The late Lorna Irungu. A foundation has been set up in her name by her family after she succumbed to Covid-19.
The late Lorna Irungu. A foundation has been set up in her name by her family after she succumbed to Covid-19.

The family of Lorna Irungu-Macharia has set up a foundation in her name as a way of honoring her legacy.

Irungu, a celebrated former journalist and communications expert, passed away on March 22 after succumbing to Covid-19. At the time of her passing, she was the Chief Executive at Gina Din Group, a leading PR and advertising firm.

In a statement shared on Wednesday, March 25, her family noted that the Lorna Irungu-Macharia Foundation would be set up to support causes that were close to her heart – the improvement of health policies and support for those living with autoimmune diseases, and the advancement of rights of women and girls.

Willing individuals were asked to channel contributions to the foundation via mobile money.

Irungu battled Lupus – an autoimmune disease – for over 20 years, and had three Kidney transplants between 1998 and 2008.

“Despite the continuing health challenges, she chose to live a joyful, purposeful, generous and impactful life,” the family noted.

The late Lorna Irungu. Lorna will be remembered as a talented communications guru who impacted the lives of many not just with her work but also her personality and smile.
The late Lorna Irungu. Lorna will be remembered as a talented communications guru who impacted the lives of many not just with her work but also her personality and smile.

The family urged Kenyans to adhere to Covid-19 control measures such as hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing, highlighting the fact that Lorna was a proponent of the precautionary measures at home and elsewhere.

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“She was often frustrated by the alarming misinformation that has shaped and continues to shape public perception of this virus, including the vaccine. Lorna acknowledged the trust deficit in our public institutions and leadership have contributed significantly to the current crisis,” they revealed.

A virtual memorial service is to be held on Saturday, March 27 to celebrate her life.

Lorna will be remembered as a talented communications guru who impacted the lives of many not just with her work but also her personality and smile.

She began her career on stage, scooping countless accolades with the Phoenix Theatre ensemble before her segue into TV.

She had an iconic stint as host of Omo Pick-a-Box, a popular game show and Club Kiboko, a children’s show.

She ventured into movie production and was behind Rastar (2003) which screened at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.

She later had a stint at Tamarind Group as Entertainment Manager before founding her own boutique PR firm – Siwa Communications. It was through Siwa, with Motorola as a client, that the Kenyan urban classic Tatizo was produced with Jua Cali being named a global Motorola ambassador – a first for the region.

She was involved in the production of TV shows including Tusker Project Fame and Red Kona.

In 2007, she spearheaded youth voter registration campaigns and also later led grassroots women’s organizing efforts in support of the 2010 Constitution and advocacy against gender-based violence.

Lorna also served as Head of Communications for Martha Karua’s 2013 Presidential campaign.

She leaves behind a husband, Edwin Macharia and her daughter Nancy Macharia.

 

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