In Memory of my Father

In Loving Memory

Mr. Alfred Kinyua R. Ngano (Awa)
1950 – 27th September 2021

In Pictures


(Kiembu Translation Follows the English Version)


Mr. Kinyua Ngano was born in 1950 at Ndamunge village, Kanja sub-location, Kagaari North, Embu County. His parents are the late Mr. Laban Ngano Gatuiria and Mrs. Josephine.  Kaguna. 


Mr. Kinyua Ngano was enrolled at Kanja primary school where he studied until standard six. After his primary school education, he took a technical course on carpentry at Chuka. Later he mastered masonry and got Grade 3 qualification.

Work life

Mr. Kinyua Ngano worked with Kagau Enterprises at Spring valley in Embu, majoring on construction for five years. He then joined Mungania tea factory (Kianjokoma) in 1978. He worked at Mungania as a carpenter, and later was promoted to supervising category. He left Mungania in 1999. After leaving Mungania, he worked as a freelancer contractor, carpenter, and masonry while also tending his farm.


Mr. Kinyua Ngano married Faith Kanini through a customary marriage on June 1976.

Church life

Mr. Kinyua Ngano was baptised at the Kanja Anglican Church where he also went through the  confirmation ritual in his youth. After marriage, he started attending the National Independent Church of Africa (NICA) Kianjokoma church where he has been fellowshipping until his demise.


Mr. Kinyua Ngano was healthy throughout most of his adult life. He complained of minor pain on his right leg that he associated with an injury he had experienced. In May 2021, he visited Kianjokoma level 3 hospital where he was given medication. The condition of his leg did not improve, so he was taken to Embu level 5 for further examination. After the scanning, he was diagonised with Peripheral Arteria Disease and Gangrene on the right foot. He sought a second opinion from Puremedicare Hospital (Kibogi) in early September 2021. At the Puremedicare, he was referred to Mwea Mission Hospital, Karira on 15th September 2021. He was being treated at Karira until his demise at 5AM Monday 27th September 2021.


Mr. Kinyua Ngano will be remembered for various building and construction projects that he did for various people in his community. He has left behind a wife, Faith Kanini Kinyua, five children Mrs. Debora Njeri, Ms. Agnes Wambeti, Dr. Laban Kithinji, Ms. Purity Mukami, and Mrs. Irene Nyaga. He also was a darling grandfather to 15 grandchildren (of whom one is deceased).



Mr. Kinyua Ngano aciarirwe îtûrarî ria Ndamunge, Kanja, kûrîa Kagaari ya îgûrû, Embu. Aciarirwe mwakarî wa 1950 nî aciari ake, arîa nîo mûtigairî Laban Ngano Gatuiria and Mrs. Josephine.  Kaguna.


Mr. Kinyua Ngano athomere cûkuru wa mûsingi wa Kanja kûrîa athomere nginyagia kîrathi gîa gatandatû. Arîkia vau niwathiîre Chuka kûria athomere wîra wa mbau. Niwacokire akîthomera ndeto cia gûtuma na mathiga, na akîgîa Grade 3.


Mr. Kinyua Ngano ambîrîrie kûruta wîra gwa Kagaû kûrîa Spring Valley, Embu vandûrî va mîaka îtano. Niwacokire agîtonya kîthîirî kia macani kûria Mûngania (Kianjokoma) mwakarî wa 1978. Arutire wîra wa mbaû Mûngania na akîvewa wîra wa gûtongoria wîra ûcio. Ekarire Mûngania ngiya mwaka wa 1999. Vuva ûcio akoretwe akîruta wîra gîîke mîthemba ya gûtuma vamwe na kûrima gwake mûciî.


Mr. Kinyua Ngano avikirie Faith Kanini na kiviko gia gîtene kia Aembu mweri wa gatandatu mwakarî wa 1976.


Mr. Kinyua Ngano avatithîrue kanitharî wa kîAngilikana wa Kanja na vuva wa ûguo akivewa yûmîriria wanakerî wake. Arîkia kûvikania nîwambîrîrie kûthiî kanitharî wa National Independent (NICA) wa Kîanjokoma kûria aragendaga nyinyagia gûkua gwake.


