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The Late Prof.Okoth Okombo 71st birthday virtual commemoration. 

 

Prof. Okoth Okombo is considered to be the founder of Africa sign language studies. 

He was a giant scholar in Nilotic linguistics. 

 

Below is what was published on Google alongside his doodle: 

Duncan Okoth Okombo was born on November 8, 1950 in Kaswanga, a village on the remote Kenyan island of Rusinga. As a member of the Suba tribe raised during a time of colonial rule, Okombo witnessed firsthand how the elevation of the English language eroded his ethnic identity by pushing his mother tongue of Omusuba to near extinction. These experiences inspired Okombo’s lifelong mission to preserve indigenous African heritage through academia with a major focus on educating children in their native languages. 

While pursuing his linguistics doctorate in 1983, Okombo published Masira ki Ndaki (“Misfortune is Inevitable”) in Dholuo, which is considered one of the first novels published in a Kenyan language. He continued to pass down his expertise as a professor of linguistics and literature at his alma mater of the University of Nairobi, where Okombo founded the Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) Research Project in 1991. This project led to the widespread adoption of KSL across Kenya, allowing the nation’s deaf community to secure new opportunities in society. 

For his achievements, the World Federation of the Deaf elected Okombo as its international president from 1992 to 1995. Today, Okombo’s students remember him as a great listener, storyteller, and even a great dancer as his legacy lives on in the ongoing advocacy work of the Kenyan Sign Language Research Project. 

Happy birthday, Professor Okombo! 

 

 

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