Daniel Mbugua

How do you write about a tall skinny boy who touched your heart and ensured you’d be friends for all of time?

You sit on your desk and fire up your laptop. You think about how you met him. On a normal day when you had decided to take some time off your regular job to go and see how the other side rolls – pupillage!

The first time you meet him, you seat about 2 desks away from him. You say hello. He looks up and distractedly says hello back. Then he looks up again, a wide grin on his face and says “Muchoki, hi.” You wonder how he knows your name. Then you remember you called him by name too. When you go to work for a firm in which two of your close friends already work, you and people you have never met are already on a first name basis. Good times.

From that day, you get to know him. Daniel. He’s funny…no, hilarious. He’s naughty. When the Partners form a committee to assist with the office-move, he forms a shadow committee. Complete with meetings and minutes. After the move, you spend a lot of time in his office. He demands that everyone makes an appointment before coming to his office. As if. You and all the others flock to his office anyway. We all hold ‘meetings’ there so frequently he has to get additional seats. We laugh. We joke. We whine. We work. We pray. We hate. We draft resignation letters. We analyse hugs 🙂 (in Tabby’s immortal words “the hug that earned us a year”). We scheme on how to get Lizzy to like us. We complain. We live.

Six months later, it’s time for you to move on from the firm. As you say goodbye, you look around and realise you have made friends for life. Daniel is one such friend.

That was four years ago.

I have spent the last four years marvelling at the enigma that is Daniel.

The one thing that anyone who has met Daniel will tell you is that he was hilarious! And he was. Read his blog and see for yourself. His perspective on everyday things in life was something to behold. From randomly reading through the KIPI journal and hilariously analysing the trade mark names registered, to always saying he’ll come up with a win-win situation which he can go as far as to say that other win-win situations will be envious of. He had our funny bone.

But beyond all that, Daniel was completely and irrevocably sold out to Jesus. Daniel knew his God.

This last two years were hard. Daniel got leukaemia. He went to India for treatment. After some time he was healed. But the doctor’s didn’t think so. They wanted him to stay. But he had heard the voice of the one who holds reality in His hands. Daniel chose to listen to Him and claimed his healing. He came home. He said that sometimes facts take a bit longer to align themselves with reality. See, Daniel’s reality was based on God’s reality, not the world’s.

I had a crisis of belief. I wanted him to stay in India until the doctors gave the all-clear. My faith was weak. Not Daniel’s. He came home and shouted it from the mountain-tops! He lived life. He praised his God for the healing. He went back to work. He got engaged. He went back to pre-leukaemia Daniel.

Months later, the cancer was back. Relapse. The questions were many and varied. Top on the list being – Why Lord? Didn’t you heal him? What is this about? Won’t people think that he hadn’t heard from you? But Daniel, he asked his questions to the right person. God. He explains it here. God spoke to Daniel. He reminded him that he was in control. That He was able to defend His own glory. He talks of God as the Grand Weaver – only He has the final design.

Even though all his questions were not answered, he said he had peace. That which surpasses all human understanding.


In a time when all you feel is pain. When your body just won’t work with you. When even after a transplant has been successful, it still won’t co-operate with you. Peace. Because you realise that this body is a tent. A temporary dwelling place. A means to an end. Something to help you work your way to the other side, where you won’t need it.

Today, we put that body back to the ground.

It wasn’t Daniel. Just his body. Daniel was long gone. Gone to be with the Lord he had served faithfully and through pain.

In the year and a half that Daniel was sick, he represented his Lord like never before. He used his pain, his cancer to give glory to God. To focus everything about him on God. He chose to be a vessel through which we could hear and see Jesus.

Daniel encouraged me so much both before and during the cancer period. He was a rock. I didn’t think it was possible to be that strong, in the midst of such troubles. And it wasn’t, at least not on his own. He had help. Jesus. See, with Jesus on your side so many things lose significance. Like pain. Or suffering. They don’t go away. No. You still suffer. But this time you do it with Him. It begins to transform to something else. A testimony. A victory.

And that is Daniel’s testimony. That in the end, he won over cancer. And over death. Cancer cannot touch him now, and neither can death. Death has no victory or sting over Daniel. Death was just a door. A pass-way to the other side. He won. He stands today in victory. Daniel lives.

I’m not sure I can say rest in peace Daniel, because knowing Daniel, resting is the last thing he’s doing. He’s probably hanging out somewhere with St. Peter raising a storm and entertaining heaven. Probably.

But one thing I’m sure, Daniel is now bowing down to the king of kings. He is now seeing that which the rest of us cannot fathom or imagine. That which no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no human mind has conceived. He is seeing the Lord in all His glory.

Enjoy eternity Daniel, until we meet again.



11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ngina
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 06:41:26

    I couldn’t pay a better tribute to our skinny friend if I tried. Beautiful


  2. Bonface Mutethia
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 08:50:54

    I came across his blog the other day and was inspired by his courage and determination as clearly demonstrated in his writing. I kept looking around the web for word on how he is doing post-transplant only to be shocked by an obituary in the Daily Nation about his demise. May Daniel rest in peace.


  3. Richard Mbugua
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 15:34:14

    Beautiful tribute.. those of us who did not know him feel like we missed out on something special.


  4. Wambui
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 20:38:59

    Beautiful tribute. Got to hear and know Mbugua through his all time pal BG…. May his faith inspire us to seek the Lord and taste His goodness. Rest well, It is well.


  5. Preston
    Feb 10, 2015 @ 21:55:27

    This piece captures him well. Mbugua won and he’s definitely in a better place.


  6. Anne Musyimi
    Feb 11, 2015 @ 08:10:50

    Beautiful tribute and a true soldier of Christ.RIP Daniel


  7. marion
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 12:21:49

    reading this piece has brought tears to my eyes.well said.till we meet again mbugua. you were a true soldier of the army of the Lord.


  8. Lois
    Feb 12, 2015 @ 12:59:11

    This is such a beautiful tribute Muchoks. He was truly a phenomenal man but more importantly He had a phenomenal God. I am truly inspired.


  9. Irene
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 13:43:31

    Today i finally plucked the courage to look at Mbuguas’ Fbook page and i came across this beautiful tribute and am glad i did since i have been trying to remember alot abut him but all i remember is him in ICU, this piece brings a few memories f the kind of person he was……….Thank you soo much for having been his friend.


  10. Cess
    May 07, 2015 @ 15:27:44

    A powerful tribute. ~Makes one feel like they knew him. He’s in a better place, that’s for sure


  11. Espe Katolah
    Aug 08, 2015 @ 23:42:14

    I came across his blog when someone commented on bicko Zulu article on jadudi.I must say his Faith in Christ was phenomenal.And this tribute piece to him is just wonderful.


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