From teacher to top politician: The remarkable life of Governor Joyce Laboso


From teacher to top politician: The remarkable life of Governor Joyce Laboso
Former Bomet Governor Dr. Joyce Laboso during a past public appearance. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • Dr. Laboso then joined Kenyatta University where she pursued a Bachelor of Education degree from 1980 – 1983.
  • In 1984, she went to the University of Paul Valery in France for her postgraduate diploma in teaching French language before pursuing a Masters in teaching English as a foreign language at the University of Reading.

Bomet Governor Dr. Joyce Laboso is dead at 59-years-old. The county chief succumbed to cancer at the Nairobi Hospital on Monday.

She was born on November 25, 1960 and went to Molo Primary Schools for her primary education before joining Kenya High School, Nairobi, for her Secondary and A-level education.

Dr. Laboso then joined Kenyatta University where she pursued a Bachelor of Education degree from 1980 – 1983.

In 1984, she went to the University of Paul Valery in France for her postgraduate diploma in teaching French language before pursuing a Masters in teaching English as a foreign language at the University of Reading.

The following year she began her career as a school teacher at the Kipsigis Girls’ High School teaching French before transitioning to an Assistant lecturer at Egerton University in 1990 and later to full-time basis; a job she would maintain upto 2000.

The Nakuru-based university absorbed her as an Assistant Dean of students in 2001 but she left in 2002 to take up employment as special needs lecturer at the Farrow House Education Center in Hull, United Kingdom.

Dr. Laboso would however return home to her former workstation at Egerton University to the Department of Language and Linguistics in 2007, and then as Commissioner of the National Commission on Gender and Development before finally diving into politics.

In a past interview with a local news outlet, the deceased Bomet county chief confessed that she was shopping in a supermarket in Nakuru when she received the news of her sister Lorna Laboso’s death on June 10, 2008.

Lorna, who was the then Sotik Member of Parliament, was involved in a plane crash together with then Roads Minister Kipkalya Kones.

Dr. Laboso would then embark on a journey to fill in her sister’s shoes by running for the Sotik parliamentary by-election on September 25, 2018 and emerging top with 23,880 votes.

In 2013, she ditched the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party for William Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP) on whose ticket she defended the Sotik seat.

Her fellow MPs would also, in the same year, throw their weight behind her and elect her as Deputy Speaker in Parliament.

Dr. Laboso, who was one of only three Kenyan women governors, leaves behind a husband – Edwin Abonyo – and three adult children.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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