The remains of Retired Mombasa Cathedral Provost, the late Most Reverend, Canon Jefferson Willy Mwadime Kio who passed away in a Nairobi Hospital on Christmas eve, were laid to rest at his Rong’e Juu, Maghoro home last Friday, January 3. He was 76.

Reverend Jefferson Mwadime, who was appointed Mombasa Cathedral Provost in December 1975, barely survived his late wife Rose, who passed away earlier last year in June, after succumbing to pneumonia. She was 74.

Mourned and eulogized by the Anglican fraternity across the Country as a Christian hero and a True Man of God, the late Jefferson Mwadime, who retired as the Coastal Town’s Provost in 1994 after having served the Anglican Church of Kenya for nineteen years, had been suffering from acute diabetes for over forty years. He was Mombasa Cathedral’s first African Provost.

By September 1956 when visiting English Princess Margaret had briefly attended Church Service at the Mombasa Cathedral accompanied by the Kenya Colonial Governor of the day, Sir Evlin Baring Jefferson Mwadime’s divine calling had only just sprouted. Her Majesty Princess Margaret then was welcomed to the Cathedral by Reverend R.B Jupp, the Cathedral Provost, exactly 19 years before Rev. Jefferson Mwadime was to take up the post.

The young Rose and Jefferson Mwadime couple took their marriage vows on Saturday, December 17, 1960. As a reflection of their maturity, social magnetism and extended family networks, both the couple’s final farewells were marked by the significant presence of a large retinue of relatives, clergymen, politicians, and Administrators, the latter of whom included a retired Senior Chief all the way from Runyenjes, Embu.

Prior to his elevation as Provost, the late Mwadime had worked at St. John’s Pumwani, Nairobi from 1970, having taken over the Archdeaconry from the late Reverend Dishan Mwasere, in whose honor Mwasere Girls Secondary School, Kighombo is named.

Among Reverend Jefferson Mwadime’s legacies include, the current buldings at St. John’s Church, Pumwani whose construction he oversaw, and the meteoric growth of the Kenya Anglican Youth Orgaisation, KAYO.

One of the newly constructed Computer Laboratories at Mwanyambo Secondary School, in Rong’e Juu, Mwatate District was re-named after the late Reverend Jefferson Mwadime in 2011, following positive consultations held between the School’s Board of Governors and local stakeholders. Incidentally, the School has, since 2011, played host to Malaika Festival, a cultural event organised by the local community in honour of the late Fadhili William, who also hailed from the area. Fadhili is the acclaimed author/composer of the world-famous song ‘Malaika’.

Reverend Jefferson Mwadime is survived by 6 children, Deborah, Mary, Timothy, Esther, Shadrack and Serah. Shadrack Mwadime is the Secretary for Administration in Deputy President William Ruto’s Office where he was posted after serving a short stint as Nairobi County Commissioner from June 2011. Previously,
Shadrack had worked as District Commissioner for Keiyo, Embu and Bomet Districts before being elevated to the Office of the President, Harambee House as Senior Deputy Secretary.

The late Reverend Mwadime was born on 15th March 1936, in Mkiyayo Village, which currently falls within Mwambota Parish. He received his early education in Mwakinyungu Primary School, situated in Rong’e Kati, Mwatate District, where after
he proceeded to Kighombo Intermediate School a few kilometres away, where he sat for his KAPE examinations. Upon completion of his Primary schooling, he enrolled himself for training as a teacher in 1953 at Ribe Teachers College. Armed with a P3 teaching certificate the following year, the late Jefferson Mwadime was first stationed at Mazeras Primary School where he received invaluable practical teaching experience. Subsequently, he was posted to Shelemba Primary School, also in Rong’e Kati,as Headteacher.

Having left the teaching profession in 1955, he naturally found solace and comfort in the Anglican Church Ministry which he wholeheartedly gave himself to. Initially, he worked in Mbale, Taita Taveta for 9 years following his Pastoral training
at St. Paul’s Theological College, Limuru where he studied Theology, among other subjects from 1961.

Reverend Jefferson Mwadime’s tenure and long service reads like a Chronicle of the Kenya Anglican Church, having served under 3 Archbishops, namely Archbishops Leonard James Beecher who served between 1960 and 1970, Festo Olang whose tenure lasted from 1970 until 1980 and Dr. Manasses Kuria who served from 1980 until 1996. Archbishop Leonard Beecher, who first came to Mombasa as a Church missionary, later served in the Mombasa Diocese and rose through the Church hierarchy to become the Bishop of Mombasa. During one of his busy Parish visits as the Archbishop of the larger East Africa and Bishop of Mombasa, Archbishop Beecher laid the Foundation Stone for ACK St. Stephen’s Church Mraru, in 1960. The Mraru Church was however officially opened years later on Sunday, October 20, 1996 by the Right Rev. Samson Mwaluda, who is the first Bishop of the Diocese of Taita Taveta. The Taita Taveta Diocese was created from the larger Mombasa Diocese in 1983.

During the late Jefferson Mwadime’s burial ceremony presided over by the Right Reverend Dr. Samson Mwakitawa Mwaluda and assisted by the immediate former Mombasa Cathedral Provost, Reverend James Mramba and several high ranking clergymen, Bishop Mwaluda informed the mourners that the Friday burial would mark a significant policy shift from the common practice of interring the dead on Saturdays, which are filled up with normal pastoral and other outreach Church programmes. Bishop Mwaluda expressed the hope that, the makeover will considerably de-congest the rigorous Churchmen’s Time tables.

Duncan Mwanyumba,

Advocate of the High Court of Kenya
Voi City, Wednesday, January 8, 2014