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Magoha’s Influence In Construction Of Ksh2.3 Billion UoN Towers



Magoha’s Influence In Construction Of Ksh2.3 Billion UoN Towers

The project commenced in June 2013 and was completed in 2016…

Former Education Cabinet Secretary (CS), the late Prof. George Magoha, will be etched in history as the man who ensured that the 22-storey University of Nairobi (UoN) towers was complete, a first for one of the country’s renowned institutions of higher learning.

The iconic building, according to Architects Africa, was designed as an ecologically sustainable building and is a product of an international architectural design competition which the firm won on 29th October 2011.

The client, the UoN, the premier University in Kenya, took control of the building. The project commenced in June 2013 and was completed in 2016, with a plinth area being 29,500 square metres.

According to a eulogy of Magoha shared in the funeral programme seen by Viral Tea, Magoha, who was the university’s Vice-Chancellor (VC) at the time, was dedicated to the completion of the tower which cost the university Ksh2.3 billion.

University of Nairobi towers at night. /CHINA WU YI

“Prof George Magoha’s most notable development projects at the University of Nairobi include the 22-story UoN Towers. He made certain that it was completed on time and within budget.

“The University paid Ksh2.3 billion for the Tower through internal funding and donations. Its completion demonstrated Magoha’s rich legacy of service delivery efficiency,” read the eulogy in part.

The iconic tower’s successful completion provided much-needed space for the university community, including learning facilities to accommodate 3,000 students, the Vice Chancellor’s Suite, two Deputy Vice Chancellor’s Suites, Senate Boardroom, the Council Meeting Room, one lecture theatre of 500 persons, four lecture theatres of 300 persons among others as well as a fully operational helipad.

Its construction was handled by China Wu Yi Company which handed it over to the university in a colourful ceremony held at the state-of-the-art Chandaria Centre for Performing Arts presided over by the Chairman of the University Council, Dr Idle Farah.

The tower was expected to among other things set the pace for ecologically sustainable designs while at the same time affirming the position of the UoN as the leader in innovation in Kenya and the region.

Former Student Organization of the University of Nairobi (SONU) president David Osiany on January 29 made an appeal to have the UoN towers renamed to Magoha Towers in honour of the fallen former Education Cabinet Secretary.

“I publicly ask the University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stephen Kiama to ask the university council to rename the University Towers to PROF. MAGOHA TOWERS. Magoha single-handedly raised resources using brilliant techniques to ensure the completion of that tower,” Osiany wrote on his Twitter.

He served as the SONU president at the University of Nairobi when the late Prof Magoha was the Vice Chancellor.

After Magoha’s death on Tuesday, January 24, plans were immediately put in place to give the former tough-talking CS a befitting send-off, which included his body being ferried from Lee Funeral Home to 12 special locations that meant a lot to him.

Among those places was the UoN graduation square, the College of Health Sciences at Kenyatta National Hospital, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council headquarters, the Nigerian High Commission, Saint George’s Primary School, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) on Dennis Pritt Road, State House Girls and Starehe Boys Centre.

The procession was also taken over by Nigerian cultural practitioners who brought the Nairobi Central Business District to a halt. Leading the late Professor George Magoha’s funeral procession, was one Paulina George who redefined how to mourn the dead in a country where mourners are often wailing as a mark of grief and honour to the dead. 

In a colourful Igbo funeral procession Paulina, together with the late Prof Magoha’s widow Dr Barbara, staged a rare entry into Kenya’s capital.

“In Nigeria, we don’t mourn an achiever by crying, we have to go with a bang,” says Paulina George, a popular fashion designer based in Nairobi, during the funeral procession in honour of the late Prof Magoha. 

On Thursday, February 9, Magoha’s requiem mass will be held at the Consolata Shrine in Westlands from 9 am in line with the doctrines of catholicism. He will be buried on Saturday, February 11 at his rural home in Siaya County.

University of Nairobi health students and staff watch as the body of the late Prof George Magoha is escorted by police during its visits to different places in Nairobi on February 8, 2023. /FACEBOOK