Tribute to Alice Mbaye from Development Pathways

Alice Mbaye was our dear colleague and friend, part of the Development Pathways family from September 2018. Around the office in Kenya, she was known as ‘Shenje’, meaning ‘aunt’ in her mother tongue. This exemplified her character – caring and loving, someone we felt close to and trusted. She was thoughtful, and would always check up on each of us in the office. She was especially fond of our kids, and would keep tabs on them, and even give them presents now and then.

She was very proud of the job at Development Pathways, and saw herself staying with us for a long time. She was hard-working, and genuinely dedicated to the MIS team and her programme management colleagues.  She was also humble, helpful, handled clients and colleagues professionally.

When she was taken ill, we were shocked and worried, and wanted to help. Many times, people in the company would ask me for an update about her. Our thoughts were with her as she went through her treatment.

Since her sad passing, many people in the company have expressed to me their sorrow, and their sense of loss. She is truly missed, and remains in our hearts and minds.

We all in Development Pathways send our sincere condolences to her family, friends and loved ones, at this sad time.

Jonathan Faulkner, Chief Executive Officer, Development Pathways

Condolences

Alice was a selfless, caring and generous person who was uncompromising in her belief in all that was good and of God. She had an unwavering commitment and love towards her family and friends. Her faith was deep and enduring and, although tested to the very core at the end, she was steadfast. She will be profoundly missed. Rest in peace with the angels, Alice. Sandra Kidd

To the family and loved ones of Alice: my sincere condolences for your loss. I had the fortune of being Alice’s manager for a short time at DP. I will always remember her for her kind heart, unwavering friendliness, utmost professionalism and hardworking, and her quiet strength, which I hope helped her fight through the tough past 6 months. I pray Alice knew how much she was loved and respected by her team and how much we will all miss her. She will always be in our hearts and memories. Sending you my deepest and most heartfelt thoughts and prayers. Sophie Birkett

Sending my deepest condolences to the family. Whilst I did not get to meet her in person, Alice was (and is) a part and parcel of Development Pathways. She will live on in our hearts and memories. With regards from India, Anasuya Sengupta

Word fail in this incomprehensible situation. I just want to let you know that, although we have never met, you have been in my prayers. May God give you strength to absorb her loss with the same courage she showed in her battle. Prayers for peace and comfort, Shea McClanahan

I am so sorry for the loss of Alice. We joined around the same time at Development Pathways and although we didn’t work together much, when we did she was very pleasant to talk to. I also remember when she visited London and worked in our office, it was great to finally meet in person and she was shocked by how cold it was! My thoughts are with the entire family and those close to Alice. Leah Catling

I still can’t believe that you are no longer with us, Alice. I will miss you dearly. Grace Davies

May her soul RIP. I will miss her. Pascaline Mutie

My lovely, sweet Alice, 
Whether we were in Nairobi, London or chatting on Skype about our bad hair days, you were one of my closest colleagues and friends when I was at DP.
You always found time in your busy schedule to check in on me and we had shared many laughs and stories about our families (especially about your little niece!) 
My favourite memories of you are from my time in Nairobi. You knew I liked to eat and would remember to bring me a giant samosa for breakfast. They were delicious! You were also an amazing gift giver as well, I still have the shoes you gave me. I always wear them around the house 🙂 
The last time we spoke on the phone you were heading to India. Even though you were in pain, you were hopeful and ready to pull through. Throughout our mini check ins these past few months, you continued to show that strength and never faltered. 
I wish I had more time to tell you how much you meant to me and how wonderful it was to have a friend like you. I’ll miss you very much but know that you’re finally at peace and free of pain. Sending my condolences to your family. 
Love always, Baindu Kallon

Dearest Alice, I’ll say goodbye in the same way you welcomed me each time I saw you – with a knowing cheeky smile and effortless kindness. Lala salama, Nala. You’re one of a kind. Alex Key

