Veteran Journalist and columnist Philip Ochieng dies aged 82

Veteran journalist and former Sunday Nation columnist Philip Ochieng is dead.

The family confirmed the veteran journalist succumbed to pneumonia at his Awendo home in  Migori.

He had been admitted at the Ombo  mission hospital and was discharged last week.

Ochieng’s daughter Lucie Adhiambo said her father succumbed to pneumonia and other complications associated with old age. He was 82.

“It’s true he passed on an hour ago. He has been ailing from a series of illnesses including pneumonia,” a devastated Lucie confirmed the news of her father’s demise.

Ochieng was well known for his column in the Nation newspaper and had also served as a columnist for the Standard Newspaper.

Prior to taking up the role of a columnist, Ochieng, popularly known as PO, served as an editor for Nation Media Group.

His works extended to the writing of books and he is fondly remembered with his first published book “I Accuse the Press: An Insider’s View of the Media and Politics in Africa” which he authored in 1992.

News of his demise was greeted with consternation even as many eulogized him as a true son of Kenya.

“Kenya has lost in the passing of Philip Ochieng, a veteran journalist and legendary columnist with an unmatched prowess of the English language. Through the power of the pen, Philip spoke to the most powerful and moved the society into action.” Former PM Raila Odinga said

The Fifth Columnist described Ocghieng as a media giant and a journalist of great repute.

“Having served in various capacities in the media industry, Ochieng has earned both praise and condemnation from not just his readers but also his employers, colleagues and the powers that be,” Liz Gitonga-Wanjohi wrote in her description of the ‘legendary journalist’ in his biography – The Fifth Columnist.

Journalists and fellow columnists paid tribute, acknowledged, and spoke highly of the role of Ochieng in shaping the media industry.

“PO (Philip Ochieng) was quite astute and lively in real life, sharp and expansive with the pen. What a life, what a career.” Kenya Editors Guild President Churchill Otieno said in his tribute

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