The international athletics body International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is in mourning following the death of renowned athletics journalist Mark Ouma on Sunday in Durban, South Africa, at the age of 55. Ouma was a former lecturer at Egerton University in early 1990s.
A regular contributor to the IAAF website, Ouma worked tirelessly throughout his life to give exposure to African athletics and the achievements of African athletes. Ouma had travelled to Durban to cover last months African athletics championships but was admitted to hospital on the second day of the event. He died while receiving treatment at the King Edward 8 Hospital in Durban.
Although he was born in Uganda, Ouma was a Kenyan citizen. After studying philosophy in Kampala, he returned to Kenya and became a lecturer at Egerton University. Mark started off his career as a Lecture in Philosophy at Makerere University, Kampala and Egerton University, Kenya before taking up his passion as an international Journalist at South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and moved to Voice Of America (VOA) as a Sports Editor on Day Break Africa News until his untimely death,” a family statement signed by brother Paul Ouma stated.
From 1988 onwards, Ouma worked as a freelance journalist and contributed to numerous publications in Africa, Europe and the USA. Ouma was based in South Africa for many years, where he was a correspondent for Voice of America.
The fallen journalist who was a common sight at major athletics events particularly the biennial CAA Senior Championships was the son of eminent scholar Professor Joseph Ouma, who is probably one of the most accomplished academics in Rangwe, Homa Bay County, if not in Kenya.
“We are shattered. After our initial visits to check on him at hospital, we had been confident that he will pull through after he had been his bubbly self since he was admitted on Friday, 24 June 2016 for tests.
“We are most saddened that he had come to Durban solely to cover the CAA 20th Senior African Championships which Mark was only able to attend once on his arrival on the 23rd of June before he was taken ill two days later and rushed to hospital.
“Mark will always be remembered as an advocate of African athletics and a professional in his work. I met Mark all over the world doing what he loved best, promoting African athletics,” said ASA President, Aleck Skhosana of South Africa who described his passing away as tragic.
“Mark was in love with athletics, and his knowledge, passion and smile will be sorely missed,” said Anna Legnani of the IAAF Communications department.
Athletes too across Africa eulogised one of the finest journalists who had established Athleticsafrica.org.
“Sad day for african Athletics, you will be missed Sir,” South African sprinter Akani Simbine posted on his twitter account.
“RIP Mark Ouma, looking after track athletes with passion and always writing positive stories on my journey,” South African world champion Wayde van Niekerk wrote.
He will be laid to rest in Homa Bay with burial plans already underway.
Our Condolences from Magazine Reel to the Family, Friends and Students of the Late Don Mark Ouma
Source: IAAF & Sports News Arena