Mr. Kinyua Ngano aratûrîte aî na ûgima mwega mûno wa mwîrî. Nîwambîrîrie gûturwa vanini ni kûgûrû kwa ûrio. Mweri wa gatano mwakarî wa 2021 nîwathiîre thibitari ya Kianjokoma na akîvewa ndawa. Tondû gûturwa nîkwathiîre na mbere nîwathiîre thibitarî nene ya Embu. Arîkia kûvûrwa mbica niwerirwe aî na mûrimu wa Peripheral Arteria Disease na Gangrene kûgûrurî kwa ûrio. Nîwacokîre akiona ndagîtarî wîngî kuria Puremedicare Hospital (Kibogi).Thibitarirî wa Puremedicare nîwerirwe athiî thibitari ya miceni ya Karira kûria arathondekagwa nginyagia rîrîa avurûkire thaa ikûmi na îmwe cia kîrauko mweri 27 wa kenda mwaka wa 2021.


Mr. Kinyua Ngano akaririkanagwa na wira wake wa mîako. Nîwatiga vuva mûtumia wake Faith Kanini Kinyua na ciana ithano Mrs. Debora Njeri, Ms. Agnes Wambeti, Dr. Laban Kithinji, Ms. Purity Mukami, and Mrs. Irene Wanyaga. Arai na tûcûcû îkûmi na tûtano (kamwe ka tuo nîkavurûkire).

Tributes and Fond Memories

My beloved husband,

You were my companion, and my best friend. We had rough times, and good times in equal measure. When we had differences, you always found time and a way for us to solve our issues amicably. I remember many times I was going to tend our farm and leave you here at home. I was not worried because I knew you would always take good care of our home. I will remember and cherish the good times we spent together. You were our protector. You fought for our properties and what rightfully belonged to us. You protected and disciplined our children in the best wat you knew possible. In God’s hands you rest peacefully, and in my heart you will remain forever. Rest well, my husband.

From your wife; Faith Kanini Kinyua

To our Beloved GrandPa

For the few days that you have been gone, we already miss you so much. We have kept you in a permanent place in our hearts, where you will remain forever. We will always remember and cherish the stories that you narrated to us. We will miss your smiles, and the laughter we had together. You always shared eggs with us, you do not know how much we will miss that. When we were wrong, you corrected us. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Those moments that you shared with us will forever be in our mind.  We loved you so much, GrandPa. And that love will not cease. We promise to never forget you.

From your grand-daughters; Mwende, Joy, Christine, Perpetual, Wakio, Mumbi, Denise.

To our beloved GrandPa

We remember our best moments with you that included playing, smiling, and laughter. We will miss these best moments, especially the smiles that always appeared on your face. You are the best GrandPa in the whole entire world. You have a big space in my heart. You did everything we asked you to do, but you have decided to leave us. I remember when you bought us samosa, and we would eat them from your plate. I miss the words of advice that you gave me. Go well, till we meet again.

From your grand-sons; Munene, Nimrod, Jayden, Caleb, Megumi, Ian, and Lemuel

Memoirs of Awa

My father owned a radio set, and I think it was very precious to him. In my primary school days, we would be woken up by the sound of the radio from his room playing those days favourite, amka kumekucha by Maroon Commandos. It was not easy to touch that radio without his consent. Despite how dear that radio seemed to him, after getting to class eight, I was somehow able to fully access it.  I enjoyed controlling it and changing stations, and I may have ended up damaging the dear gadget.

As good as my memory serves me, I remember him with is work. Although living in tea growing highlands, he did not master the art of tending the tea. But I do have good memories of him picking up coffee. His main work was however as a masonry and carpenter. He was passionate about this particular work. In my high school days, we went to his sites together sometimes. I learnt how to be an adult then. I remember one of the contract that was awarded to him that went bad. He never told me what happened, so I spent many days waiting to go to work but that never happened. I had to learn for myself why the contract stopped…well I never understood but I did pick up important lessons on work ethics.

I was a fierce teenager who liked to push things and fight.  Of course, this meant that we had a lot of fights with him. I had passed well in my KCPE, and was called to Kangaru School. For whatever reason, I was not sure if my dad would take me to school. For my admission, we waited until the last day of reporting. When the last day came, I was afraid of losing my chance. I convinced him with quarrels that we needed to go. He knew it was a rare public holiday, Idd-Ul-Ftr. And his argument was that we cannot get admitted on a holiday since teachers are not at work. I could hear nothing. So, the old man surrendered and took me to Kangaru. When we got there, there was only the teacher on duty, so I could not be admitted. When I became aware of the situation he murmured, “ndigukwiraga?”. Fortunately, we managed to talk to the teacher who allowed me to stay at school as my father headed home.

