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6 Kenyans die in metropolitan Atlanta in one month

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

An unprecedented death wave has hit the Kenyan community in Metropolitan Atlanta leaving the immigrant community in utter shock, disbelief and financially exhausted.

In a span of one month, six deaths have been reported. It all began with the demise of a young man named Brian Kabage under suspicious circumstances.

Then followed Mr Timothy Majanja Lukalia, the 71 year old man who passed away at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta after living in North America for an uninterrupted 50 years. Majanja was buried in Lubao Village, Kakamega County on Saturday.

The late Brian Kabage

Then came the death of Sarah Njeri, a young lady who left behind two beautiful girls.  Sarah was a daughter to Salome Kirega and had been hospitalized at Kennestone Hospital for several months.

The late Sarah Njeri.

Just as the community was trying to come to terms with the sad news of the death of Ms Njeri, another young woman, Loise Mumbi Mukundi , who had been ill, passed on. She had lived in Georgia for 5 years before relocating to Huntsville, Alabama but still called Georgia her home.

 

The late Loise Mumbi Mukundi.

And even before both Sarah and Mumbi were buried, the shocking news of the death of 44 year old Margaret Nga’ng’a, a Kenyan born nurse whose body was found in her parked car at Northside Hospital-Cherokee in Canton, Georgia broke.

READ ALSO:   Shock as Kenyan couple found dead in US, murder suicide suspected

 

Margaret left behind four beautiful kids.

The late Margaret Ng’ang’a.

And as a memorial service in honor of Ms Nganga was being held at the Kenyan American Community Church, the family of Bob Maina Kirigwi, was struggling with a decision on whether to let the medical personnel at Kennestone Hospital unplug the life support machine and pronounce him dead. On Tuesday, May 28th, a message was posted on Kenyans in Georgia Facebook Group announcing the death of Mr Kirigwi.

After each death of a Kenyan in US (or at least most of them), just as is tradition, compatriots form a funeral committee to raise funds to pay for funeral expenses. The cost ranges anywhere from $9,000 to 13,000, depending on whether a body is buried in Kenya or in the US.

In some cases, if family members decide to accompany the body to Kenya, the cost can go up to $40,000 or even higher.

 

 

The late Bob Maina Kirigwi.

 

In the wake of the Atlanta death wave, Ms Priscilla Wandu, a medical professional based in Georgia, said it is high time the Kenyan Community seriously rethought of how to deal with death when it comes and be sensitized on some preventive measures which could save a life or two down the line.

READ ALSO:   APPRECIATION: Thank you Kenyans in Georgia and beyond for your help

“Information is power and I think those of us who have it can help save a life in future if only we can get a platform to impart the knowledge,” she told this reporter recently by phone.

With these deaths, the cost of funerals has also come into sharp focus with many Kenyans saying – understandably so -that they are fatigued.

The late Timothy Majanja

“I know whenever I raise this issue, some people say I am an enemy of development, but I will say it again…we can’t sustain this harambee business for very long. This money comes from the same pockets,” said Miriam Wanjiru, a resident of Kennesaw, Georgia. “I know we all want to help but there are better proven ways of handling such matters and Kenyans in the US should move with the times,” she added.

Another Kenyan, John Karis, writes the following on Instagram: “What is wrong with emulating the Wazungus when it comes to the way we manage matters to do with death? I admire them.”

Let us seriously think of life insurance schemes that cater for these things. They are realities that we can’t just sweep under the carpet, he adds in a separate post.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. njuguna muigai

    May 29, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    When friends offer their time and money, the bereaved family should be be appreciative. Why should the whole family decide to travel to Kenya yet they are overburdening the friends who are helping them? There might be some medical billS to clear too.

  2. kefa

    May 30, 2018 at 3:28 am

    I agree with you. People rush to insure their cars and property from damage or loss but forget to also insure themselves. Is that property worth more than your life?

    It is the high time kenyans living in the diaspora started taking life insurance. life insurance will help to pay medical bills in case of hospitalition, you will be copensated incase of permanent or temporary disability, your family will be compensated if the worst happen and they lose you.

