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Kenyan woman dies after short illness in Atlanta

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It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of Mrs Phoebe Silantoi Hickman (Mama Somoina) after a short illness. She is a wife to John Hickman, mother to feneitz Somoina and sister to Jonathan Mututua.

Family and friends are meeting at her home in 5134 Acworth Landing Drive, Acworth GA, 30101, starting from 6pm to 9pm daily. Memorial and burial to be confirmed. Your prayers and financial support is greatly appreciated. For more information please contact:

Jonathan Mututua (7706561036),

John Hickman (6785214459),

Lydiah Muriithi (4049336335),

and Chege Maina (6784498511).

Donations can be channeled via Cash app # 7706561036

 

May God rest her soul in peace.

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Diaspora

HAPPY ENDING: Joy as 84 year-old Kenyan man who has lived in US for 60 yrs returns home to a rousing welcome [PHOTOS]

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BY CHRISTINE MUCHENE

A journey that started in March last year is now complete. Mr. James Mugweru has finally arrived in his motherland, Kenya, after 6 dacades in the United States.

It was pomp and colour as family and friends  gathered in Nakuru to welcome him with a very warm and rousing reception.
Mugweru, 84, came to the US through the famous educational air lift organized by the late Tom Mboya in 1959.He had only returned to Kenya twice in those 60 years he has been in the US.

Around March last year, I was approached by a young man in Kenya to help trace his grandfather whom they had never seen but would hear from stories that he lived in America.

It however did not take me long to fish him out of where he was, thanks to internet.

He was living in a facility for Senior Citizens in Union city, Georgia.

I thereafter introduced him to my Church family – Kenyan American Community Church (KACC) – and they contributed money for his ticket to Kenya.

Mugweru left the country on February 19th.

I would like to thank all those who have walked this one year journey with him providing the much needed stuff and above all, loving him as Christ would do.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Rare event brings together Kenyan faith leaders from metro Atlanta and beyond

He has always been intrigued by the concern some of you have shown.

Mr. Mugweru has 2 living siblings aged 100 and 80 who were eager and looking forward to reuniting with their lost brother.
Finally thank you Atlanta Kenyan community for believing in my Judgment towards serving God’s people. Without all of you, I would not be of help to the community. God bless.

We do hope that he will come back to visit as you all know that after having lost reality with a country he left long time ago, it can be rough especially in old age and the most needed health care can be out of reach due to lack of money.

This man has been away for too long and those back home could be having high expectation of him and if the same is not there, the happiness may just be temporary leading to abandonment.

He left Kenya undeveloped and the whole country will appear strange not to mention the culture shock.

We, all the same, hope that God will guide him.  To the great people who have given him great love, God bless all.

Chances are he will come back as he cannot fit in Kenya after even loosing his mother tongue and cannot fluently speak Kiswahili which is also forgotten.

READ ALSO:   Homeless Kenyan woman who was a nurse in US appeals for help

It is not easy for James as this is simply a very sad case and maybe a lesson for many, to be prepared and able to face the uncertain, unknown future.

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Diaspora

VIDEO: Kenyan woman deported from the US after 21 Years now living in squalor in Nairobi

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

A Kenyan woman who moved to the US in 1986 and was deported 21 years later is now leading a miserable life in Nairobi.

Joy Mukwanjero who was born in Meru – but for the most part brought up in Nairobi- says she had nothing to show for her long stay in “the land of plenty” as she had fallen into wrong company before the immigration officials came calling.

In an interview with Tuko News, Joy, who went to some of the best schools in Kenya, tells of how – upon arrival in the US – she got married to a man who introduced her to “partying.”

“I took a job in the hospitality industry and also enrolled for a political science course at the University of San Fransisco but dropped out midway to focus on my job.”

She says it was after moving in with her husband that she became an alcoholic.

“We soon separated and I moved to a different city in California,” she says.

She was later arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers over lack of proper documents.

Joy was detained for some time and was later deported.

With nothing to show for her stay and while still battling addiction, she began looking for a job in the hospitality industry but with no success.

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She later checked herself  into a rehabilitation center.

A pale shadow of her former self, a jovial looking Joy still hopes that her dreams will one day come true.

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Diaspora

VIDEO: Homeless Kenyans in the US and the Dark Secrets

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“There was one shower, for the entire floor. There were bedbugs. There were rats. People come from the streets with all sorts of things, you know. It was difficult. It was very difficult,” so begins my conversation with Moses Munene, who was homeless in Washington DC.

Yet that’s not what comes to mind when you speak to Moses Munene, now a property developer in Kenya.

As he narrates his tale with charming candour it is difficult to lump the arresting personality with an image of those who bear the tag ‘homeless’.

