Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Passing of our good friend, Francis Nyenze, of Nairobi

We awoke this morning to the very sad news that our good friend, Francis Nyenze, has passed away.  He was the landlord of the compound in which we lived in Nairobi (he also lived there with his family) and he was one of the most honorable politicians we have known.  I used to tell him that if I could vote in Kenya, I would vote for him regardless of which party he belonged to.  He was a minority leader and previously had served in the cabinet.  He was one very, very good man.  A good Christian, a wonderful husband and father, and a friend to all.

Here's the newspaper announcement:  https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001262314/kitui-west-mp-and-former-minority-leader-francis-nyenze-dead

Interview with Francis' wife Edith and others:  https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/ktnnews/video/2000145830/kenyan-leaders-pay-tribute-to-francis-nyenze-after-he-died-in-nairobi-hospital

"Nyenze was a grassroots leader who effortlessly interacted with all people. It is a great loss for us and I can tell you his shoes are too big for anybody else to fit in," noted Rodgers Kaleve, a businessman based at Kabati market. Kitui senator Enock Wambua described the late Nyenze as an accommodative leader. In a message of condolence delivered by Wiper party Executive Director Jared Sisso, Kalonzo, who is in Germany, described Nyenze as a non-confrontational gentleman who was a great asset in Wiper party who helped build bridges among political protagonists. 
From another news article:  "Nyenze was a grassroots leader who effortlessly interacted with all people. It is a great loss for us and I can tell you his shoes are too big for anybody else to fit in," noted Rodgers Kaleve, a businessman based at Kabati market.  In a message of condolence delivered by Wiper party Executive Director Jared Sisso, Kalonzo, who is in Germany, he described Nyenze as a non-confrontational gentleman who was a great asset in Wiper party who helped build bridges among political protagonists. https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001262332/wiper-leader-defended-the-late-nyenze-even-when-the-mp-supported-jubilee-s-uhuru-kenyatta

It was a privilege to live close to the Nyenze family for the past 18 months and to count them as friends.  This picture was taken in their home on one of our visits with them.  Our daughter, Heather, had come from Chicago for a visit in December 2016 so we dropped by so she could meet them.  We had a little Christmas sing-along with Francis playing his guitar and LeRon on the piano.  Their daughter Grace also played some tunes on the piano.  It was a lovely evening.  L-R: daughter Ruth, Francis and his lovely wife Edith, Colleen & LeRon Torrie, Heather Torrie, daughter Grace.  We will always treasure the good times we had with the Nyzenze family.

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