As the curtain falls on Mzee Alex Sanaika Ole Magelo, many will remember a devoted father, family man and a dear friend.
Mzee was the son of late Letoya Ole Magelo and the late Susan Magelo of Saiet, Olokurto in Narok County.
He was a loving husband to Mrs Lucy Muthoni Magelo and a committed father to Peter Magelo (USA), Ms Valentine Nashipae (Rwanda) and Ms Maureen Magelo.
A fun and loving spirit, Mzee will be fondly be remembered by his grandchildren Katelyn and Addison (USA) and Amadi and Nneka (Rwanda).
He was a brother to the late Hannah Nkuito, Diana Kenga, Dickson Sankale, Damaris Kumomoru, Lucy Magelo, Harun Magelo, Sitato Magelo, Evelyne Ngugi, Simalo Magelo, Mary Magelo and the late Edward Magelo.
The late Magelo was a brother-in-law to Ann Kamau, John Kahia, Mary Kahia, Margaret Itotia and Jane Mutisya.
Magelo was a great son of the Maa nation and a father to not just his children, but to all who had an opportunity to be nurtured by him.
The nation has lost a patriot and great leader in Mzee. An absolute gentleman.
Magelo led a true, fulfilling and inspiring life. Our warrior was born in Narok district in 1954.
He was the firstborn son of 12 siblings. Naturally, there was pressure for him to succeed and set an example for those that followed him. He did just that.
One thing you may not know about Mzee is that he taught Swahili after completing high school.
This explains why he was so articulate in expressing his political views to the Mwanainchi using our national language.
He later joined the paramilitary where he served in the Late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s special commando unit.
Magelo would later marry his wife, Lucy and from their union, they were blessed with three children.
Before joining politics, he worked in the Ministry of Commerce and later on with Waithaka Motors in the private sector.
Magelo’s political career started as a nominated county commissioner in Nairobi and continued to be a young bull in the Maa community under the mentorship of the late William Ole Ntimama.
The politician continued to be a councillor thereafter for 15 years and also became a member of the board of local government.
He was a close friend and political ally to the late Professor George Saitoti and Fred Gumo in Nairobi politics.
His passion for football and involvement in the AFC Leopards Football Club had him elected as the topflight Club’s Chairman. Yes, a Maasai led a Luhya club.
Interestingly enough, many thought he hailed from Western Province. It was nice to see the surprise on people’s faces when they learned that he was a proud Maasai warrior.
The Late Magelo had a successful run as chairman of the club and an active political force behind the scenes, which eventually led to one of his greatest political achievements.
He became the first speaker of the Nairobi County Assembly with the support of the Orange Democratic Party while being a member of the National Vision Party under the leadership of his good friend, the late Nicholas Biwott.
Despite the challenges that fraught his position as the first speaker in the newly devolved county government of Nairobi, he managed to successfully engage foreign entities and partner up with the Denver City on matters that would greatly contribute to the development of Nairobi County.
Magelo had served as the longest-serving African member of the Sister Cities Organization, attending the annual conference religiously.
This relationship benefited the members of the Nairobi County Assembly, and other counties at large.
He managed to manoeuvre in the most humanly way possible while maintaining a stern and productive assembly.
The late Magelo set a standard of integrity and peace that is admirable and yet to be duplicated. Where there was conflict, he pursued peace.
Magelo continued his tenure as a career politician and just recently was appointed as the coordinator of the Building Bridges Initiative in the Maasai region by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The politician also chose to pursue a degree in Psychology in his late years.
Mzee Magelo carried a warm spirit and it showed in how many people from all walks of life he had to stop and greet when walking in town.
It was an adventure walking with him in Nairobi town. His charm, steadfastness, and warrior spirit were welcomed by many.
The people loved Mzee, and he loved the people. Ole Magelo and his wife Lucy worked hard to provide a good life for their children.
He was always so proud of them and continued to cultivate a bond of true friendship. He always referred to his wife as the CEO, CFO, and General Manager, and often bragged about not remembering how a banking hall looks like.
It was obvious he was running diplomatic operations both at home and outside the home. He loved history. American history in particular.
If you walk around our house, you will find lots of knick-knacks collected from his extensive travels in the US.
All are mostly related to American History. He was also a die-hard Manchester United fan.
Though that did prove a little difficult in the last few years. We hope he can do something about their performance while in Heaven.
At 67, Mzee achieved so much and touched so many people’s lives. As his family, we felt his love and presence, and we will carry his memories with us forever.
His sweet nature that was complemented by his warm smile and large spirit are forever etched in our hearts and minds.
We admired his courage and passion to fight for what he believed in. He told us stories of his days in battle and we all wondered how this warrior became the sweet gentle giant that we all know and love.
We witnessed him fight his biggest battle yet in the hospital. He went through so much. Very few would be able to persevere.
Magelo fought hard, and as his family, we fought twice as hard. However, our Good Lord had other plans for him.
We have accepted His will. The wise men say time is our most valuable asset, and we can proudly say he generously shared it with his family and the people he loved.
The late Magelo’s legacy now lives on through his wife Lucy and three children who have lost their protector and king.
Thank you Ole Magelo for showing us what love is. Thank you for protecting, providing, and bending over backwards for us.
Thank you for showing us what it is to stand for what you believe in. It is our honour and privilege to have known you and loved you.
May you rest in God’s eternal peace and love.