Prof. James Kombo Honoured for Long Service
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 was a day of great joy and celebration as the Daystar community came together to honour Rev. Prof. James Kombo for dedicated service to Daystar University for the last 24 years.
The event was organized by the Human Resource Department on behalf of the Management Board in conjunction with faculty and staff, led by Dr. Leah Komen and Mrs. Hellen Maleche.
The event was graced by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Laban Ayiro, the Ag. DVC Academic Affairs Prof Bernard Boyo, Ag. DVC Finance and Administration Prof. Michael Bowen, Daystar University co-founders Rev. Dr. Donald Smith and Mrs. Faye Smith, Deans, Members of Management Board, faculty, staff and students.
Former colleagues who served with Prof. Kombo present included Prof. Faith Nguru, Mrs. Nkita Arao, Dr. Jane Awiti, and Rev. Jerry Makori. Those who could not attend sent in their tributes. Also present was Hon. Samuel Moroto, MP Kapenguria Constituency.
Prof. Kombo was accompanied by his family: wife Mrs. Pamela Kombo, daughter, Leonida Kombo, and sons Phillip Kombo and Samuel Kombo.
In his 24-year tenure, Prof. Kombo has risen through the ranks from Director of the Institute of Christian Ministries and Training (ICMT), now Daystar Leadership and Professional Development Institute (DLPDI), Director of Postgraduate Studies, DVC Academic Affairs and most recently, the Acting Vice-Chancellor. In these various positions, the community noted that Prof. Kombo served with utmost dedication.
The love for Professor was so evident as different teams stood up to express their adoration of him. Never have I seen a person equally praised by his superiors, peers and juniors in such a magnitude. One by one, as members of the Daystar community stood to speak, all agreed that Prof. Kombo was a God-fearing man who loved everyone regardless of tribe, colour or social status.
The incoming Vice-Chancellor Prof. Laban Ayiro clarified that Prof. Kombo was not leaving but proceeding to sabbatical leave, after which he would be back to serve in other capacities.
Prof Ayiro described Prof. Kombo as a man of deep insight and appreciated wisdom he had received from him on how to get things moving as he begins his journey as the Vice-Chancellor of Daystar University.
The Daystar co-founder Rev. Dr. Don Smith also described Prof. Kombo as a good friend. “It was comfortable to talk together, though the times we had to talk were few.” He declared the words of Psalm 67 on Prof. Kombo’s life.
Daystar Founder_ Dr. Don Smith during Prof. Kombo’s farewell party
The three University Chaplains jointly described Prof. Kombo as a godly, and gracious listener.
Rev. Steven Nduto said that the sincerest form of respect is listening and noted that Prof Kombo listens until one finishes what they have to say.
Mr. Joab Namai was also not short of word to describe a man he d served as a Personal Assistant for over 10 years. . He noted that besides being his boss, Prof. Kombo was also a mentor, colleague, friend and a source of inspiration who could relate with all calibre of people because of his humility.
DUSA President for Nairobi Campus Aloys Lavern Otieno acknowledged Prof. Kombo as open-minded yet firm father figure who was always ready to listen even in difficult times. He expressed his respect for Prof. Kombo for remaining positive even when he had make tough decisions. “Professor would not directly say NO but he made sure no one’s feelings were hurt as he quietly rejected your request,” he noted with a smile.
Speaking on behalf of Senate Members, Dr. Martha Kiarie saidthat Prof. Kombo’s ability to listen to students showed his true character.
On his part, the Dean, School of Human and Social Sciences Dr. Kennedy Ongaro described Prof. Kombo as a humble servant of God, while the Ag. University Services Manager Ms. Carol Mwangi said he was a firm leader, peace maker and a just man of great humility.
To crown it all, the Council Chair, Prof. Henry Thairu thanked Prof. Kombo for serving Daystar diligently in the various capacities. He stated that his qualities as a leader are what prompted the Council to entrust him with the responsibility to transition Daystar University during a very difficult period.
In his acknowledgement speech Prof. James Kombo appreciated the kind gestures and words by the University community.
“Let’s talk candidly and pursue what we came to this university to do, and spend time and energy on that,” he said. He went on to urge staff to listen to what students want, engage with them as friends and show them the way.
He noted that every staff who takes up a position in Daystar comes with a testimony and encouraged the community to uphold their faith as they serve.
“This university must remain a distinguished Christian institution. We cannot be a university like any other. That distinction has to be there,” he said, further urging those present to support Prof. Laban Ayiro in every possible way.
Prof Kombo was showered with gifts by the community members. And as the function came to a close, he and his family sang a beautiful ‘family’ melody, “Njalo”.