Prominent Kenyans who have opted to get cremated

July was one of the worst months that Kenya has ever experienced. And that is looking at the leaders that we lost to the dreaded disease cancer.

Some of those leaders are the late Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth and the late Bomet governor Joyce Laboso.

Joyce Laboso in a file photo
Joyce Laboso in a file photo

One of the interesting things that has transpired from this episode, however, is how some of the leaders wanted their bodies to be dealt with. Instead of the tradition of being buried, we are hearing that the late Ken Okoth had requested to be cremated.

What is cremation? It is the disposal of a dead person’s body by burning it to ashes, typically after a funeral ceremony. This is the path that some prominent Kenyan personalities chose as their final wish.

Ken Okoth
Ken Okoth

Despite the fact that it has been around for a while, cremation has mostly gained popularity among the elite in Kenya. Today, we highlight some high-profile Kenyan personalities who were cremated in compliance with their wishes. They are and from the most recent;

Bob Collymore

The former Safaricom CEO died on July 1st last month. What was shocking was that he was cremated the next day at Kariokor crematorium in a private function restricted only to Safaricom’s top officials, family members, and a few state officers.

Bob-Collymore
Bob-Collymore

Binyavanga Wainaina

The renowned poet and gay activist was cremated in Nairobi following his death which occurred after suffering a stroke. Binyavanga’s body was incinerated at Kariakor Crematorium in a low-key event attended by close family members and friends.

Binyavanga Wanaina
The controversial artiste

Kenneth Matiba

The former presidential candidate and business magnate suffered cardiac arrest and died at the Karen Hospital ICU in Nairobi in April last year.

Kenneth-Matiba
Kenneth-Matiba

He was cremated at the Lang’ata Crematorium.

John Macharia

The son of Royal Media Services chairman SK Macharia, was cremated at Lang’ata after he died following an accident on the Southern by-pass.

John-Macharia
John-Macharia

Jeremiah Kiereini 

The former Head of Civil Service Jeremiah Kiereini was cremated in March 2019 at a private family function. The family said it was the late billionaire’s desire to be cremated.

Jeremiah Kiereini
Jeremiah Kiereini

Wangari Maathai

The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner was cremated in 2011 at a private ceremony at the Kariokor crematorium.

Wangari-Maathai
Wangari-Maathai

The family of the environmentalist and the government agreed to cremate the body according to her wishes with the ashes being interred at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies.

Read here for more