NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 13 – Former Cabinet Minister William ole Ntimama has been eulogised as a man who lived his entire life serving the people with humility and wisdom, while advocating for education for his fellow Maasai.
Speaking at the All Saints Cathedral on Tuesday, one of his sons Timothy stated that his father was always providing solutions to problems facing his people since the days he was a teacher before joining politics.
Timothy described his father as a great man of wisdom whose priority was his family indicating that he always had a high regard for education, a virtue he instilled in his children.
“Our father always strived to be the best at what he did. This contributed his reputational resilience and this earned him the description of a tough man,” he stated.
Another son Amos Ntimama also described his father’s last moments before his death and explained that he went about his business as usual.
“On August 31, he entertained guests and was even planning for a harambee on September 2nd. Ntimama toured his farm and took stock of his sheep and cows and even gave instructions on how to handle and look after the flock. At around 10pm, he asked to be assisted up the stairs to his bedroom to sleep,” he stated.
“Upon reaching the top of the stairs, he started complaining of exhaustion but his helpers insisted on getting him to his bed. As soon as he lay down, it was just a few minutes afterwards that he died. His wife Mama Dorcas was with him until the end.”
Debra Sanaipei, Ntimama his daughter further described her father as an icon who was loved by everyone.
She said that he was a huge football fan and followed it closely. “He would be closely engrossed in the game and it would be more entertaining watching him than the game because of his cheering.”
The requiem mass was attended by various leaders including CORD’s Raila Odinga, Governor Samuel Tunai, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko among others.
“Here in that coffin lies a person whom I can describe as one of the greatest heroes of our nation. That is why it is a very sad occasion today as we pay tribute to Bill. We are also celebrating a life that has been well lived. A life that one cannot regret. He is a man who was fearless, a man who is compassionate, and a man who was also very generous,” the former Prime Minister stated.
Nkaissery also delivered a message from President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto at the requiem mass.
“Mzee Ntimama was a leader who loved unity and he used to stand by the rights of his people. In the month of July, he came to me and stated that he wanted to speak to the President. I made the arrangements and he did so and he stated what the Maasai community wanted. He gave us direction,” he stated.
Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Alex ole Magelo further described Ntimama as his political mentor.
“William ole Ntimama brought me to Nairobi in 1992 and nominated me as a commissioner. I have been in the Nairobi County corridors until today and when I was elected the Speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly, he and Honourable John Keen called me and gave me lunch at Mama Cindy’s home and they blessed me,” he said.
Ntimama’s body will be transported from the Lee Funeral Home by road to Narok County on Wednesday, ahead of the burial which will be attended by President Kenyatta.
Ntimama died peacefully in his sleep at his rural home in Narok on September 2, aged 86.