By HELEN TARAWA
IT is almost two months since the passing away of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare but one man who is unlikely to forget him too easily is Daniel Kuani.
Daniel, from Nuku district in West Sepik, has been working for the Somare family as a security guard and cleaner at their Kreer Heights property in Wewak for the past 11 years.
Daniel has never been to school and does not know his age. All he knows is that he has two children from his second wife.
“I have two children from my second wife. My first wife left me because I was travelling a lot due to my work.”
Like many others around the country, Daniel remains forever grateful to Sir Michael for everything he had done to him to be what he is today.
“ Since we lost Sir Michael, I have been crying and I’m still in mourning. He was a good man and because of him, I was able to come and find a job here and I’ve been living in Wewak.”
Daniel’s tasks include cleaning up around the property at Kreer Heights overlooking Wewak town and harbour. It is where Sir Michael’s tomb is located.
Kuani started working there when the company in charge of constructing the new buildings at Kreer Heights arrived there.
“I wanted a job so I came to see Michael Somare (Junior) and that’s how I got employed. I have been here since the beginning of the construction of these buildings up to the death of Sir Michael.
“Since we lost Sir Michael, I have been crying and I’m still in mourning. He was a good man and because of him, I was able to come and find a job here and I’ve been living in Wewak.
“Not just me but all the other workers and staff who have been employed here because of Sir Michael.
“He was very kind man and he showed the same kind of generosity to the whole nation.”
Now that his bossman has gone, he hopes that the Somare family will keep him employed at Kreer Heights. But Daniel knows that it is up to the family.
“It is up to Michael (Jnr). I will continue to do my duties here if Michael wants me to stay.”
Daniel is proud to be associated with such a high-profile family, especially Sir Michael.
“I was amazed at the number of people who turned up to mourn his death. So many people came to Wewak. It shows how he was respected by many around the country. It was through him that we gained independence, we have freedom and have jobs to support our families.”
Daniel has no plans to look for another job as feels at home at Kreer Heights, where he can be close to the tomb of the Grand Chief.
“I want to remain and work here.”