I am Maureen Babu, a lover of nature, collector of unique ornamental plants and trees, and a practicing Environment & Urban Management Practitioner. I am born and bred in Nairobi, Kenya, but currently live in Kampala, Uganda . I moved to Uganda, because love found me in Tanzania, blossomed in Kenya and sealed in the Pearl of Africa. I live here with my husband and our two children, Nikiwe (8 years) and Imani (2 years).
My story is somewhat different from all yours, because the Book, “Man With The Lion Heart” that I have been nominated for, I stand in as its custodian, on behalf of my larger family, including the author’s. The autobiography on my great grandfather, Rev. Canon Ezekiel Apindi’s life was beautifully documented in the early 1970s by the Late Rev. Peter Indalo and published in 1974 by the Africa Christian Press (ACP), Ghana. This was before the entry of computers and we can safely describe the manuscript then as being analogue-few copies must have also been printed at that time.
The Late Rev. Peter Indalo wrote the autobiography while he was a student at the St. Paul’s Theological College, Limuru, Kenya. This manuscript later went to win the first prize in an all Africa competition organized by the Evangelical Literature Overseas.
I had my first encounter with the autobiography in the 1990s. My young self found it fascinating and was more than glad to share the only family copy (it belonged to my grandmother, Isabella Mor and my mother had borrowed it) with a neighbor who expressed interest in reading it too. Well, let us just say, that was the last time we ever saw it. In the back of my mind, I knew I had lost something that was so precious to the family, but didn’t know where I could get a replacement, because they were none in the bookstores in Nairobi.
Twenty or so years later, I revisited this issue with my cousins and we started to search for the autobiography online. The search did not yield much in terms of bookstores with the book, but provided us with an important contact information, that of ACP in Ghana. I followed up with the contact in late 2019 and met Kwaku Bansah, who had previously worked for the concerned publishing press, which is now defunct. I call this God-incidence! Kwaku stepped in to help with locating the manuscript in Accra, Ghana and carried through the assignment of retyping and editing it, as if it were his very own personal project. I finally received the soft copy mid-2021 and shared it widely among family and ensured it was now saved in Cloud, including every family member computer and hard drive. No, we were not going to take any risks! We really wanted to continue with the legacy of my great grandfather and share his story with the world.
To read this biography is to be challenged by Rev. Canon Apindi’s courage and selfless efforts to help his people and preach to them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He met opposition, discouragement, and was often in danger, but he refused to give up. A brave man of many firsts. As one of the first missionaries in Western parts of Kenya, he shared the gospel with his community and beyond the country’s borders; started churches and schools (most of which are still some of the best performers to date); challenged the status quo on cultural issues that were not favorable to women and girls; coined the Luo naming of days of the week; contributed to Kenya’s pre independence matters, among other notable achievements. I must say that I am honored to call such a great man, my great grandfather.
Another God-incidence happened in late 2021, when CLC Kenya was highly recommended to us by a 2021 ACABA nominee. The print on demand offer and other great opportunities that have come with this partnership are immense and God sent. Finally the book could be printed in Kenya and made available online to the world! The late author’s family could also now get copies for themselves as they had also lost their only manuscript of the book.
It is our prayer that the book will go forth to not only tell the story of my great grandfather; keep the author’s work alive, but to also challenge us to courageously stand for God’s truth, to be authentic, stand against injustices in our communities, work with diligence and excellence in all that we do. Proceeds from the sales will go to support the schools and churches that my great grandfather started.