By Nandemu Barasa and Nebert Wafula
Hundreds of mourners turned out in large numbers for the burial of Sister Professor Anne Nasimiyu Wasike who was laid to rest today Saturday 3rd March 2018 in Central Uganda.
On the eve of Sr Professor Nasimiyu’s burial, several mass services were conducted at Nkokonjeru in remembrance of the Kenyan born nun who touched many souls in her home country Kenya, Uganda and many countries.
Speaking during the burial service at Nkokonjeru grounds where the late sister made her first profession on 26th January 1969 Catholic Bishops led by Bishop Christopher Kakoozi of Lugazi Diocese commended the late nun for the great contribution that she made to the Church and the society at large.
Kenyan Catholic faithful was led by the Nakuru Diocese Bishop, His Lordship Maurice Muhatia who also presented a message from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa CUEA.
“Our late sister Ann Nasimiyu valued education, she mentored, encouraged and brought up many people, we pray that God rests her soul in eternal peace till we meet again and sing hallelujah,” said Bishop Muhatia.
The family led by their Chairman John Wanambisi thanked the Church especially the congregation of Little Sisters of St Francis for the great support that they gave their daughter when she was alive and serving in the congregation.
They used the opportunity to praise the deceased for her great contribution to the family and the rest of the world especially in promoting education.
“We have lost a great daughter, the daughter who put education first, she taught us values, as a family, we are not sure if we shall ever find her replacement, we pray for her soul to rest in peace as we embark on the journey of embracing what she believed in as a way of remembering and honoring her,” explained Mr. Wanambisi.
Kenyatta University where the departed Professor lectured for several years was represented by Dr Zachariah Samita who praised the late for her great achievements at the Institution.
She commended her for the great balance she had in terms of education and religious work.
“To date we have never had any other full woman Professor in that Department and she will continue to remain a sign of hope in the world of academia, she shaped so many of us, she was a great scholar in Systematic Theology and Gender Studies,” said Dr Samita.
“May her memories continue to inspire all generations particularly the balance she had between academia and spirituality, a balance that many Christians find it very difficult to make,” added Dr Samita.
Superior General of the Little Sister of St. Francis, Sister Mary Cecilia Njeri urged parents to allow their children to join and serve God through church organizations and institutions.
She praised the deceased calling on other sisters wherever they are to emulate what Sister Ann Nasimiyu Wasike was doing.
“Let us emulate what our mother used to do, she was such a loving mum, so many things have been said about her and we have to appreciate,” She said.
She termed her (the deceased) as an active woman of God who was ever ready in fulfilling her responsibility, very assertive and feared no one.
“Sister Nasimiyu nurtured herself and others, she was talented leave alone the skills and gifts that God gave her we shall really miss her,” explained Sister Njeri.
She said it was Sr Prof Nasimiyu’s will that she be buried in Nkokonjeru where she worked for a long time.
“It was her wish to be laid to rest next to Mother Kevin and that is why we had to bring his body here to fulfill her wish,” she explained.
Ugandan President’s representative Hon Lucy Nakyobe delivered President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s message of condolence. She said the president was a very close friend to the deceased saying Uganda had lost a scholar who valued education and more so girl child education.
In the message, President Museveni said it was a big loss to Ugandans adding that the institute of Little Sisters of St. Francis was a foundation body of some of the good performing schools and good hospitals in Uganda saying they have contributed greatly in the social economy of the country.
He said being an educationist, the late nun contributed greatly and that the great work was immeasurable, saying death had robbed the church and the country the finest educationist of all time.
The late nun was born on 11th June 1949 in Kiminini, Trans Nzoia County where she was also baptized on 30th June 1949 at Kiminini Parish, Kitale Diocese. She was the daughter of the late Mr. Mathew and Mama Anastasia Nanyama who passed on and were buried in Kaplamai Parish, Kitale Diocese.
She joined the Little Sisters of St. Francis on 5th January 1965 and made her first profession on 26th January 1969 and her final profession on 14th January 1979.
She was to celebrate her golden Jubilee since she made her first vows next year in January.
Initially the late Sister worked in Bahati novitiate as Assistant formation Directress, Vocation Directress in Kenya and as Vice Principal, Kisoko Girls Secondary School in Nambale.
The late nun studied Systematic Theology in Duquesne University,Pittsburg,Pennsylvania-USA,where she was guest lecturer for many years.
She later served as a lecturer and professor in Systematic Theology and African Culture in Kenyatta University, Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Maryknoll School of Theology, New York, USA for several years and in various Universities locally and abroad between 1987 and 2004.
She held various teaching positions in these institutions of higher learning and mentored many people as an able and effective educationist. She contributed in publications of many books, articles and journals.
In the Institute of the Little Sisters of St.Francis, she served in leadership of the Institute as Regional Superior West of the Rift Valley region for three years from 2008-2010 and as a Mother General for two terms between 1992 to 1998 and 2010 to 2016.
Before her demise, the late nun was in USA for her sabbatical in Boston College Research Fellowship and she returned to Kenya at the end of January.
Sr. Professor Anne Nasimiyu Wasike succumbed to a short illness on February 22nd 2018.