Maj Fr Makau’s role in the Military is unique and less talked about. He provides moral support and spiritual guidance to the soldiers who profess to the Catholic faith. “It is common for a soldier to be in stress at the warfront. I was their father and counsellor.”
The chaplain, who kept a rifle on his left shoulder, a Bible and a rosary in his right hand for the 11 months he was in the frontline inside Somalia, has finally opened up about his life changing experiences and the bravery of Kenyan soldiers.
He dodged from surviving roadside bomb to still being shot in the line of duty. Major Fr Makau was injured and airlifted back to the military hospital in Nairobi in some occasions while fighting for the country.
He now makes constant reference to incidents from the warfront in his sermons to encourage soldiers and their families within the army barracks. His sermons provide a first-hand account of a soldiers’ life at the frontline of the military incursion dubbed ‘Operation Linda Nchi’
A similar mass thousands of miles inside Somalia would last no more than 20 minutes, he said, which typically was concluded at dawn before the militants were up for another day of heavy fighting.
“I would have my gun strapped to my right hand side throughout the mass and at all times,” Makau says, gesturing how the rifle would be strapped on his shoulder while delivering the mass in a dug-out trench that doubles up as a dormitory.
Confessions, which are a central pillar of the Catholic faith, were given in the bushes while the others kept watch.