    It is very sad seeing people conducting harambees just to send a body home or settle medical bills. Here is a very informative article I found.>>>

    4 Things That Happen When You Die. Number 4 Will Shock You! Link: https://goo.gl/YqMyWq

  3. njuguna muigai

    June 3, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Let us examine ourselves do we overburden ourselves for working too much some of us work average of eighty hours a week. Is that not working a lot

  4. Regina

    June 3, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I believe an agency like the Foskus Foundation was started due to unforetold occurrences like these. Foskus is providing a form of insurance alternative to Kenyans in situations like these.

    http://www.foskus.com

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‘It’s a fake account’: Tycoon Jimi Wanjigi speaks out on Kipchoge jet claims

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Business tycoon Jimi Wanjigi has broken his silence about claims on social media that he will deliver a jet to Eliud Kipchoge.

Speaking on phone, Mr. Wanjigi lauded the marathoner for making Kenya proud but revealed that the post on Twitter was not from him.

“It is a fake account, it has nothing to do with me but we are proud of Eliud Kipchoge for what he has done for the human race and for Kenya in particular,” he told Citizen Digital on Saturday.

“I actually want to meet the person behind the tweet over a cup of tea because his creativity has shaped conversations of Kenyans online,” he added.

Lawyer Willis Otieno confirmed that the businessman does not communicate on social media accounts meaning that both Twitter pages —@Jimmywanjigi1 and @JimiWanjigi—are parody accounts.

The statement was in response to a controversial tweet that was published after Kipchoge made history in Vienna on Saturday.

It reads: “Congratulations!! You have done us proud #Eliud159. Plans are underway with @GulfstreamAero, the jet will be deliver to #eliudkipchoge before 29th November 2019.”

A section of Kenyans online had responded to the tweet lauding Mr. Wanjigi for the gesture while a few questioned the authenticity of the account.

On October 9, the person operating the account also claimed that the business tycoon had called Kipchoge and made the deal.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Kenyan woman who died in Atlanta buried

 

This is not the first time that Mr. Wanjigi’s name has been used on social media to spread fake information.

In March this year, a fact checking organization sounded the alarm over a fake Facebook post that linked the businessman to the Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.

“PesaCheck has looked into the alleged front page story linking Jimmy Wanjigi to the Arror and Kimwarer Dam scandals and finds it to be a HOAX,” the report said.

A year before that, the businessman sued the Nation Media Group over the publication of a fake obituary on February 7, 2018.

The High Court awarded him Ksh. 8million after ruling that the publication violated Wanjigi’s privacy.

By Citizen Digital

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Why a STEM Degree is a great Idea for International Students Wishing To Study In USA

It is true that you can find a Job with any kind of degree that you study, but the BIG question a lot of people don’t have an answer to is whether it will be easy to get work immigration papers with the same degree that you possess.

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When majority of people think of coming to study in the US, they really don’t have an idea of what happens after they graduate in terms of Job opportunities and immigration papers. Most assume things will be alright. After all, it is USA-the land of honey and milk!

Well, that is the mentality that I also had when I started preparing to come to United states for my master’s degree. All I wanted was to find a school that could accept me for any degree that I deemed fit. I didn’t care much about post-graduation job opportunities. I thought that I could easily find a Job with any degree that I studied.

It is indeed true that you can find a Job with any kind of degree that you study, but the BIG question a lot of people don’t have an answer to is whether it will be easy to get work immigration papers with the same degree that you possess.

I came to the US to study an MBA with a concentration in professional accountancy. I had a Bachelor of commerce degree in Accounting and Finance from back home and I had some work experience as an accounts clerk and as a bank teller. I thought with such an employment and education background, it would be very easy for me to get a Job after I acquired my master’s degree. After all, this is America…right? Well I was totally wrong!

It took me four months of fruitless internships search in my last semester, and a couple of months working in a fast food, to realize that the qualifications I had would not take me where I wanted to be. I had to seek some IT training in order to re-align my qualifications with the demands of the US market and that is how I ended up becoming an IT consultant.

Before I landed in America, I had no idea what STEM was. So, what is really STEM? STEM is acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. In every economy across the world, a STEM degree is highly coveted. Same with the US. The US government highly value those international students with a STEM degree and I will shortly tell you why.

One thing as an international student you need to understand is that, the US government actually loves retaining smart international students, in order to grow its economy. In fact, the US government has work visas specifically for those smart people who have the skills that most Americans do not possess. The truth of the matter is, what the current administration doesn’t like and is fighting so hard is those folks who are in the country as undocumented and have  no education at all. They would be more than happy to retain brilliant brains who can propel the country to greater heights to help compete with the likes of China and other western and emerging economies.