I will never forget one day in my form two. I always struggled to convince my father to do shopping for me, a proper one, well because I wanted to feel like all the other kids at school especially those who came from Nairobi and carried chocolate and sugar to school. Therefore, my first days of reporting on school terms were not the best. This particular day, I went to his work place at Mungania. I told the gatekeeper that I want to talk to my father. The gatekeeper sent out the message. He came out very calm. He looked tired. Then we took a walk together as he asked what I wanted. I gave him the list. He looked at the list and took a deep breath without saying a word. For some reason this day I was also clam, I did not have pressure, I was learning how hard real life is. I looked at him. I will never forget his face of desperation that I saw. Of course, he never expressed anything in words, but I could read his expressions. I saw a face of a man who was trying so hard and perhaps things were not working. I wanted to apologise, but you know us men and ego…I kept silent. Then he muttered, “let’s go and see if xx will get us these things on credit, I will repay at the end of the month.” So many days we survived on goods that he had taken on credit basis from shops around us.

In a subtle discreet manner, my father was a man who spoke his mind, softly letting you know what he feels but also giving you your way to do your thing. One time I wanted to organise a party for someone I thought was dear to him. His expression was, ‘I don’t know why she means too much to you…if you were to ask me I wouldn’t hold that party, but out of your respect you can use our home to do so”.

In my early days, I judged my father as one who loved justice. As I was about to transition to high school, he had various challenges. At one time, his parent decided to subdivide  the land. He was not satisfied. He sold our alternative source of income, a cow that we called Wanjiru. Listening to him as a young boy I understood that he wanted money to go to court to pursue justice that he felt was denied him. He did not succeed. And the sale of that cow changed our lives in big ways. When he was terminated from his work from Mungania tea factory, he felt cheated. And he wanted to go to court again, I think he went…but I don’t know the details, though I know he never succeeded. Looking at these episodes at my formative days, I was telling myself that I wanted to pursue justice on his behalf. When I was a little grown and able, I thought I could start pursuing justice on his behalf. But I felt small in terms of facing the unjust systems. Clearly I did not have the courage for pursuit of justice that I was inspired by him.

My father was selfless and generous but also mean. Growing up I felt like his money was so hard to get out of his pocket. But when he got drank he would spoil us with the little he had. But what makes me think he was selfless was when I had just finished my high school. At this tender age, he surrendered his land to me with all rights. He did not have anything else left to his name. This was the most humbling experience with him. After around two years of owning his property, he had received some small amount from his former employee as a compensation for his dismissal. I think he was not confident about his ability to manage the money well. I do not remember who approached the other but I do remember a deal that we came up with. We agreed that he will give me all the cash that he had received. Just like that, we went to the bank and I was given Kshs. 43,000.00. His only requirement was that I should take care of him. Looking back, I wonder how trusting he was, first with his property and second with is money.

My father spoke very well of me. He was proud of his children. He called the daughters “kari ka iya, and Keere”. He always reminded me that I am his son who will hold his head. We called him “Awa” because he actually called us so, well also some of you here. I honestly do not know the origin of that name. He introduced me with great pride to his friends.

We worked on projects together. This is one of the moments I will dearly miss. Of course, we disagreed on very many things. When we designed and discussed projects, sometimes we had to bring them down and rebuild them. Although frustrating, he calmly expressed his disproval but nevertheless listened and re-did. He was very ambitious on what he can do in our projects. The last one that was in our mind was to complete this house here.

One other memorable thing with my day is some words that he said carelessly, mostly when he was drunk, but that meant too much to me. My father used to boast how educated he was while speaking to me in English. But always this conversation ended with regrets of how his passion to learn was cut short due to lack of support. Furthermore, he would always say at the end, “as for me, I went to school and dropped at class six. If you want to you can get education. You go wherever you want; I am not going to hold you.” These words, coming from a man who struggled to balance his finances and ended up unable to pay parts of my fees on time always puzzled me. I couldn’t help but see the strong will. In this, I was variously made aware of our physical limitations no matter how hard we try.

My father loved his whisky. This is by no means a secret. He loved it neat, not on rock or diluted. Of course, this always scared me. I always wondered how his body was able to persevere those very strong drinks. He was also a brewer a long time ago. He made karuvu for himself and his friends. I think if this was legal he would be a keroche. As a little boy, he made me to enter bars and clubs to buy him alcohol, so even now I am not afraid to be there. Anyway, because of his love for whisky, I learnt to gift him with what was his favourite. So, most of the time I visited home from Japan I brought him good whisky. This time of course I knew he would not talk to me and receive it personally, but I did buy one. I will send it with him today.

