Obituary: David Makau Mulumba
David Makau Mulumba, 77, a long-time Montclair resident died in his home on Friday, Oct. 19.
Mr. Mulumba, affectionately known as “The Professor,” was born to the late Patrisse Mulumba and Rhoda Ngao Mulumba on May 3, 1941 in Kikoko, Kilungu Village in Kenya. He graduated from Kabaa High School in Machakos, Kenya.
Due to his love of English and his love of writing, he entered a nationwide essay contest and won. His prize was a trip to the United States of America and a full scholarship to Dartmouth University. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1966 with a bachelor’s of arts degree in history and earned a master’s of arts degree in World History from Northeastern University. From there he pursued his true passion, teaching.
He taught English and History in various High Schools across New England, New York and New Jersey. During this time, he reunited with a Syokwaa Mulumba (née Musau) who also grew up in the same village in Kenya. On June 24, 1972, they married and then had two children.
He became a professor of African and African American Studies at New Jersey City University. He spent time as the chair of the African American Studies Department, and continued to teach there until his retirement in 2016.
He loved history, geography, literature, and all forms of knowledge. He loved to cook, loved to debate current events, and was a raconteur of the first rate. He loved to tell stories of his childhood, of history in general, and most of all, he loved to spend time with his family.
He is predeceased by his wife of 42 years Syokwaa Mulumba, his siblings Benedict Kiilu Mulumba, Richard Mulumba, Philomena Nzove, Theresia Ndindi, Rosalia Mukata, and Salome Kiama.
He is survived by his sons Kiilu and Kyalo Mulumba; daughters-in-law Shelleye Bailey and Rebecca Mulumba; siblings Margaret Mbithi, Francisca Kangwana, Bernadette Katiti Mulumba, Ezekiel Musyimi Mulumba, Susan Kanyiva Nzioka, Matthew Musyoki Mulumba, Maria Kavene Kikata, Emma Nthambi Mulumba, Justina Mutisya, Juliana Muia, Michael Mutiso Mulumba and Edward Mutua Mulumba, grandchildren Zen, Isaac and Asuna Mulumba and by many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A wake will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 at Martin’s Home For Service, 28 Elm St., Montclair. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at Immaculate Conception Church, 30 North Fullerton Ave., Montclair.