In Memory of Josephine Lukoma
Josephine “Phina” Florence Namatovu Lukoma, 33, of Malden, Massachusetts, passed away suddenly on February 3, 2012, from complications following a surgery.
Born on February 13, 1978, in Nairobi, Kenya, to Joseph and Teresa Lukoma, Phina was a true ‘African Child’ who treated the entire world as her village and developed several close friendships all around the world. Through her work with Oxfam America she passionately followed her convictions about economic development—especially in relation to women in developing countries.
Her academic grounding in economics, business, and international affairs enabled her to view global challenges from a variety of critical perspectives drawing on economic, social, and cultural analysis and research. She held a BA in Economics (with a concentration in International Studies) from Oberlin College and an MA in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Along with this academic rigor, she brought to her work and personal life a gentleness and soft-spoken spirit that was undergirded with strong convictions about right and wrong. She worked hard to be consistent between her actions and her beliefs, even refusing to drink Starbucks coffee because she disagreed with some of their business practices.
She was a devout Christian who actively served in her church home wherever she was. Her prayer group was one of the most important elements of her life because it gave her strength and perspective to continue being generous even during the most difficult challenges in her life.
Despite her soft-spoken nature, Phina was a natural leader who had a tremendous influence on many lives even in her short time with us. From her early days at Northside Primary School in Botswana, to her boarding school experience at Waterford Kamhlaba in Swaziland, to her college and graduate school days, Phina maintained an impressive network of deep friendships across the blog—from North and South America, to Africa and Europe, she had friends everywhere.
Closest to her heart was her immediate family whom she took every opportunity to visit and involve herself in their lives.
Jesus’ description of “the meek” truly described this beautiful spirit as she inherited the earth in her time here through the love, generosity, and passion with which she lived.
She is survived by both her parents, Joseph and Teresa; her brother Michael; her brother Thomas, his wife Leslie, and their two daughters, Ssanyu and Neo, and their son, Endasi; her sister Anna-Clare and her sister’s son, Henry; her brother Lawrence and her brother Henry. She is also survived by her mothers-in-law, June “Nana” Watson-Scott and Mildred “Mama” Adams; and her godson, Biko.
John Frinjuah F'16
Alison Erlwanger F'15
Blaen Abraham F'14
Patrick Kabanda F'13