My father always reminded me of where I was born. Not in an hospital but at our former home in Mithurari. I do not know why he thought this was significant, but I have come to appreciate the meaning and symbolisms of where I belong despite the blessing to live thousands of miles from home.

My father understood that his children do not owe him anything. I will forever cherish the smile and appreciation he gave to me whenever I gave him even the smallest money. Only 100 shillings would make him smile and praise you the whole day.

Dad, I regret that I did not take you to a tour, I swear we had a discussion last year December on how to do that with my sister. I was so looking forward to go out and have nyama choma and some drinks, but you have decided to leave.

Dad, I saw you live through poverty with so much struggles with your past. At some time, I could not understand you, but as I grew older I came to appreciate your effort and the kind of man you were. And the sacrifices you made to us. Thank you for giving us your best, even when you had nothing. Your presence was enough. We are going to imprint your name in your offspring’s. We promise to fight through and make it, we will not relent, we will build a palace with your name on it right here where we stand.

Lastly, to all of us. We are gathered here because of his death. But we too are dying. We die every day. Look around you, death is just there with you. When your hair that you love so much cuts and falls off, that is a sign of death. When you see dead cells from your body, that is a sign that you are dying. The best question to ask yourself is not where you go after death either heaven or hell, that is beyond your small head, and many very knowledgeable people have struggled without answers to that question. The most important question is to ask yourself is, “As I die every day, what am I building?”

Thank you for spending your life with us through thick and thin.

Dr. Laban Kithinji Kinyua; For and on behalf of Alfred Kinyua children


Wihoke Mwathani Rugendo-Ini (in Gîkûyû) Lyrics

WĨHOKE Mwathani rũgendo-inĩ,
Na ũmũmenye wega ũtarĩ nganja.
Ona wona thĩna tiga guoya,
Wĩ guoko-in gwake ndũkahotwo.

Ndũgathikĩrĩrie ndeto cia andũ,
Rĩrĩa wĩna hinya menya wega.
Nĩ wĩtĩkĩritio ũmenyithie andũ,
Jesũ nĩ mũkũri wa Kĩrĩndĩ.

Arĩa marĩ mbere rũgendo-inĩ,
Mbara ya mwĩrĩ-inĩ maikaire atĩa.
Nakwarĩ mathĩna rũgendo-inĩ,
Na ikeno na mĩago ya gũkũ thĩ.

Marũmagĩrĩra hingo ciothe,
Roho mũtongoria maiyũrĩtwo;
Nĩ wathĩki mũingĩ rũgendo-inĩ,
Nginya magĩtoria mbara cia thĩ.
Tiga kuoyanĩria mũndũ witũ,
Ũthamaki wa Roho na wa mwĩrĩ;
Ndũngĩhotanĩria ndagũthaitha,
Tigana na mwĩrĩ ũthiĩ rũgendo.

Na ũkire na ngoro ũmenye wega,
Meciria ma mwĩrĩ mendaga atĩa;
Mendaga gũtiga waga muoyo,
Na mwĩrĩ ũgatigwo ũtuĩke tĩrĩ.

Cũthĩrĩria Jesũ mwendwa witũ.
Rĩtwa rĩake etagwo wa mathĩna;
Nĩ atoririe magerio na thĩna,
Nĩguo tũgakinya gwa ithe witũ.

Arĩa maregire ũhoro wama,
Makiuga nĩ ahũthũ rũgendo-inĩ
Matirĩ na ũtũũro gwa ithe witũ,
Kũrĩa metereirwo no mwaki-inĩ.
Departure: 0800AM
Arrival at Gakwegori Funeral Home, Embu: 0830AM
Departure from Gakwegori Funeral Home, Embu: 0900AM
Arrival at home: 1000AM
Opening Prayer: 1010AM
Photo Session
Speeches: 1030AM
Welcoming speech
Note from State’s administrator
Other selected speeches
Home representative
Church representative
Eulogy and Family Tributes
Church Takes over: 1100AM
Vote of Thanks: 1230PM
Proceed to the Gravesite and laying of wreaths: 1300PM
Refreshments: 1330PM
Visitors leave at their own pleasure
Fare thee well, Mama waro, wa kithanje kivoro

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