Kenya has a rich history and has produced many notable figures who have made significant contributions to the country and the world.
13 notable Kenyans who died in 2022 [Pulse Picks]
Pulse Picks features the notable Kenyans who passed away in 2022 from Mwai Kibaki & Charles Njonjo who died at the start of the year to Gibson Gathu & Cathrine Kasavuli who died at the very end of 2022.
Unfortunately, some of these individuals have passed away in 2022, leaving a lasting impact on Kenya and beyond.
Here are 13notable Kenyans who have died this year:
Kenya's first Attorney General, the proclaimed Duke of Kabeteshire, Charles Njonjo passed away on January 2, 2022, just days before his 102nd birthday on January 23.
The family stated that he had succumbed to a bout of pneumonia.
Within hours of his death, the family confirmed that Sir Njonjo had been cremated at the Kariokor Crematorium.
Alex Murimi Nderi, 34, popularly known as DJ Lithium died by what is believed to have been suicide on January 20, 2022 after spending his last moments on duty at Capital FM.
Colleagues said they found his body in the IT department and immediately rushed him to the Nairobi Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
According to the station’s management, Lithium’s family was notified of the emergency and arrived at the hospital shortly after. Medics at the hospital tried their best to save his life but unfortunately, he passed on.
Ambassador Nicholas Mugo
Former Senator Beth Mugo lost her husband retired Ambassador Nicholas Mugo, who passed away at the age of 86, on February 3, 2022.
As a diplomat, he served as Kenya's Ambassador to a number of countries, including France, Ethiopia, the Vatican, and Yugoslavia.
Amb. Nicholas Mugo was among the first group of Kenyans to benefit from the airlift programme by the late Tom Mboya who helped Kenyan students fly to the US for further studies.
Engineer John Wathanga
Engineer John Wathanga who made history as the first Kenyan to locally stretch a normal car into a limousine passed away on March 2, 2022.
The family said doctors were not immediately able to identify what killed Wathanga, despite appearing healthy in the days leading to his death.
Wathanga’s limousine innovation paved the way for many more Kenyans to locally assemble limousines and even consider expensive models such as Range Rover and BMW.
Kenya’s 3rd President, Mwai Kibaki
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that Mwai Kibaki passed away on April 21, 2022, sending the country into mourning. Kibaki breathed his last at 90 years old, surrounded by his close family in Nairobi.
Kibaki's eldest son, Jimmy Kibaki revealed how the late former head of state prepared for death by ensuring that the family would not fight over his vast wealth.
Knowing that he would soon be reunited with his sweetheart Mama Lucy in death, Kibaki made peace with himself, his family and everyone around him, ensuring that all his affairs were in order, including the sharing of his vast wealth.
Former Rabai MP William Kamoti
The late William Kamoti passed away in a road accident at Komaza, Kilifi along the Mombasa-Malindi highway on May 29, 2022.
While reporting the incident, Kilifi North police boss Jonathan Koech said that the MP's vehicle was hit by a lorry during the night. Kamoti's driver suffered significant injuries and was taken to Kilifi County Hospital.
The Kenyan film industry lost popular actor Olwenya Maina who passed away on July 4, 2022. Olwenya collapsed and was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The actor was popularly known for his work and roles in Country Queen (2022), Taliya (2021), Poacher (2018 and most notably Nairobi Half-Life (2012).
Olwenya was also a voice actor and did radio scripts and announcements for Radio Jambo.
Baringo County Deputy Governor Charles Kipngok died on September 14, 2022 while on board a Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi to Mombasa.
Medics on the plane, including acting Director General for Health Dr Patrick Amoth, tried their best to resuscitate the deceased.
Lawyer Paul Gicheru
Kenyan lawyer Paul Gicheru, who was facing charges of alleged witness interference at the International Criminal Court, was found dead at his home on September 26, in Nairobi.
Gicheru was accused of corruptly influencing witnesses who were set to testify by paying bribes and drawing up affidavits they used to withdraw their testimony to the court.
His death caused a lot of speculation regarding the circumstances around his death, with some quarters claiming he could have been poisoned. However, an autopsy ruled out the claims but failed to determine what killed the lawyer.
Former Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut
The late William Chepkut breathed his last on Saturday, October 8, 2022, two months after losing his seat in the August elections.
His death was confirmed by family members, with preliminary reports indicating that he collapsed at his Nairobi home and was rushed to a nearby city hospital.
The politician had earlier survived two accidents, poisoning and two kidney transplants in the course of his life.
Wilson Chuma Kiprugut
Wilson Chuma Kiprugut was a renowned middle-distance race legend who passed away in Kericho County on November 1, 2022 after a long illness.
Mzee Chuma was the first Kenyan to win an Olympic medal when he won bronze in 800m at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
He was 84 years old at the time of his death.
Gibson Gathu died on December 22, 2022 in hospital where he was recovering after going through a kidney transplant earlier in July
Gathu rose to fame due to his role as a prosecutor in the KBC drama show Vioja Mahakamani.
He played his role as a state prosecutor with a strictness that Kenyans came to love. In the show he was unforgiving to criminals and did not tolerate criminal behaviour.
Veteran TV news anchor Catherine Kasavuli died on December 30, 2022 at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
Kasavuli, who was 60 years old, was battling cancer and had been admitted to the KNH private wing since October 26, 2022.
Kasavuli's journalism career flourished between the 1990s and 2015, when she left the industry. However, in July 2021, she returned to the screens as a prime time newscaster on KBC, hosting the Legend Edition.
Kasavuli's career in media began in 1980 as a radio continuity announcer at Voice of Kenya, which later became KBC. In 1985, she transitioned from radio to KBC television.
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