Family and friends mourn the loss of University of Oklahoma Professor emeritus Jidlaph G. Kamoche. James S. Hart Jr., chair of the OU Department of History, declared that his department had lost an important and pioneering teacher in an area unknown to many Americans. He was a fixture of campus life from his arrival on campus in 1977 to serve as the first director of the African/African-American Studies Program here. In addition to inspiring many students to pursue graduate work in Africa, Kamoche was a generous mentor to younger faculty, especially those who came to OU from their countries.
Kamoche was born and raised in Kingeero, near Nairobi, Kenya. He received his primary and secondary education in Kenya. He received a scholarship to pursue higher education in the United States and attended Amherst College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in history in 1967. He earned his Master of Arts in history from the University of Masachusetts in 1969 and his doctorate in history from the State University of New York in Buffalo in 1977.
Before coming to the University of Oklahoma in 1977, he served as the director of the African and African-American Studies Program and taught African and African-American history at University of New York College at Buffalo.
He was the author of "Imperial Trusteeship and Political Evolution in Kenya, 1923-1963" (Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1981). For 10 years, he authored short articles on contemporary Kenyan history. The articles were published in Collier's Encyclopedia Yeah Book. He presented papers at the African Studies Annual Conferences. At the time of his death, he was at work on a second book, "Mau Mau and Decolonization in Kenya, 1945-1963."
He leaves behind many memories, friends and loved ones. He was a passionate supporter of OU football and taught many of the players over the years.
Jid was preceded in death by his parents, Esther Nyakio and Nelson; and brothers James and John.
He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Njambi; his two children, Nyakio (Kio) and her husband David and Kamoche (Moche); his three grandchildren, Kaya, Luisa, and Rocco; three sisters; two brothers; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested that donations be made to The University of Oklahoma Foundation Inc., 100 Timberdell Road, Norman OK 73019. Please note Kamoche Memorial Fund in the memo. Funds will support an OU history student to pursue research or education abroad.