READ ALSO:   Days after doctors said she didn't have long to live, Zipporah Kamau passes away in Seattle

When you come to the US as an international student, you are given an opportunity to work after you graduate. You can apply for a post-graduation work authorization called OPT (Optional Practical Training). This work authorization gives you an opportunity to find work that is related to your degree qualifications. For example, if you graduate as a nurse, you can only find employment using your OPT to work in the nursing industry. You cannot work as an associate at an Amazon fulfillment facility just because you have the work authorization. If you do that, you will be violating your immigration status as an International student which can have some nasty consequences later on. The last thing you want to do in this country as an international student is to screw up your immigration status and credit worthiness. Make sure those 2 are intact as you pursue your American dream. Very very Important!

One of the most obvious advantages of having a STEM degree is the available job opportunities. It is believed that STEM occupations continue to grow at about 30%  rate by 2025. That is incredible! Regular occupations are growing at a 7% rate, according to bureau of labor statistics. What this really means is that, you are more likely to find a Job if you possess a STEM degree.

As an international student who wish to stay in the US, after your graduation, you should always think of how to get your immigration papers. STEM degree holders are given extra 2 years of OPT if they can find an e-verified employer to give them a Job. Regular degree gives you only 1 year of OPT. Now, you may ask, why is this a BIG deal. It is a big deal because, for you to get immigration papers, your sponsoring employer can either file for you a H1B visa petition or an employment based greencard, and your OPT affects your probability of getting H1B or employment-based greencard. Most International students will go through H1B route first because it does not require years of work experience like the greencard. Meaning you can graduate from university with zero experience and get H1B work visa. The problem with H1B visas is that, there is a limit to the number of visas offered by the government every year and the visas are not enough to meet the huge demand, especially from Indians who unsurprisingly mostly possess STEM degrees.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Kenyan teen accused of Killing shop owner in US found dead

The US gives a maximum of 85,000 H1B visas with 65,000 of those going to those with undergraduate degrees and 20,000 going to those with master’s degree from US institutions. For the last 5 years or so, the petitions from employers have exceeded the available visas and therefore the USCIS has been doing a lottery to pick out the winners.

The earliest your employer can file for your H1B is on April 1st, and the cap is usually filled in the first week of April, meaning, if you miss out the first time, your employer can only file for you again the following year, April. If you only have 1 year of OPT, you are locked out because it means, you have to go back to school in order to maintain your immigration status as an international student! Can you imagine going back to do another program just to maintain your status as an international student? Other than the obvious huge cost of going back to school, the other major problem with this is that, you can also not get another OPT if you study in the same education level. For example, if you graduate with a master’s and you again enroll for a master’s you will not qualify for another OPT. This can put you in a very awkward position because, in order to work for any employer, you need some sort of work authorization. I can cover this topic of how to maneuver this issue on another day!

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Kenyan woman who died in Atlanta buried

So what does this mean to those with a STEM degree?….It means that as a STEM degree holder, if you are not picked in the lottery,  you can use your remaining 2 years of OPT to continue working for your employer for 2 more years as you keep trying your luck in the H1B lottery pot. Also, at the same time, you can accumulate enough experience that can actually make you qualify for an employment-based greencard which means you can start the greencard process after about 2 years of OPT work experience.

So, if you are out there as a prospective international student who want to stay in the US after graduation, think about STEM degree. Do not just take any degree for the sake of it. There are thousands if not millions of immigrants who came to the US as international student who do not possess the right immigration papers which has forced them to do jobs that do not pay them well. Most of those folks wish they knew how to figure out how to get immigration papers through employment early in their school life.

Most people, before they land in this country, they don’t pay much attention to immigration papers, but once you land in the US you will realize why that is a BIG deal. Immigration papers is the topmost challenge immigrants face in this country.

 

About me;

I am the founder and managing director of Appstec America-A consulting company that helps immigrants find education and job opportunities that are abundant here in the United States.

My mission is to get you to wake up to the unlimited potential within you and achieve what you’re truly capable of.

For inquiries about my international scholars programs & IT training programs, you can check out my personal website at www.successwithbobmwiti.com

You can also email me at success@successwithbobmwiti.com or call +1 813-573-5619 ext 402 for a FREE 30 minutes consultation. Also, we can connect if you “like” my Facebook page by the name Bob Mwiti or subscribe to my YouTube channel by same name Bob Mwiti

 

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Here is info on how much it costs to study in USA and where to find most affordable universities

For the purpose of this article, I will cover the cost of studying in some of the most affordable 4-year state universities here in USA.

