In a message to the family, friends and the Catholic Church of Tanzania at large, the Vice-Chancellor, Very Rev. Prof. Stephen Mbugua mourned the late Theologian who had served the University for several decades.
The Late Prof. Nyamiti passed away on May 19, 2020 and was laid to rest at the Priests cemetery in his native Archdiocese of Tabora in Tanzania on Thursday, May 21.
“We celebrate his long and fruitful life as we acknowledge and honour his great service to God and the University at large. Prof. Rev. Charles Nyamiti came to Nairobi in 1983 at the establishment of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) then known as the Catholic Higher Institute of Eastern Africa (CHIEA) where he served for 34 years till his retirement at the age 87 years” the VC’s message read.
Prof. Mbugua further added, “we salute this fallen globally-recognised scholar, professor of Systematic/Dogmatic Theology who merited the attribute of outstanding resource person in the Anglophone bloc of African thinkers, a dedicated teacher, mentor, a great author who published over 56 books with more than 20 Dissertations written about his ideas and writings and above all a humble and true servant of God who served with diligence and humility”.
On Thursday June 14, 2018, the CUEA fraternity held a mass and a luncheon to celebrate and bid farewell to Prof. Charles Nyamiti upon his retirement and plan to go back to his homeland, Tanzania.
Rev. Prof. Charles Nyamiti was born in 1931, among three brothers and four sisters, to Mzee Theophilus Chambi Chambigulu and Mama Helen Nyasolo, (both Late) belonging to the Wanyamwezi of Tanzania.
Prof. C. Nyamiti was ordained a Catholic priest in 1962. His vocation to priesthood remains the rationale behind his Catholicism in his writings with bias towards emphasis on magisterial instructions/guidelines, Tradition (at times more highlighted than the Bible), scholasticism/classical elements intertwined with Patrology, and appeal to papal authority. Soon after his ordination, Nyamiti went to study between1963 and 1969 at Louvain University in Belgium. It was here that he graduated with a PhD in Systematic/dogmatic theology and a certificate in Music Theory and Piano. He then went to Vienna where he studied Cultural Anthropology and Music Composition graduating with another PhD and licentiate respectively. From 1976 to 1981, he was a Professor at Kipalapala Senior Seminary in Tanzania and a co-worker in some neighbouring parishes.
In 1983, C. Nyamiti moved to Nairobi to at the establishment of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) where he served till his retirement at the age of 87years. Owing to the foregoing, Nyamiti is a globally recognised scholar.
Prof. C. Nyamiti is among the proud founding scholars of CUEA where he has served for the last 34 years. He became full professor of Systematic/Dogmatic Theology and merited the attribute of outstanding resource person in the Anglophone bloc of African thinkers. He remained Professor Emeritus at CUEA.
A most admirable trait in Nyamiti is his choice to spend his career teaching in Africa, resisting the drive to the West that has seen Africa lose so many of its best “brains.” In his love for Africa and African theology, he voluntarily opted to settle in the then Catholic Higher Institute of Eastern Africa (CHIEA) which has since then grown to become a reputable international university - CUEA, a unique university rightly renowned for African theology. A great scholar is known not only by one’s publications but also through the students one has moulded and formed. Nyamiti’s pedagogy is specifically rooted in African world-view and Christianity as he mentors the young minds.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may your perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.