonyo is my name and it belongs to my husband and it does not matter the number of times you shout. That will not stop me from vying for governorship. I was born in Bomet and I am a voter and I am here to stay. It is the voters who will have the last say and I know they will make an objective decision,” She said after a politician from the county challenged her to seek a political seat in Kisumu where her husband hails from.

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