Biography of Margaret Ogola

Margaret Atieno Ogola was a Kenyan author, doctor, and activist. Born on June 2, 1958, she is best known for her award-winning book The River and the Source, which was published in 1994. The book won the 1995 Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Best First Book in Africa and the 1995 Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature. She became one of Kenya’s most renowned authors.

Ogola worked as a doctor and was the medical director of Cottolengo Hospice for HIV/AIDS orphans. She advocated for the rights of HIV/AIDS patients at a time when there was still social stigma attached to the disease. She is quoted as saying that the inspiration for The River and the Source “came from my mother who handed down to me the wisdom and lives of her own mother and grandmother. This strength and support that is found in the African family is the most important part of our culture, and should be preserved and nurtured at all costs.” After The River and the Source, Ogola went on to write four other books throughout her life. On September 21, 2011, Margaret Ogola died at the age of 53 from cancer.

Study Guides on Works by Margaret Ogola