Hitherto in unknown circumstances, the life of Lydia Onyoni, the Principal of Our Lady of Mercy Rangenyo Girls’ High School in West Mugirango Constituency, Nyamira County, was snatched from us.
Madam Onyoni is alleged to have been attacked within the principal’s residence in the school and heavily injured, which is said to have led to her death while undergoing treatment at a private medical facility in Kisii town.
This occurred on Monday, October 10. She had led Rangenyo Girls’ High School for the last seven years.
On Thursday, October 13, George Onkundi, Chairman, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) Nyamira South, led a delegation of the sub-county’s principals to pay tribute and condole with Onyoni’s family in Kiamokama, Masaba South Sub-county, Kisii County.
Reminiscing the wonderful days, moments of bliss and past experiences with their deceased colleague, they unanimously remembered her as being lovely, accommodating, jovial, friendly, supportive and hardworking.
Dr. Zachary Ondieki, Principal Gesiaga High School, said that “We’ll miss her but it’s the way of all the earth.”
He called to mind how Onyoni was a supportive colleague, assuring that her legacy will live on.
Serah Mang’aa, a retired principal, termed her as her “daughter”, saying that the deceased used to call her “mom”. She reminisced how Onyoni had been growing and advancing in diverse aspects of her profession.
“She was a far-sighted and supportive teacher, offering all her best to society,” she said.
Bruce Kerage, Principal Nyakeore Secondary School, while condoling with the family and paying his tribute to his colleague whom he termed as being ever-jovial, observed that “As principals and as the second family from Nyamira South, we have lost a selfless colleague and we are sad, but we accept it.”
He assured the family that as principals, they will continue to support the children and the family in diverse aspects of life.
Peter Ochieng, Principal St. Peter’s Nyaisa Secondary, condoled with the family of their departed colleague and the KESSHA fraternity.
“She is the one who kept on encouraging me all through the journey since I was posted in Nyamira South,” he called to mind.
He exhorted her children to work hard and soar to greatness, just like their mother applied all her energy into doing her best in life.
In the words of Henry Onchong’a, Nyameru Secondary School Principal, “KESSHA loved her. We could have really wished to have her in our midst.”
Also present was Mr. Elijah Nyaanga, the Founder and Chief Executive Office of Scholar Media Group Africa.
He joined the principals in condoling with the family and gave his message of tribute.
“As SMEGA, we have lost a friend. She was a selfless lady who wished that all schools would get a space at SMEGA and their success stories get featured.”
He termed her as a lovely, jovial and hardworking lady who had transformed the school in all aspects, with the latest project being fitting the school’s pavements with cabro blocks, giving the school a major facelift.
“The institution has become a model school that has seen other schools from the region benchmark.
On behalf of Scholar Media Group Africa, I share my heartfelt condolences with her family, students, colleagues, friends and education fraternity for the enormous loss,” he condoled.
Mr. Onkundi, who is also the principal Nyamira Boys’ High School, lamented that “We are heavily hit by the death of Lydia because she was among the most active members in the group.”
He termed her as being proactive and central.
“She urged us to work hard to change our schools. It is so unfortunate that she left us at such a tender age,” he said, acknowledging the essence of having a counselor in such times.
The principals were unanimous that Onyoni was a best-fit for all and she looked forward to the success of the whole team, wanting the best for everyone.
“When I heard that she was hospitalized, I quickly left my home to visit her because I knew she would wake up and question me if I had not been there,” said Janet Mogaka, Principal at Nyaigwa Girls’ Secondary School.
Janet, a close friend of Onyoni, acknowledged that her teachers are disappointed for losing someone who loved without segregation.
On behalf of the family, Mr. George Ogola, termed her daughter-in-law as being a beautiful lady who had immense respect and love for the family.
Urging the principals to be honest, he underscored the place of honesty in leadership and at work.
“Be honest and God will reward you,” he urged the school heads.
Several government officials from Kisii County Government were also present.
One of them is the Education Director, Kisii County Government, Mr. Kennedy Magutu.
While promising to be of support to the family, Magutu said that “Today, Lydia has rested. However, we mourn her murderers, not her.”
Condoling with his family, his colleague, Mr. Joseph Arasa, Director of Administration, Fisheries, Livestock and Veterinary Service (under Ministry of Agriculture Kisii County Government), underlined the need to pray for students.
“Let us pray for the students to prepare and do the exams without coldness,” he called.
Different minds in the professional society were also quick enough to share their condolences with the family.
Dr. Evans Okemwa, Deputy Registrar at Kisii University termed the situation as so disheartening. “I am unable to describe this devilish act that happened to our principal,” he lamented.
At the same time, Prof. Emily Rogena who is a Pathologist said that “This is a sad day. The blood of a teacher is like that of a parent. These people will not enjoy peace. May the Lord of mercy take care of Mwalimu’s family and bless their future. This must be condemned in the strongest terms.”
She urged The Scholar Media administration to convey the sentiments and condolences to the family.
“I know the school and I can’t believe this,” she confessed.
Father Constantine Mandere termed that as being so unfortunate. “May Lydia Onyoni find eternal repose with her Creator. May the family members, the school and all who knew her be consoled by the Almighty God.”
Dr. Stellah Omari of Kisii University, coming to terms with the occasion, said that “It is just tragic and horrible that the very people who put their lives on the line for our children have their lives snuffed out just like that. This is a very sad happening in the very compound where they pour out blood and sweat to keep our children safe. May the family be comforted. Painful!”
Tengecha Girls High School Chief Principal, Hellen Mabese, in her message of condolences, eulogized that “I’m sorry to hear about this loss. My heart goes out to the family as we fondly remember our Madam Lydia. My most sincere condolences as my reflective thoughts are with the family. The life-threatening incidents that a few principals have gone through in the past few days are quite worrying.”