Literature don Chris Wanjala of UoN passes on

Monday October 15 2018

University of Nairobi lecturer Chris Wanjala.

University of Nairobi lecturer Chris Wanjala. Prof Wanjala passed on Monday, October 10, 2018 after a short illness. PHOTO | COURTESY 

ELVIS ONDIEKI
By ELVIS ONDIEKI
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Renowned author and University of Nairobi (UoN) literature lecturer Chris Wanjala has died at 75.

Prof Wanjala died at around 4am on Monday while receiving treatment at a hospital in Eldoret, according to his son Alex Wanjala.

"He had attended a funeral at the weekend in his ancestral home village of Chesamisi in Bungoma County," said Dr Alex, a literature lecturer at UoN, just like his father.

"After the funeral, he went back to his home in Lwandeti village and he was taken ill at home. He was dashed to a hospital in Eldoret where they gave some emergency treatment and he was quite stable throughout the day. And the doctors said they would keep him there for two or three days as they carried out tests," said Mr Alex.

He went on: "But on Sunday night, he was suffering extreme chest pains and stomach pains. He finally succumbed at about 4am."

Mr Alex said the family has not yet got clarity on the cause of short illness that claimed his father's life.

"As a family, we have suffered a great loss. He was a good man. We are coming to terms with the loss but we know he has a place in heaven," said Mr Alex.

Prof Wanjala's most recent contribution to literature is Memories We Lost, an anthology of short stories which was chosen a set book for secondary schools.

"The closest memory I have of Prof Chris Lukorito Wanjala is way back in 2015. I was a third year student at the UoN. Chris was teaching us a course [in] literature majors called South African Prose," Jerry Muriuki posted on Facebook..

Tributes posted online after news of his passing broke out, with many praising him for his work as a lecturer and columnist for the Saturday Nation.

"We loved the prof to the core. He was not only a literature mentor but also the greatest teacher of our time. He is the brain behind the Literary Discourse — a column in the Saturday Nation that forms the basis of my love for that paper," Mr Muriuki said on Facebook.​