Breaking News: Moussa Awuonda Is Dead

Mr. Moussa Awuonda, an outstanding Kenyan journalist who has been based in Stockholm for many years, has passed away in Stockholm. The news has reached KSB with great shock and sorrow. Death has robbed the Kenyan community of a great and promising journalist who has been in the fronlines in using the media to serve society.

Yesterday, KSB featured a story about Awuonda’s son who is currently in Kenya and who is seeking to play in the Kenyan national team. We did not know that Mr. Awuonda would be passing away in a few hours after the featuring of the story at KSB.

Mr. Awuonda has been ailing for some time although it did not appear as though his life was in danger. The Kenyan journalist will greatly be missed by those who knew him. May his soul rest in peace. Further info can be obtained by calling Rose Adero at: 0708597607.

Okoth Osewe


  • I am deeply shocked to read about the passing away of Mr. Moussa Awuonda. I knew about his ailing and had paid him a visit at Huddinge Hospital last autumn. We also talked at the beginning of 2009 hoping for a more promising year and his voice was strong. We talked of great expectations during the soon-to-be President Obama’s reign. I even sent him an SMS yesterday about his son’s story but unfortunately, he is now gone.

    Moussa was a gentleman, an academic and a rational man whose intelligence was unquestionable. He was quite down to earth considering his broad worldview. His academic work focused on African issues in the Diaspora and at home. He investigated and reported in a scientific way, unearthing a variety of thorny issues that affected us socio-economically. In his own way, Moussa was a champion of human rights and an environmental activist who used the power of writing to spread knowledge.

    One of his critically acclaimed articles focused on the rehabilitation of Lake Victoria after the hyacinth plant infestation. Having hailed from the shores of this lake, he was concerned with the poverty of the Luo fishing community due to depleted fish harvests. This interest also formed the backdrop of his well-researched MA Thesis which was published at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala in 2003.

    In 1996, he had an article published in the well-respected journal of medicine called the Lancet, which discussed the Swedish organ-donation policy. In 2004, he won the “Journalist Grant” at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala. I recall meeting him a few times during seminars on Africa at the Institute and as usual, he was quite articulate while presenting his arguments.

    As a freelance journalist in Sweden, Moussa also wrote about the disregard for African stories in the mainstream Swedish media. He therefore used any available opportunity to promote them. Some of his articles were translated into the Swedish language for local dissemination. He also wrote about racist tendencies in the Norwegian health system that barred some Africans from enjoying quality care.

    Moussa contributed various articles in the mainstream Kenyan newspapers and as recent as late last year, he was acknowledged in the Daily Nation for compiling the history of Benga music.

    He was never shy to criticize bad governance in Kenya and I remember that during my hospital visit, he said that when his health improved, we would write about a Kenyan politician who had been very bad to him, yet he had sacrificed a lot for him during their earlier years in school.

    Moussa Awuonda’s passing on is a great loss and I will miss him deeply. May he rest in eternal peace.

    Jared Odero

    Links to some of Moussa’s academic work-

    Lake Victoria rescue begins:

    The Voices of Dunga (MA Thesis):

  • It is with deep regret and ultimate sorrow, that I take to heart this terrible, terrible news. Moussa was (and I find it SO hard not to say IS) a consumate soul. Dignity was his modem, and his pride shone through for those who really knew him. He was a very private man, but we whom he let in knew a jovial, social and highly intelligent man who will be sorely missed. He gave so much to this world and asked for nothing in return.
    I sorely miss you, my brother.

  • It is with profound shock that I have learnt of Moussa’s demise.
    As Jared aptly described him, Moussa was indeed the true gentleman. He was a man of integrity, extremely intelligent and yet simple in nature. He will be missed by many in the diaspora.
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.

  • Dr. Wycliffe Odiwuor (a former Kenya-Stockholmer now based at Maseno University in Kenya), has conveyed condolences via SMS to the family of Moussa Awuonda and prays for his soul to rest in eternal peace.

