In Memorandum – Cowboy Cliff.
Anyone who has been on the Book Bus in Livingstone in the past 3 years will know of Cowboy Cliff. Either through our visits to his preschool and/or through his informative and much loved cycle tours. Today there is some very sad news, Cliff passed away this morning at the age of 41. He will be very much missed by his 2 children, his family, his staff, his community, by me and by everyone who was fortunate to have met him.
I have known Cliff every since I have been in Livingstone. He always welcomed me and our volunteers with open arms. He was well known throughout the town, not just for his famous hat, that gave him his nickname, but also for the tireless work he did for his community.
I have always said if there were more people like Cliff in African societies, then they would probably not be as much need for foreign aid. He was honest, reliable, big hearted and always thinking about his community before himself.
It was him who founded the preschool because of lack of education for young people in his area. It was him who helped to bring piped water to his compound. He started the solar cooking project in Livingstone and organised a team to help educate people. He was always smiling, jovial and busy rushing off to do some good somewhere and I will never forget his “killer” handshake!!
He was passionate about his school and realised how vital it is for children to get a good start in life through pre-school education. He was a big supporter of the Book bus and I feel I can say that every volunteer who had the privilege to visit his school will have fond memories of the times spent there, of the dedication of the teachers and the active participation of the pupils. Thank you Cliff.
I will never forget the times we spent together at the preschool, on amazing bike rides or on other projects, like the time we took the whole school and parents on a boat cruise on the Zambezi. It was his son’s birthday but he wanted to share the occasion with as many people as possible – typical Cliff.
Cowboy Cliff will be sorely missed by me and everyone who knew him. I hope that his good work and generous spirit will live on even after his death.
Kelly. 25 November 2011.