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“We Accepted Our Daughter’s Death as an Accident and Didn’t hold the Nanny to Account.” -The Nyangao’s.

The Nyangao family. Photo: Parents magazine.

I like reading a lot –news items, blogs and magazines. Recently, I stumbled upon one article in Parents magazine in which I recognized the profiled couple: Reverend Ambrose Nyangao of Parklands Baptist Church and his wife Martha.

When at student at State House Girls, Pastor Ambrose would on occasion be the invited guest during the Sunday church service and the Monday evening Christian Union (CU) meetings, which I regularly attended. We loved Pastor Ambrose’s sermons, because of his mode of delivery. He always injected some bit of humor in his sermons, which kept us attentive and not sleepy.

Then donkey years later, in 2009, his wife Martha was the guest speaker at the bridal shower that I attended. Martha spoke many sense during this shower. Her talk centered around how to build a marriage with God as the foundation, and the role of the wife in the marriage. I wasn’t married then, but she gave very positive views about marriage -a breath of fresh air from all the negativity young women hear about marriage.

Martha demonstrated her lessons with practical examples of what one should do. For example, she had a sieve (kichungi), and she advised us to ensure we sieve stuff at all times. When getting into a marriage –sieve and throw away the bad; negative attitudes, baggage etc. When in the marriage, keep sieving and only retain the good. Filter your words. Discard the bad. Sieve. I have never forgotten that lesson. Especially now that I’m married. Sieve. Sieve. Sieve. Keep sieving.

I have attended a couple of bridal showers since, but none has ever been as enriching as that one. I don’t know if she still does bridal shower talks, but if she does, I would highly recommend her. She was all that and more.

So anyway, back to the Parents Magazine article here. Ambrose and Martha have been married for the last 21 years. I’d like to pick some excerpts from from the article (published in February 2015) that have stuck out for me, and which I’d like to share with you. (You can read the full article here, I am just sharing the parts that struck me most):

Too Busy

Ambrose’ duty as associate pastor meant late evenings as he was in charge of pastoral visits. The couple never seemed to have private time together. As a pastor’s wife, Martha would share her husband and home with the rest of the church and this was especially hard for her. Having been raised single-handedly by her father, she was not used to seeing so many different people ‘invade’ a home and being hosted.

“I did not have the benefit of a mother to emulate and become a good host. It didn’t come easy or naturally and I had to learn the hard way.”

Then the babies started coming and Martha felt trapped…

The couple conceived their first child in their first year of marriage. Martha however says she didn’t feel her husband was very supportive after their daugther was born, and that she ‘kind of felt tied down at home while my husband’s life continued normally’.

The article goes on to say that:

When Ambrose realized his wife was not happy, he decided to make changes in his life, especially his work life. He changed his work routine, starting early and ensuring he was back home early to spend time with his family. He also made it a point to drop and pick Martha from work every day. These rides provided the couple with time to talk and catch up on various issues before children took over their lives once they got home.

The Nyangao family. Photo: Parents magazine.
Photo courtesty: Parents magazine article.

Quitting Employment for Business

Ambrose encouraged his wife to pursue her career goals, and when she quit her job as an IT specialist to pursue her passion for cooking, he supported her wholeheartedly.

“I wanted my wife to be happy and if it was her wish to quit her job, then it was for me to stand by her. We had to reorganize our finances as my family’s providence was now entirely on me,” says Ambrose.

In the article, the couple also talks about the unfortunate incident of the death of their dear daughter.


Martha and Ambrose were blessed with three children – two girls and one boy, but tragedy was to visit them in 1997. 

“Our three and a half-year-old first born daughter was accidentally given liquid paraffin by the nanny who mistook it for water. She was rushed to hospital but sadly passed on. This was a painful loss for us,” say the couple with Ambrose adding that it took him several years to mourn her.

“Our daughter’s death caught us off guard. We both took it very hard but we managed to get through with support from friends, family and church members,” says Ambrose adding that they accepted the death as an accident and did not hold the nanny to account.

In the article, the couple also talks about the adoption of their daugther Sifa.


The couple had planned to have three children right from the beginning and God has now blessed them with an adopted daughter, Sifa. Two-year-old Sifa came into their lives after her mother, a relative, went back to school and the couple was called to help take care of the child, which they did not hesitate.

You can read the full article here.

I’m glad I came across this article because I continue to learn from both Ambrose and Martha. From their honesty in the article, I have learned a lot, and I hope you have too.

You may also like to read: “His Name was John” -Catherine Njoki’s Story

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


  1. It is so painful to your child. I have lost a brother, a sister then my mum. Before that cloud passed it was so hard for me to accept the demise I wonder how it could have been if it was my real child. Thank God for the adopted daughter Sifa.


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