By Taban Gabriel
Dark shadow has eclipse upon the people of Yei and Kakwa community in particular as they struggle to come into terms with the unanticipated demise of a long serving civil servant and Anya-nya one veteran Michael Modi Apollo.
Modi 84, commonly referred by intellectuals and community members as ‘a Dictionary of Yei’ passed on in Juba on Saturday after a long illness.
Members of the community and leaders in Juba converged at the house of the late in Munuki to pay their last respect.
Women and children could be seen wailing while men grinding their teeth and shaking their heads as they bid Modi a despairing sendoff.
Modi according to a documented biography shared by one of his sons, is a multipurpose leader who in his capacity as a public figure has served in several positions in government, church and the community.
In government Modi was known for his extensive role as a government administrator and former member of the National dialogue, while among the people of his community of Yei where the late comes from, he is a great leader and historian and that gave birth to his moniker, ‘The Dictionary of Yei’.
Meanwhile as a religious fanatic, Modi set a record in the whole country as the only father who allowed two of his children to be ordained in the Catholic Church as Reverends; whereby one became a priest and the other a Reverend Sister.
In other religious aptitudes, the late Modi contributed immensely to the birth of Holy Rosary Catholic Parish where he worships from until the time of his demise.
Family and community members call on the government to recognize Modi’s longtime role in public service by naming a facility after him.
Fr. Ephraim Jomo is the son of the late Modi; he said his late father supported several educational efforts in Yei and hence deserves a recognition.
“My father helped in the establishment of a secondary school in Ombasi and has also played a role by opening several educational gates to community children who are now majority intellectuals by sending them to school, such efforts should not go in vain,” Jomo said.
On the other hand, Baka Harriet, a community member from Yei also backed up the idea presented by Modi’s children.
“I am not from the family of Yaba Modi, but his leadership role in the community has been great he truly deserves a recognition by the State government for several roles he played in the community,” Baka said.
12 surviving children who have all attained different levels of education succeed the late Modi
Efforts to fly the body of the late Michael Modi to his ancestral home in Yei on Wednesday is underway as government and community leaders join ranks for the same.