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Now more than ever, the lyrics of your song “Atemuda” are real to us. In that song, you admonished that we live with the end in mind. You admonished that we do not live as though life is all about eating and drinking. “It is appointed unto man once to die and after that judgement” you quoted. You however failed to tell us that you would leave us soon. You left us shocked and pensive, You caused memories to come rushing through our minds, You left us in tears, but most importantly, You forced us to take stock of our lives. In death, you reechoed this very important truth: It is appointed unto man once to die and after death judgement. No man knows the day nor the hour; Live with the end in mind.
To the world, you were a pastor and a musician, but to us you were so much more. You were our father, friend, confidant, teacher and counsellor. Whenever you were in a room with us, our smiles and hysterical laughters were assured. You had a way of getting all of us to feel comfortable around you. You would always be the one to see through our generic “I’m fines”. You could get us talking faster than anyone could. You always had snippets of information and sound counsel to share.
You taught us integrity and humility. You taught us to let our “Yes” be “Yes” and our “No” “No”. We never doubted you if you said a Yes or No because we knew you meant it every time. You used some “Gospel Musicians” from your childhood who were drunkards as examples, when you tried to show us how failing to uphold one’s moral principles belittled whatever message one was trying to put across. Whenever we so much as suggested that you were a “star”, You would say “No, I like to think of myself as a moon. Like the moon I have no light of my own, I only reflect God’s light” You reflected the light so well that everyone saw it and was attracted to its brightness. Whenever we got caught up in the aesthetics of a song, you made sure we were pointed to what was important. You had a way of making the lyrics of the song come alive. It was always about God.
One day, we came to you with a question. “Unco Dan, why do you only release an album every five years? You write a song every other day”. We know this because we heard him sing them and he even wrote with us on occasion. “It is all about quality, not numbers or frequency”, you said. You insisted on quality in everything you did. If it had to be done, then it had to be done well or you would have whoever do it until it was done to specification. Most importantly, you taught us that quality didn’t always have to mean expensive. You would much rather organise to go and sing and evangelise in a Secondary School where you would receive nothing as payment than buy a new ipad for instance. You used your First Generation ipad to the end. You never once put money into buying flashy things. It had to be quality but it didn’t have to be expensive.
We consider ourselves privileged to have lived and known you in such close proximity. To have been the first ones to hear your music, to have written with you on occasion, to have been carried in your bosom as babies, to have been nurtured and cared for by you, to have met all your VIP friends.
Unco Dan, we miss you already. We miss coming to your room to worry you with plenty talking when you came home tired after your ministrations, we miss the car rides with you, we miss the days when you would gather us all in the boys-quarters and teach us songs, we miss staying up all night listening to and watching Gospel concerts, we miss your unannounced surprises, we miss your deep voice on the phone: “Shalom”, was almost always the first word you would say. Unco Dan, we miss you. We miss your hugs especially. You will always have a special place in all our hearts.
We are saddened by your passing but we are comforted by the fact that you lived your life with the end in sight. We can almost unmistakably hear the voice of The Master saying:
Well Done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord
Rest in Peace Unco Dan!
We Love You!
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