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Thursday, 29 May 2014

The passing of a patriarch

Celebrating the life
of a patriarch

By Brian Masai
The Late D.M.Masai

Hundreds of family, relatives and friends turned up to give a befitting send off to Mzee David Morris Masai, a second world war veteran, retired civil servant, accomplished farmer and patriarch.
His funeral service, also attended by Cabinet Secretary Mrs. Charity Ngilu among other dignified citizens and ordinary citizens, was held at the Machakos Golf Club grounds followed by a private burial at his Mukalala home.

He was eulogized as follows: “ The Late David Morris Masai was born on the December 24, 1922 at Mukaa Location in Makueni County. He was the second born of the late Pastor Samuel Masai Nzuma and the late Loice Ngina Masai. His siblings were Rael Mbula, Mrs. Emma David Musya, Daniel Sila Masai and Julius Obed Masai, all deceased.
Christian Life
Owing to the Christian background of Mzee, he never had traditional names. He was however Baptized David in 1938 by Rev Nixon at AIC Misakwani. He remained steadfast in his faith throughout his life and loved to joyously sing Hymn No.26 “Holly, Holly, Lord God Almighty” (Nowe wi Mutheu)- when he lived. He is among the Pioneers of the AIC Mukalala.
Education and Work
He attended Mumbuni Full Primary School and later Government African School (Kwa Mating’i) for his intermediate education and was soon conscripted to the military service in the Kenya African Rifles.  While in service, he served in Egypt and Abyssinia (Now Ethiopia) during the Second World War (1939-1945). His military career was cut short by the death of his father that prompted his mother to demand the return of her son from active service, so that he could attend to family matters and close the gap left by his father’s death.
Mzee joined the Welfare Department of the colonial government and was moved to serve in the Veterinary Department as an apprentice. He then joined the Jeans School Kabete( later known as Kabete Technical College) He later went to London School of Leather where he obtained a Diploma in Hides and Skins Technology, a training that gave him his life long  career  as a Hides and Skins Officer in the Civil Service.
 Upon his return in November 1963 he served in the Rift Valley, North Eastern Province and Nairobi, where he served as Lecturer at the Animal Health and Industry Training Institute- Kabete (AHITI), Eastern and finally Coast Province where he retired as Coast Provincial Hides and Skins Officer in 1982. He took up business and farming and participated in community development.
Key among his contribution was the construction of Iini Bridge where together with the Late Col Titus Wambua and others they ensured that there was a direct link between Misakwani and Machakos town.
Family Life
Upon his demobilization from the military and return home, Mzee got married to the late Mueni Kaloki and were blessed with one child Florence Nduku. They later formally divorced.
He met Veronica Wangari in 1952, upon her transfer to serve at the Machakos General Hospital and they got married two years later. They were blessed with seven children- four sons and three daughters John Masai, Charles Musili, Idah Ngina,  Mutune David, Martin Ndei, Windsor Nyawira and Valentine Mbula.
Mzee leaves behind 22 grand children and 10 Great grand children.
Mzee brought up all his children under tight discipline and ensured all got educated to the best of their abilities. He ensured that he imparted the right values to them in preparation for the life ahead. He was driven by a sense of uprightness, integrity, personal honor, honesty and commitment in whatever he laid his hands upon.
Mzee was diagnosed with diabetes in 1983 and committed himself to a disciplined feeding programme and medical care, attending clinics, exercises and would at times be admitted to hospital.
For the last 32 years, Mzee has been under daily medication under the personal, loving care of his wife of 59 years, who was herself a trained nurse. Indeed they were to celebrate 60 years of matrimony in March 2014.
He was however taken ill on March 5, 2014 after suffering a stroke. His team of doctors led by Dr Henry Kioko, Dr Muriithi Nyamu, and Dr Joshua Nderitu, jointly worked to ensure he lived on. Mzee lost the fight on Sunday March 9, 2014 at 7.00pm at Meridian Equator Hospital, Nairobi.
He lived a happy, full, long and rewarded life, spanning 92 years”.
*The writer is a grandson
 of the late D.M.Masai

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