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BY BOB MWITI

The challenge of finding the most affordable schools, the challenge of passing entrance exams, the challenge of cracking the student visa interview among others! It took me 8 good years to finally make it here in the USA. It is a journey that taught me a lot of lessons that I am always willing to share and help those who are out there wishing to study overseas.

One of the major challenges that a lot of people face is knowing how much it would cost them to study overseas. For those wishing to study in the US, this article is for you. I will try to give you a detailed breakdown of all the expenses that you will most likely incur on your journey to USA as an international student. So grab a pen and a sheet of paper and note this information as it will give you a good understanding of what you need to know as far as finances of studying in USA are concerned.

If you are coming to study in the US, you may either come to a community college for a 2-year associate degree, or to a 4 year college for your Bachelor’s, graduate or post graduate degree.

For the purpose of this article, I will cover the cost of studying in some of the most affordable 4-year state universities here in USA. I will take an average of the following 3 universities.

  1. Indiana University Of Pennsylvania (I went to this school for my master’s) costs 19,000/year for tuition & fees while books & other miscellaneous costs are $4,000
  2. University of North Georgia costs $15,000/year for tuition & fees while books & other costs miscellaneous are $,3,500
  3. Midwestern State University costs $11,000/year for tuition & fees while books & other miscellaneous costs are $3,000
READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Kenyan woman who died in Atlanta buried

So, the average cost of these 3 schools is about $16,500 per year. That covers the tuition, fees, books and other miscellaneous costs.

Before you come to study, you should be prepared to incur relocation costs prior to you landing in the US. These are (US Visa + Passport) about $250, school application fees about $30, entrance exams (eg GMAT, GRE, SAT,ACT) $250, TOEFL (Not all schools will ask for this if you are from an English speaking country ) $200. TOEFL and Entrance exams self-study materials (assuming you study on your own) $200, Immunizations $200, Air ticket$1200(I am assuming you are travelling from Nairobi, Kenya like I did!). Total cost of all these relocation expenses is about $2,300.

Once you are here, you will need to take care of your other living expenses. These are: Shared student accommodation off-campus $500/month which is $6,000/year. Utilities can cost you about $100 (i.e. water, electricity and internet & basic prepaid phone) so that would be about $1,200 per year. Transport could cost you about $50 per month which would equate to $600 per year.

Food would be about $100 per month, which would be $1,200 per year. Student health insurance (although optional) could set you back about $25 per month which would total about $300 per year. Total cost of these living expenses would be about $9,300 per year.

READ ALSO:   APPRECIATION: Thank you Kenyans in Georgia and beyond for your help

From the above, you will require a total of about $28,100(16,500+2,300+9,300) for the first year of your studies in the US.

In order for you to be issued with an I-20 (The official immigration document that you take to the Embassy in order to get visa issuance), you will need to show your school, your ability to pay  about ,$26,000 (excluding the relocation expenses).Schools here require you to show funds to cover your full tuition and living expenses for one year.

So, as you can see, studying in the US is expensive. These numbers that I picked are from very modest state universities. There are some universities that charge over $50,000 per year, especially if you are enrolled in those Ivy league schools.

So, for those with the dream of studying in the US, these numbers can be very discouraging. My advice is that, do not be discouraged because there is a way that you can fund most of it. You can get a Job on campus, you can find scholarships, you can get (secured or unsecured) international student loans or you can get graduate assistantship grants (if coming for graduate/post graduate programs).

However, the bottom line is, if you are thinking of coming to study in the US, at least you need some money for your relocation expenses, regardless of whether you have a scholarship, loans or not.

READ ALSO:   Shock as Kenyan student dies mysteriously on a plane in US

To know more about most affordable schools in the US that partner with lenders, and to get FREE access to thousands of scholarships offered across the world , please visit my website at www.successwithbobmwiti.com

About me;

I am the founder and managing director of Appstec America-A consulting company that helps immigrants find education and job opportunities that are abundant here in the United States.

My mission is to get you to wake up to the unlimited potential within you and achieve what you’re truly capable of.

For enquiries about my international scholars programs & IT training programs, you can check out my personal website at www.successwithbobmwiti.com

You can also email me at success@successwithbobmwiti.com or call +1 813-573-5619 ext 402 for a FREE 30 minutes consultation. Also, we can connect if you “like” my Facebook page by the name Bob Mwiti or subscribe to my YouTube channel by same name Bob Mwiti.

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