Alice was an absolute delight as a colleague and a friend. She was always full of endless joy, optimism and kindness and I will especially miss her positive outlook on life which motivated and inspired me. I have fond memories of exploring London together and will treasure those always. Alice, you are dearly missed. Abigail Harvey

Tribute poem, Richard Chirchir (Head of Kenya Office), 29th June 2021

Death, who are you? Where do you get your power, and your insatiable cruelty? Do you have  a conscience? Don’t you retire from the killing spree? Don’t you get tired of the deadly stench? From time immemorial, you crisscross the planet harvesting lives. You are no respecter of class, creed, ethnicity, race and religion. You prey on the young, the old and the vulnerable. Equally, you pounce on the athletic and the energetic with lethal consequences.  You don’t distinguish the evil from the good, nor the great from the weak. Similarly, you do not differentiate the king from the servant and the mighty from the weak. On one hand, you smothered Adolf Hitler after using his evil hand to consign millions to their graves. On the  other hand, you snatched from humanity the venerable Nelson Mandela. Even the venerated Mother Theresa succumbed to your cruel hand. Great leaders of armies with body armour have fallen by your sword. And, brilliant doctors have not found an antidote to your deadly venom. So, death, what is your secret, to your invisibility?

Human beings have tried every trick in the book to defeat you. Huge investments have been poured to improve quality of life with aim of elongating lives. Yet, year in year out, you stock pile bodies in that dungeon of your abyss. When we try to elongate our stay on this planet, you pounce on our vulnerability with diseases, at our twilight years. In poor countries you collude with famine and diseases to drive millions to their early graves. And, in the rich countries, you build alliances with manufacturers of weapons some of which can annihilate millions. Even with advancement in science, you concoct new pestilences. When we thought we had conquered many diseases, you surprised us with CORONA sending the globe into a pandemic and harvesting millions of lives in the process. As climate change unfolds and ice melts in the  poles, I fear you may pull out a new surprise, something akin to a COVID50! Even when we exercise, avoid drugs, eat vegetables, live pious lives, you kill us of ‘natural causes’ during old age. Let us be serious here, death. What is the meaning of ‘death by natural causes’, you master of iniquity? Can we truly overcome your treachery, you cruel beast? 

But, we are not surely hopeless, to your endless intrigues. Your antidote must lie somewhere. In the Holy scriptures, Enoch managed to evade your deadly sting. And, you must have frowned as Elijah soared mightily into the heavenly realms, evading your deadly embrace. But, the ecclesiastical Moses was unlucky as you laid wait and smothered him on Mt. Nebo before he could cross over to the promised land. You must also have a nerve, death. You even shamelessly tried your hand on the son of God, Jesus Christ. Who tries to kill God, the creator? I mean how stupid could you get.  You conspired with Satan to nail Jesus at the cross. But, you must have run scared when the earth shook and tomb opened as, He rose again on the third day. This must have left you with an egg on your cruel face as you lost the opportunity to stuff his body alongside other ordinary mortals.  From then on, you were conquered. By faith, the believers in Him can rest assured of life eternal. Although you have continued your killing trade since Jesus’ ascension, your days are numbered and your power was vanquished. You can touch the body but the soul and spirit of those who believe in Him will live on, in eternal glory. And, when the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, then your sting will be powerless. For, we shall surely have overcome; we shall live no more under your shadows and not worried about your hidden cruel hand.

So, whereas you have snatched our colleague, Alice Mbaye, from us, we are not hopeless. As a Christian, she is only rested waiting to join other saints in heavenly glory. We shall miss her humility, hard work, dedication, love, empathy and diligence. We shall surely be poorer without her support and her jolly demeanour. We shall miss her bubbly personality and disarming charm even in difficult circumstances.  …But, we take heart in the fact that she is in a better place and are confident that because of her faith, she will overcome, you death, and be in the hands of Aba Father and enjoy eternal life. And, when the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more… And the morning breaks eternal bright and fair… When the saved diverse shall gather over on the other shore… And the roll is called up yonder, Alice Mbaye will be there…The question to you, who is here today is: ‘When the roll is called up yonder, will you be there?’