Monday, January 25, 2021

On Friday evening January 22, 2021, Academia gathered from all over the world to celebrate the academic giant Professor Charles Odidi Okidi.

“Prof. Okidi has written his memoir, ‘In pursuit of Excellence’ while balancing his work and home life,’ testified the wife.

Prof Okidi wife and daughter
Prof. Charles Odidi Okidi with his wife and daughter pose
for photo at the book launch on Friday Jan 22, 2021

“It is a tough balance telling a story about your journey and what amounts to talking about yourself,” remarked Prof. Charles Okidi

Professors and academicians who have worked with Prof. Charles Okidi celebrated him and heaped praises on his values of hard work, honesty and integrity that have been manifest in his journey as an academician. Prof. Patricia Kameri-Mbote exclaimed that Prof. Okidi is the father of Environmental Law not only in Africa but in the world. His achievements do not have geographical limitations.

Many others that spoke observed that Prof. Okidi does not know what it means to rest. ‘His is not hard work but a drive; he is driven’ noted Prof. Mirema who claims that she wouldn’t be where she is were it not for the time she worked with Prof. Okidi. 

“Prof was always on the move. For you to work with him you had to understand that.”

Prof Charles Okidi has interacted with the University of Nairobi for 42 years. He noted that he wanted to pen down his academic journey for mentoring our children and instill values in them so that we can have a country of responsible citizens instead of having a country of people stealing from their country and destroying their institutions.

On his part, Prof. Rege, Prof. Okidi’s brother took the audience through the themes of the book. The overarching themes are Scholarship, leadership and Mentorship. ‘This is a story of a young man who shows outstanding decision-making skills.

On Leadership, the book shows how Prof. Okidi established  Moi University School of Environmental studies, his role in the founding and subsequent  immense success of the Global Academy on Environmental Law, the UN Project on Environmental Law and Institutions in Africa (PADELIA), the conceptualization and birth of the Centre for Advanced Study of Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP), performances as founding Chair of Council of Karatina University College, the founding of the Integrity School.

Prof. Charles Okidi following proceedings at the
book launch

While Congratulating Prof. Okidi on this achievement, The UoN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama elaborated the reasons as to why academicians should write their own memoirs, “the life of an academia is interesting and they are the best people to write their own memoirs because they can best capture all their experiences. Memoirs tells one’s life story for the current and the future generation, it gives a chance for people to celebrate your life, it gives one a global audience and it gives you an opportunity to understand yourself better.”

Lilian Okidi, Prof. Okidi’s daughter remembers the father being fond of Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards matches. Gor Mahia’s win or loss would determine the mood he would be in. The daughter like Prof. Okidi’s wife noted that Prof. does not know the word rest but as a family they promised to continue supporting him to fulfill all that his heart desires and they celebrated him always.

As Prof. Shem Wandiga was reading his citation, He said that what started as the ‘Laws of the seas’ , attracted a huge funding from the Belgians and bore the Moi University School of Environmental Law.

The Memoir, ‘In Pursuit of Excellence: Memoirs of Professor Charles Odidi Okidi’ was launched.