David Maillu was born in colonial Kenya on 19 October 1939. He went to school at age 12, at a Salvation Army School. After four years, he sat for a national colonial education examination, called Common Entrance Examination after which he joined Intermediate School whereby we sat for the Kenya African Primary Education (KAPE). There would be another examination after two years, called Kenya Junior Secondary Education, then finally the East Africa Cambridge School Certificate examination (The O-Level).
He went to a technical school to Painting and Decorating, which took 3 years. He also enrolled for the British Tutorial College, to study for the High School education. Right from his Intermediate and Technical Schools, he developed passion in African Art, Literature and Sociology.
He is married to a German, Hannelore, from Berlin.