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HomebioBishop Paul Ngarama: From Humble Life as Barber to The Pulpit

Bishop Paul Ngarama: From Humble Life as Barber to The Pulpit

Ngarama and daughter Monica Kimani.
Bishop Paul Ngarama and daughter Monica Kimani. Photo/Facebook.

Bishop Paul Ngarama has served as a preacher for more than two decades.

He would never have imagined that his family would make the news after his daughter Monica Kimani who was slain in Nairobi. The highly publicised case culminated with the sentencing of Jowie Irungu, her convicted killer, to death. This is the story of Bishop Paul Ngarama:

Background

He was born in Tanzania in 1967. His parents, George Ngarama and Monica Nyawira were Kenyans who had moved to Tanzania for business. They moved back to Kenya in 1969 and he grew up here before relocating to South Sudan.

Getting into the barber business 

His father worked as a barber and after moving to Nairobi he got the chance to be a barber at Embakasi Garrison. After high school, he joined his father in the business and started shaving soldiers.

Moving to Sudan 

In 2003, he was serving as a lay preacher with the Africa Christian Mission International. He went to evangelize at the Kakuma refugee camp and developed an interest in visiting Sudan

In 2004, he met a Sudanese soldier who was in Embakasi for training. He told him of his desire to visit Sudan and the soldier gave him his brother’s contacts. At the time, Sudan was in a civil war.

In a 2014 interview with Nation, he said that one day, he woke up, packed a Bible, notebook and religious staff and embarked on a journey to Yei, Sudan. It was a difficult journey and he used a lorry. There were many roadblocks where authorities would harass them and they would give a bribe and move ahead. They would also advise them to keep to the beaten tracks and told them that veering off would be at their peril.

They arrived in Yei and he stayed for six months before joining the Pentecostal Church and he moved to another town. It wasn’t easy and he also began running a small business. In 2005, things changed for the better after the warring parties signed an agreement. Juba became the place to be and he set up a business there which dealt with different things including clothes. The business grew and he eventually set up rentals in Juba.

Juba soon became an investment hub for many foreigners. Before the people of Sudan realized it, people from countries like Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania were running successful businesses in their tuff. Soon, there was resentment and they began to target their businesses looting and harassing owners. He moved to a different town where war broke out again. After a while, he went back to Juba and things picked up with South Sudan gaining independence from Northern Sudan. However, a war broke out later and women were raped, and people were killed. They moved back to Kenya but he said he still wanted to move to Sudan where his heart was. The family later relocated to the United States.

Forgiveness

In a recent interview, with Kenya Diaspora Media, he said he would visit Jowie Irungu in prison. He has been preaching forgiveness and at one time said he had forgiven him for killing his daughter. He wants to be part of the reconciliation between his, Jowies and Maribe’s families.

The bishop said losing his daughter was painful. She once described him as his flower and the loss deeply hurt. His wife fell into depression and moving to the US, away from the environment where it happened, has helped the family to slowly heal.