Around the same time last year, The Times of Zambia published a touching story of a teacher from Lusaka, Maria Mulenga, who sacrificed one of her kidneys to save the life of her husband Benjamin Mowa.
Alas, a year later, this rare story of determination and unspeakable love ended tragically a few days ago following the death of Benjamin Chikwase Mowa, commonly known as Benji.
Mr Mowa, a former employee of Times Printpak Limited before he left to join the Adventist Publishing House of Zambia (ZAPH) where he worked until his death, was a prominent expert in information technology (IT) and graphic designer whose work spoke volumes about his unique talent. .
Mr. Mowa was focused, gentle, friendly, caring, and God-fearing, among some of his many qualities.
His death drew hundreds of mourners to the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) in Chilanga last Sunday, where the building was packed to capacity as people gathered to bid him farewell.
The entire church parking lot was full of vehicles while other people, who could not sit inside the church, watched the proceedings from outside the main building.
A dark vibe characterized the church service as the Dorcas mothers sang solemn gospel songs outside the church before Mr Mowa’s remains were taken inside the church building.
Benjamin, an ordained alumnus of the SDA Church, died at Lusaka University Hospital (UTH) on September 30, 2021 and was buried on October 3, 2021 at Leopard Hill Memorial Park in Lusaka.
He is survived by his wife, Maria Mulenga Kashiwa-Mowa and three children; Mowa, Lukundo and Mukuka.
Benjamin will be sadly missed by his colleagues at ZAPH and his former colleagues at The Times of Zambia, among others.
Chris Mfula, former IT manager at the Times of ZambiaLusaka office, said Mr Mowa’s death was a huge loss.
Mr Mfula said the deceased, who was his junior at The Times of Zambia in Lusaka, was a talented IT and printing expert, in addition to being a solutions-oriented person.
He said Mr. Mowawas always keen to learn more about IT and other technical matters.
âBenjamin was enthusiastic and passionate about IT issues. He was very positive and confident in his job while he had a very strong personality. Overall, he was a very good person,â said Mfula.
Mr Mfula said it was unfortunate that Benjamin passed away after a successful kidney transplant in India.
ZAPH director Baldwin Kabanda described Benjamin as a “social butterfly”.
He said the deceased was sociable and friendly with everyone in the organization.
Mr Kabanda said Mr Mowa improved after having a kidney transplant in India in 2020 and so it is surprising that he passed away at a time when many believed he had made a full recovery.
He said Mr. Mowa, who joined ZAPH in January 2014, worked for the organization for seven years and nine months until the time of his death.
“Before joining ZAPH, I asked Benjamin to leave Times of Zambia and join us, but he initially refused. After negotiations with him and his wife, he agreed to join us,” said Mr. Kabanda.
Chilanga Mission District Pastor Brian Sinyangwe, who officiated during the church service, described Mr. Mowa as a visionary and dynamic person in God’s work.
Pastor Sinyangwe said it was a blessing for a person to die in the Lord as stated in Revelation 14:13.
He said Mr. Mowa was a dedicated church leader who was always concerned with church affairs.
The pastor said he was shocked when he learned of Mr Mowa’s death, especially since the two spoke to each other on a regular basis.
Based on the interactions of the two, Pastor Sinyangwe was confident that Mr Mowa would be fired from the UTH and therefore did not call the deceased Thursday last week as previously agreed.
Unfortunately, as Pastor Sinyangwe watched President Hakainde Hichilema’s press conference on television the same day, he learned that Mr. Mowa had passed away.
âToday reminds us all that life is fragile, short and a mystery in the hands of God. We have little control over our lives,â he said.
He urged the Mowa family to put aside all differences and come together, knowing that God was in control.
Pastor Sinyangwe warned the family against any act of abuse of the children and the widow.
Giving a history of the Church, the senior clerk of the Chilanga Adventist Church, Inonge Chisenga, said Mr. Mowawas was baptized by the late Cornelius Matandiko in May 1994 at Rusangu High School.
Ms. Chisenga said the deceased, who was in good standing and regularity, served the church in various positions.
âBenjamin was a senior, treasurer and musical director. He was a dedicated person in all the roles he played. In 2021, he was assistant treasurer until his death,â Ms. Chisenga said.
She said the deceased was passionate about winning souls for Jesus Christ while he had a great love for music.
Family representative John Kaite said Mr Mowahad touched many lives during the years he was on earth.
Mr Kaite said Mr Mowa would be dearly missed by his family, friends and other stakeholders.
The deceased was born in Ndola Central Hospital on August 17, 1977 to the late Shem Mowa and Lydia Katwishi-Chishimba.
He was the last born in a family of 10 children, three of whom are currently deceased.
According to Mr. Kaite, Mr. Mowa attended several primary schools and started his first grade at Wusakili Primary School in Kitwe.
He was then transferred to Olympia Park Primary School in Lusaka to complete his primary education, after which he attended secondary education in Rusangu in Monze.
He later enrolled in the Zambia Insurance Business College Trust (ZIBC) in Ndola, after which he studied IT at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka.
He also studied printing and design and graduated as a graphic designer.
He joined The Times of Zambia in Ndola and married Maria on December 21, 2008.
During their marriage, Mr. Mowa’s kidneys began to fail due to high blood pressure (BP) and the deceased was then put on dialysis for a few years.
“Several family members, willing to donate their kidneys, have been screened but either no match has been found or other medical complications have prevented the transplant from being performed. His dear wife Maria is is then presented to be traced as well and a perfect match has been found, âMr. Kaite said.
His wife then donated the required kidney and the transplant was miraculously performed in India in 2020 at the height of COVID-19.
According to Mr. Kaite, the Mowa family would be eternally grateful to Maria for the selfless gesture she showed to her late husband.
“The kidney transplant completely improved Benjamin’s quality of life and he then led a normal life until two weeks ago, when he was admitted with a headache, high blood pressure and low blood pressure levels. high creatine levels, âhe said.
Last week, Wednesday evening, Benjamin went on dialysis and in the early hours of Thursday he was taken to the intensive care unit (ICU) with a pulmonary embolism.
âA few hours later, Benjamin went into cardiac arrest and died around 2:00 pm on September 30, 2021. Benjamin was employed as a graphic designer for ZAPH and was also one of the factory supervisors,â he said. he declares.
Ms Mowa said her wish was to continue being with her sweetheart forever.
“You have fought your battle and you have finished it … farewell until the morning of the resurrection,” said Ms Mowa, pointing to her husband’s remains.
In a tribute read for her during the church service, Ms Mowa said her husband left a great void in her heart and life.
She said she did her best to save his life by giving him part of her body and that her wish was not God’s wish.
Ms Mowa thanked her husband for the years they spent and did it all together.
Outside of her family, Ms Mowa said her husband cherishes his friends and will be dearly missed.