But for one and a half years, Munene was indeed homeless in Washington DC, the capital of the United States, the land of opportunity, or so it has been termed.

A Kenyan by birth, he travelled to the US in 2002, seeking medical treatment after a bad fall injured his spine, he was 36 then.

“Once I got to DC, I stayed with one guy for two to three days, who then took me to a Christian place where I could live but they wouldn’t take me in. I called the Kenyan embassy then but they didn’t have any options, so I slept out in the cold that night.”

Perhaps it was a foreshadowing of things to come but Munene could not have known this then. After two nights in the cold, a lady from the Kenyan embassy referred him to Christ House.

“I was taken in by a medical facility for the homeless, Christ House. They arranged everything from my medical insurance to planning for my surgery.

“I stayed there for around six months but they could only host me for the duration of my treatment. Once that ended, they had no choice but to take me to a shelter.”

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This was the turn of the road where Munene, a man of great faith as is evident from the references he splices in throughout our conversation, began his solitary sojourn into the world of homelessness.

Lunch

“It was hard. In the shelter, once you wake up in the morning you leave so they can clean. So I used to go to hotels where meetings were held. I’d spend my whole day there, sometimes I’d get lunch if they were serving it and come back to the shelter in the evening.”

Pulling from his wealth of memories, Munene paints me a picture of the shape that life took while he lived at the shelter.

“Everyone has their own bed where you put your suitcase, sometimes it gets really cold and you don’t want to leave. People would smoke in the shelter so when you came in you’d find everyone smoking everywhere.”

Munene explained that the shelter had a six-month policy. Once you exhausted your months, you’d have to go back to the streets. Yet, with the industrious spirit of the motherland colouring his bones, the Kenyan got a job as a desk monitor and was able to extend his stay for another six months.

I asked Munene how his family allowed him to live in a shelter in a foreign country, yet he had a house waiting for him in Kenya.

“My family didn’t know I was in the shelter, I lied. I told them I was in college because once you are here people expect you to have a certain kind of income.”

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Rare event brings together Kenyan faith leaders from metro Atlanta and beyond

For every hill, a valley and Munene eventually emerged into the light when his troubles made it to the ears of Kenyans in the diaspora.

“When Kenyans in Washington found out that their fellow countryman was living in a shelter, they came together and had a small fundraiser after which I was able to rent an apartment.

With the rest of the money, I set up a small curio stand in DC. I would get the things from Kenya: they’d send me kiondo’s and earrings and things like that and that’s what I did for nine years.”

Not one to miss an opportunity, he narrates how he learned to work the system so he wouldn’t have to rely solely on imports from Kenya.

“Sometimes I’d go to New York once a month, you could find earrings from China that looked like the ones from Kenya. I’d buy a dozen for 12 dollars and sell a pair for 10 dollars. I’d mix them up with the ones in Kenya which made things easier for me because importing from Kenya was expensive.”

Eventually, as it always does, life came full circle and Munene came back to Kenya lifetimes wiser to start his business. However, he was quick to clarify that the homelessness that he had to battle and grapple was not a lone occurrence but rather an open secret among many nationals who seek their fortunes in the US.

Moses Munene at his curio stand which he ran for 9 years. PHOTO|COURTESY

“Kenyans are homeless, you go to places especially in Baltimore and you find a big group of Kenyans who are homeless. They live in abandoned buildings. They light fires in the wintertime to ward off the cold.

READ ALSO:   STRANGE: Kenyan man in US says women reject him because he is a perfectionist, great cook

In DC, I met people who’ve been there since the Tom Mboya Airlift: old men, people who’ve been there for a very long time. There was an ageing Luo I met, he was hungry most of the time. It [homelessness] is a very difficult thing.”

I ask him why they stay, why they wouldn’t just come back home. He explains that for them, it is difficult to return with empty hands from a land where they are expected to draw the milk and the honey.

“I have a friend there [in the US], the brother of a former Cabinet minister. The guy was homeless then, yet they are well up in Kenya. He doesn’t go back home because they’d ask him what he’s been doing. He has degrees, he has a masters from there.”

With a clarity sharpened by experience, he explains the situation, “They have that fear, to go back home with nothing to show.”

Munene is perhaps luckier than most. While he was able to return, those he has left behind can no longer be covered with the muslin cloth that we have weaved with our fantasies of America, the promised land.

Yet, these Kenyans on the streets of Baltimore, of DC, of Atlanta have homes. Maybe what bars the door are the locks of our own expectations, the expectations we place on the heads of those who leave like a crown.

“It takes a lot of courage to come back,” says Munene, a statement that bears more gravity than we should allow it.

SOURCE-Kenyans.co.ke

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