Saturday, April 27, 2019

As they begin to farewell Lewis De Souza ... tributes

NELSON DIAS: So sad to hear about the demise of Lewis, a friendship that started in primary school.
Lewis lived just off Forest Road, nearly opposite the Sikh Union club, and our family home was on Forest Road just a short distance away. We were constantly in each other's homes or venturing into City Park, constantly playing and enjoying the thrills of that forested park. It was not at all dangerous in those days.
As time moved on and changes came to the country and I departed for the UK in 1965, not quite sure what I would find in this new land.
In 1985 I was working in Saudi Arabia and we got a lot of overseas leaves in the job. I decided to pay Kenya a visit.
At that time I was working in northern Saudi, near the Jordanian border, at a place called Tabuk.
I drove down to Jeddah, a few hundred kilometres away, and paid a visit to a travel agent. I explained what I wanted and he came up with a proposal, a stay in the Ambassador hotel and flights etc. I paid him a retainer for his services.
I returned to Tabuk and a couple of days before my scheduled departure I was back in Jeddah. I went to my travel agent and to get my ticket. He informed me that my ticket was fine but my hotel booking was cancelled. Apparently somebody (Lewis) came into the agent’s office and looked at the list of prospective visitors to Kenya.
Having checked the list and seeing my name he immediately cancelled my hotel booking, and informed the agent that I would be staying with him!
When I got to Embakasi and got through immigration and customs formalities I walked out of the terminal and there to greet me was Lewis, beaming with a welcoming smile.
When we got to his home I met the charming Antoinette and the lovely, 8 or 9 years old, Heather-Gail.
I thoroughly enjoyed my self with the de Souzas’ and it was an unforgettable trip to Kenya. The game parks, the night clubs and G.I. visits, all brought happy memories of Nairobi.
I will always remember Lewis, larger than life, with that constant smile on his beaming face, a memory I will cherish forever.
R.I.P. Lewis, a really great man who loved his family, his community and his country. I shall miss you.

Lewis De Souza...


A pioneering spirit has passed on to the Heavens, and now a brilliant Star shines in the dark African Sky....

Kenya has lost an entrepreneurial, passionate and pioneering leader in the  Safari and Tourism sector with his passing on 23rd April 2019.

Nairobi based Lewis of Goan origin and roots, with his enterprising spirit, had started his now well established and reputed Tourism & Wild Life Safari firm "#Visit_Africa" over three decades ago. He was a firm believer in supporting sustainable tourism and keenly followed wild life conservation practices...

I had the priveledge of meeting Lewis at one of the Tourism trade exhibitions - the Arabian Travel Mart #(ATM) in Dubai over a decade ago and he clearly came across and was seen as an affable and friendly man  - he was there promoting Kenyan Tourism & Safaris...

We exchanged a few phrases in Kshwahili, connected on common Goan acquaintances (me having lived in neighboring Uganda in the sixties) and had some happy laughs...

Definately, #Lewis will very dearly & fondly be missed by all who knew him... He has left behind a true legacy.

My heartfelt condolences to his very enthusiastic & enterprising daughter Heather-Gail who has since a few years, been at the helm of affairs at #Visit_Africa and Antoinette - his beloved wife and  'the rock' behind him.


Farewell My Brother Lewis
Today you are a picture in my memory.
God has you in his keeping and we have you in our hearts.
Before our eyes, you grew weaker every day.
We did all we could to comfort and save you.
I hate to think that you had to endure such silent suffering but you did not complain.
Your sad eyes have left a stain in my mind.
I want to know what crossed your mind the silent words and looks while you listen to what we said and sometimes looked at us with a smile.
Now God has taken you away from us all and memories are all that we have.
We shared a unique relationship of conflict and love at the same time - But no one dares to hurt you - But it was OK if I do.
I will wear your memory proudly. Rest in peace with the angels above my beloved brother Lewis.
Brothers can never be parted - and I say Goodbye now till we meet someday again.
Your loving brother

Cyprian Fernandes: Since April 23, Chief Joker Steve Fernandes has been joined by an equally famous Joker Lewis De Souza. In life, both got up to lots, lots and lots of laughs, after all, they were natural born jokers. There were others waiting to greet Lewis: Xavier Almeida, Tony "Fats" Pereira, Ben and Julie Pereira, Ivy Fernandes ... and thousands and thousands of other who he counted amongst his friends on earth.

Those of us who remain behind, temporarily, mourn his passing, our loss and the emptiness he leaves behind for the two people he loved most in the world: Antoinette and Heather. Each night we will offer our prayers that they continue with courage in the ways that the pact they made with Lewis demands of them. I know that their love and help from Lewis above will see them through.

His friends (both near and far), employees, business associates and Goan at large bow their heads in silent prayer because Lewis was a good man ... he was a generous man and he showered us all with his goodness ... he was a kind man ... he shrouded us with help (in kind, in care and by doing whatever was needed) ... he was a loving man ... there was no hate, no violence, no anger ... he was a visionary in business ... he showed others the way ... he was many things to many people ... he was also the guardian and saviour of flora and fauna ... as soon as he mended his ways, he learned to care and nature the wildlife and flora of his birth country which he loved so much.

We are in mourning because we have lost such a treasure.

Have no fear though, Heather wears his mantle and she will continue his legacy with pride and courage because His wish is her wish.

I hear you in the roar of a lion
I see you kicking up dust in the company of a head of elephants
I hear your purring in the gentle moans of a leopard
I hear your name as I watch the Cheetah racing through the Savannah
I see you pulling funny faces as the buffalo shakes its mighty head
The birds dance in the sky, filling it with the song of your name
Everywhere, the country you love, shouts your name.
You live, my friend, always.

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