Mupalia Wakhisi, 30

University of Miami School of Communication staffer, artist, dies at 30

 
 
Mupalia Sakwa Wakhisi.
Mupalia Sakwa Wakhisi.
Wakhisi Family

hcohen@MiamiHerald.com

Mupalia Wakhisi’s friends and family remember a young man, Mupi they called him, who was “generous” and “compassionate.”

Wakhisi, who lived in Cutler Bay, died at age 30 on Sunday after a night out with friends. He died in his sleep, his family says. Mupi was under medication for epilepsy. An exact cause of death is to be determined.

“Mupi went out of his way to be generous and kind and was very compassionate and thoughtful about kids. He really liked younger kids,” his older brother Kofi Wakhisi, 39, said.

Wakhisi last saw his brother over the New Year’s holiday at his home in Atlanta.

“I have three daughters now, and these are the only young kids in the family, and he adored them,” Kofi said. “He would bake cookies for them as a surprise and bake them overnight. We woke in the morning, and there was a whole batch he made for them.”

Mupi worked at the help desk at the University of Miami School of Communication, where his mother Tsitsi Wakhisi is an associate professor, two-time Excellence in Teaching award winner and a former Miami Herald editor.

Mupi, a graduate of Gulliver Preparatory School and Cornell University, where he earned a bachelor’s of fine arts, was also a talented visual artist and mentored high school journalism students. A Mupalia Wakhisi Memorial Fund to support the High School Journalism Workshop program at UM has been established.

Mupi is survived by his parents, Tsitsi and Francis Wakhisi, brothers Kofi and Wanakhavi and sister Naliaka. A memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Storer Auditorium in the School of Business at the University of Miami, 5250 University Dr., Coral Gables.

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