A Celebration of Life
Retired Elder Daniel Ngugi Wanjama
Daniel was born on 22nd October 1939 to the late Mr Joshua Wanjama Kimani and his wife Fridah Wangui in Gathanji village, Kiairia Location, Kiambu County.
His siblings were the late Samuel Kimani, late Esther Nyambura, Peter Mburu and Late Dr Joseph Kimani.
As a young boy, Daniel was an obedient boy who helped look after his father’s livestock. Due to his honest and calm nature, Daniel had a very good relationship with his parents, siblings and Nyakinyori family from this early age. He grew up to be a humble leader in the church, community and in the Joshua and Nyakinyori family. He chaired most family meetings and was a strong pillar, spokes-person and an admired role model to many.
Daniel’s education journey began in the year 1953 at Gathanji Primary school. He completed his primary education in 1957 and proceeded to Gathaithi Intermediate School from 1958 to 1961.
He later joined Kabete Technical Training Institute (NITD) and completed his Trade Test certificate as a Fitter in 1963. He excelled in his studies.
During his employment years, Daniel got several scholarships to further his studies. In May 1974 he completed his diploma in Technical Education at the Queens University in Ontario Canada.
In 1978, Daniel was admitted to University of New Brunswick, Canada for a 4-year Bachelor of Education degree. He graduated in 1981.
He has attended other training programs in Business, Agriculture and he is a holder of the PCEA Theology Education by Extension (TEE) Diploma.
Marriage & Family Life
Daniel met the love of his life Serah, during a visit to his neighbors the Wanduga family. The introductions led to a time of courtship and finally marriage
Their wedding on 13th December 1969 was held at ACK St Peters Muongoiya and presided by the late Canon Dedan Kamau and celebrated by many. The Reception was at Gathanji Primary School (the school across the road) and there was plenty of buttered bread and tea. This day was not only special to Daniel and Serah, but also to Esther Nyambura Sons, Ngugi, Mburu, Kimani as young boys in the family they had the privilege to eat bread to their fill. Peter Gachathi also remembers spending the whole day buttering the bread.
Serah and Daniel started their life together as any ordinary couple. They were blessed with their daughter Eva in 1971.
In early years of marriage, Daniel would go abroad for further studies leaving Serah. He was a dedicated husband and would always visit his family when he had long holiday.
On 11th December 2010, Daniel and Serah celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary.
Daniel was a dedicated husband and looked after and provided for his family. He dedicatedly honored his wedding vows and looked after Serah throughout the 10 years she had been ailing until her death. He never missed to tell everyone how he loved Serah. He had indicated that his wish was to complete the unveiling of the cross for Serah on her first anniversary. This he diligently did on 22nd April 2017.
This has been the most important chapter in the life of Daniel. He was baptized in 1952 and confirmed in 1955 in PCEA Kagaa Church, then in Githiga Parish. He accepted the Lord as his personal Savior in 1995. He was ordained as a church elder on 3rd November 1996. He has been the chairman of PCEA Gathanji church for many years. He was also a leader in many other church groups such as chairperson of Kahunira Parish development committee, Patron of Education Committee and development coordinator of the Technical training center Gathanji.
Daniel has been instrumental in extending the work of the Church in Gathanji; he was a dedicated elder for 11 years and retired on 17 February 2008. Following his retirement Daniel continued to support the church with both his time and resources. He was a great mentor to the other young elders of the church.
During his tenure as an Elder, Daniel also served in the board of management of Gathanji Secondary school as a chairman for many years.
Work and Social Life
Daniel began working at an early age. His first employment was at East Africa Railways and Harbors, Kisumu where he worked for a few years. He later jointed BAT limited and worked as a plant engineer for a few years before being employed by the Teachers service commission in 1974, after he had completed his diploma program in Canada. Daniel remained as a hardworking and dedicatedly taught mechanical engineering at Kabete Technical School and later at Kenya Technical teachers college until 1986 when he was promoted to Inspector of Schools based at Ministry of Education, Jogoo House. He served in this position until his retirement in 1993.
After his retirement, Daniel and his brother in-law, the late Ngugi Gachuma, opened a workshop in Kiambu, which they ran for a while. At the same time, Daniel engaged in farming activities and attended various trainings on agriculture. He was a member of the Ugarufa group where both he and Serah learnt about better farming methods.
Daniel was also involved in teaching at ‘Mama Eva Academy’, a school that Serah had opened after her retirement.
Daniel continued with farming activities until his demise.
Daniel had many friends and participated in a lot of social functions. Most knew him as a man of few words but generous smile. While chairman in the Nyakinyori family he was involved in many ‘Othoni’s and ‘Gurarios’ . He was a good negotiator at these functions. In the Gathanje community he was also called upon by many families to participate in these same functions.
Daniel began ailing in 2015. He had been admitted in Avenue hospital in April 2015. However, he remained in good health until December 2016 when he was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer. He had been receiving treatment at various hospitals. On Saturday 13th May 2017, Daniel was restless most of the day. In the evening, his grandson Steve served him his last supper which he had helped prepare. As he ate, they had their usual grandfather-grandson talk. He told Steve that he has done a good job and he is a good boy who’ll grow to be a good man. These last words elated the young man. The restlessness continued and he complained of shortness of breath and general discomfort. All this while, George and Eva were preparing to give him his medication, Daniel rested peaceful in their presence. His last words to them were ‘Ni mwikete wega’.
Daniel is survived by his daughter Eva, her husband George and their children Charleen, Sarah and Steven.
We thank God for the years he gave us Daniel. May the Lords name be praised. Amen.