Mzee Meshack Orieny Okeyo
Mzee Meshack Orieny Okeyo
Mzee Meshack Orieny Okeyo was born on 25th February 1936 to the Late Mzee Okeyo Abiero and late Mama Elizabeth Ademba of Kokal Village Agoro Nyakach. He was the 8th Born in a family of 11 children 6 boys and 5 girls all now deceased.
Education and Career
He attended Magunga Primary School, Thurgem Primary School and Wire Primary School between 1944 and 1951 and briefly taught at Magunga Primary School in 1952.In 1953 he went back to school, joining Awasi Intermediate School in std.7 and sat for the Kenya African Preliminary Examination (KAPE) in 1954. Between 1955 – 1958 he worked in the following places:
1. Guilley & Roberts Nakuru – 1955
2. Coronation Builders Nairobi -1956
3. Telephone operator Mau Summit – 1957
4. Telephone operator Jinja Uganda – 1958
Mzee always endeavored to improve his life and in 1959 he decided to become a career teacher and joined St. John’s Ngiya Teachers College where he qualified as a primary school teacher in 1960.
After college he taught in the following schools
1. Magunga Primary School – 1961 – 1962
2. Apondo Primary School – 1963 – 1964
3. Karanda Primary School – 1965
In 1966 he became the Headmaster of Kagimba Primary School and taught there up to 1969. In 1970 he moved to Nyakoko Primary School as the Headmaster and he was able to start the secondary school there. Between 1974 – 1977 taught at Cherwa Primary School and moved to Thurgem Primary School between 1978 – 1980 and also started the Secondary School there. In 1980, he decided to go for further studies and joined Kenyatta University College where he pursued a Diploma in Education course, specializing in Music and Swahili and graduated in 1982. After his graduation he taught at Migori Teachers College in 1983, Matare Secondary in Kuria in 1984, Awasi secondary between 1985 – 1986 and Muhoroni Secondary School 1987 -1991 then he retired in 1991.
After retirement due to his specialized skills and passion for teaching Music, he was offered a job by St. Paul’s Teachers Training College –Nyabururu in Kisii County as a Music tutor. As a music tutor he trained choirs up to the National level and was recognized for his outstanding performance. In 2001 he left St. Paul’s and retired to his home in Agoro – Nyakach where he concentrated in training church choirs and small -scale farming.
Marriage and Family life
Mzee Meshack Orieny married his beautiful bride Joyce Agutu daughter of Mzee Eliazar Ong’ara of Kokoth Village Karachuonyo in a church wedding ceremony at Thurgem SDA Church on 2/2/1962. They were later blessed with nine children namely: Dedan Orieny, Josephine Kasera, the late Noah Orieny, Dr. Paul Orieny, Lilian Orieny Karlsson, the late Tom Mboya Orieny, Kenneth Orieny, Fredrick Orieny and Jasper Orieny. His daughters in law were: Alice Otieno, Peres, Monica, Betty Noah, Hillda Paul, Lilian Ken, Betty Fred and Jane Jasper. His Sons-in -law were the late David Kasera and Per Karlsson. He also had 23 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
Mzee was a good father to his children, he brought them up with love and counsel. He took his children to school and was always proud of any outstanding achievement. Mzee was gentle, realistic and diplomatic in his approach to life. He saw value in people and was likeable to most of the people who met him. He was wise and had a wide analytic perspective of life and told stories of wisdom to his family and friends. He lived a moderate life and discouraged a life-style of dependency and never exaggerated situations. Mzee never complained and would appreciate even the smallest gift he received. He wanted everyone around him happy.
Health and Sickness
Mzee lived a healthy life for most of his years. In 2009 he was involved in a road accident but was treated and recovered fully. In March 2020, he developed difficulty in swallowing food. He went to Aga Khan Hospital Kisumu for investigations and was later diagnosed with cancer of the stomach by May 2020. He was put under treatment at Kisumu Comprehensive Medical Centre and underwent several Chemo sessions, but unfortunately his condition deteriorated in October 2020 and he succumbed to his illness on 31st October 2020, while undergoing treatment at the same hospital. Even when he was sick and weak, Baba never complained, he was always calm and hopeful.
Mzee Meshack Orieny was baptized in 1952 at Thrugem SDA Church by Pastor Lucal Amayo. From then on he became a staunch member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and served as an ordained Church Elder for several years. He was a dedicated reader of the Bible and Christian literature and was recognized for having read the whole Bible. He led his family to Church every Sabbath and conducted family prayers every evening praying for every member of his family. As a Church elder, together with other church members they started Atoyieng’o SDA Church, where he was a member until his demise.
Other than heading several schools during his career as a teacher, Mzee was also a Community leader. He was enthroned as an Elder (Ogayi) of Agoro clan and was the secretary to Nyakach elders’ development group. He was also the chairperson of Lower Nyakach Retired Teachers’ association.
Our Patriarch, Family Priest, Our Strength and Elder has slept. Let us emulate his example by remaining Peaceful, Focused and United.
JOHN 11:25 ; JESUS SAID TO HER,”I AM THE RESSURECTION AND THE LIFE HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME WILL LIVE EVEN THOUGH HE DIES”