  • I didn’t know Moussa well and I think that is my loss. My dear sister Biddy was the mother of his twin sons Taiwo and Kehinde. She died sadly in 2001 and Moussa shared this time with our family. I am so glad that the twins had time to get to know him in recent years. Taiwo was so proud of his intelligence and wisdom and has been inspired by his love to get to know something about his Kenyan roots and to give something back. Moussa’s fine spirit lives on in his sons.

  • My deepest condolenses to the entire jamii of Mr. Awounda. We will surely miss him as one straight forward Kenyan who kept us informed especially during those days when the internet was at it’s infancy.
    Poleni sana jamii na marafiki. Namwombea Mungu amuweke pahali pema.

  • The late Moussa Awuonda still put his talent to work by writing a masterpiece article despite being seriously ill late last year. The piece critiques a book entitled “Sweden’s African Wars” by a Swedish author called Bengt Nilsson. It is available in the January 2009 issue of NEW AFRICAN, which is an African news magazine.

    Reading through the article gives you a picture of Awuonda’s in-depth approach to issues, both as an analyst and a reviewer. Thanks to Ethnopress this is now immortalized online.

    I like his concluding remarks: “Apart from occasional carelessness with African names, the book reads with the thrill of a travelogue, yet retains the serious substance of Africa’s plight amidst wars and their paymasters.”

    That was Moussa the great writer.

    Click to access NewAfrican_Nilsson.pdf

  • The late mousa Awounda was my student in journalism call l982.The last time he came to my office is about four years ago when we meet he always refer to me as mwalimu.-simply a swahili word means teacher
    when l had the story from Albert wandago also a good friend of his and mine.

    l really mourn a great journalist and a friend l had a niece time teaching and he quickly learn the art, he was very practical and a cleaver student
    peace-rest his soul
    Joseph ngala
    People for peace in Africa
    waumini house first floor-suite 23.
    P.o.Box 14788-00800

  • DAVE ZEITLIN, a Staff Writer at The Daily Local News(online) has written a glowing article dedicated to the sons of the late Mr. Moussa Awuonda and their late British mother, Ms. Bridget Roberts.

    These identical twins named Kehinde Roberts and Taiwo Atieno, are carrying on the legacy of their parents in different ways, within the world of sports. Kehinde plays basketball and Taiwo, soccer. Read this fascinating story about: “Two brothers, one dream”. I have pieced up sections about the late Moussa here, but a link below carries the whole story.

    Growing up in a shack in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, Moussa Allen Awuonda didn’t play any sports.
    Instead, his days were spent trekking eight hours to and from school every day, finding food and water for his five younger siblings, and studying relentlessly.

    It was the latter that offered him a way out: a scholarship to prestigious Oxford University which he gladly accepted. After graduating from Oxford, he traveled to Sweden to earn his masters and start a professional career as a journalist. Then one day, while writing about African theater in England, he met Bridget Mary Glaisher.

    Bridget (known as Biddy Roberts by her friends) was an English woman through and through. Her father, a doctor in the British military during the Second World War, was granted a permanent leave from combat by Prime Minister Winston Churchill when his first child drowned. When he and his wife returned home, they had another baby named Bridget, who would grow up to be a drama teacher and an avid admirer of all things related to the arts. She fell for Moussa, the scholar, immediately.

    The relationship, however, did not last — at least not in the conventional sense. Moussa returned to Sweden to continue his studies, while Bridget remained in her London home.

    But what the short-lived relationship did produce were identical twins whose respective journeys would forever keep their parents’ legacies alive.

    The weekend before Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th U.S. president and Kenyans around the world rejoiced, Moussa Awuonda died of lung cancer. He was 52.

  • Mousa awuonda was agreat man,its sad that he is dead at this time in point that we need him most,sometimes back I and Mousaa came with an idea to start water watch,an advocacy and lobby organisation to help press the KIWASCO to provide clean water to the residents of kisumu,the passing on of Moussa is a great loss to me and the residents of kisumu,our idea is still in concept but i will want to carry it forward in his honour.Moussa was firm and honest man and he was always positive,he is behind the instalation of radio nam lolwe formerly owned by RECA and now under differnt management.
    Chris OWalla
    Director-Community Initiative action group-Kenya

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