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Annrita Kiriamiti: Daughter of author and bank robber John Kiriamiti speaks out

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The daughter of renowned author and reformed bank robber narrates how she finally found peace with her identity.

Until a few years ago, Annrita Wanjiru avoided using her surname. The decision was as much about self-preservation and protecting her privacy as she was escaping the looming shadow of her father.

“I was ambivalent about it,” she says. “There’s a lot to it — both good and bad.”

Annrita is the daughter of author John Kiriamiti, whose life as a bank robber spawned several best-sellers in the late ’80s, notably the seminal tome, My Life in Crime — which he wrote while serving time at the Naivasha Maximum Security Prison.

His eventful life would go on to inspire several other successful books including My Life with a Criminal, Son of Fate, among others.

Annrita’s ambivalence about her identity was not unfounded.

Carving one’s identity apart from that of a well-known family member, especially a parent, is something nearly all children grapple with as they come of age.

Annrita, 26, is the firstborn of Kiriamiti’s three daughters. She grew up in Murang’a town, a place she says “everyone knows everyone else”. Growing up she didn’t understand why everyone seemed to know her father.

“I am dad’s girl,” she told the Nation. “My father took me everywhere, from walks to shopping. People would stop us to talk to my father. It became so common that I began getting weary.”

Annrita really is her father’s daughter — she has her father’s inquiring eyes and slightly oval chin that gives her an exotic look.

She is also pin-up beautiful. And like her father who, despite the fact that he never went past Form One and still became a prolific author, is a talented writer (she has ghost-written several online works and magazine and newspaper articles), a screen writer, actor and model.

Early life

She grew up in the company of books. “Sounds funny but when I was young, it appeared to me that we had more books than furniture!”

It was the ideal environment for her. Annrita would spend hours alone, poring over books, some way beyond her reading-age bracket, the outcome of which was an edge over her peers.

“My compositions always took top position in class,” she says. “Teachers from other schools would borrow them to read out to their students. It wasn’t a big fuss for me because writing came so naturally and effortlessly to me.”

When Annrita discovered her father’s My Life in Crime, she didn’t know what to make of it. Her parents had covered the tracks well enough; they wanted her to know about her father’s PG- rated, seedy past at an appropriate age. And now here she was, reading the story of a man she didn’t know.

“It was an uncomfortable situation,” she says. “But we talked about it.”

The reality of her father’s life fell like a mallet on a nailhead; the halo was no longer a perfect circle. “I was reading and thinking, This surely is a character and not my father,” she says.

“Other times I would recognise him in the book, the man I had known. But it was a bit jarring.”

Out from the shadows

Annrita attended Moi Girls-Eldoret for her secondary education. But in the wake of the violence that broke out after the 2007 General Election, she transferred to State House Girls’ High School. Soon after enrolling she got a glimpse of her father’s renown.

“Many of the students in the upper classes were familiar with my father’s works, and soon I was thrown into the limelight,” says Annrita, laughing. “They wanted to hang out with me.”

But the notoriety came with a price. Every now and then she would discover her uniform missing from the clothesline; the thievery was the equivalent of an autograph or a collector’s item.

“I said, ‘Could I be paying for my father’s sins?” she jokes.

After high school, she enrolled at Jomo Kenyatta University for a course in Information Technology.

She had reservations about the course from the beginning but chose to grind it out; all the while her mind duelling with her heart. Two years into the course, the heart won.

“I arrived at the conclusion that I was studying for the wrong course,” she explains. “I wanted to be in media and the creative arts.”

And so after two years of college, she picked up her bag and left. It was a decision that might have caused friction with her family, but luckily didn’t. Her parents, while initially disappointed with her decision, encouraged her to go for what she loved.

Annrita began looking for opportunities in acting and theatre. At first she included her surname while auditioning for a role, but soon realised that anytime she mentioned Kiriamiti, the panel would do a double take; she was no longer Annrita but Kiriamiti’s daughter.

The name was a blessing and a burden. “I didn’t want to slip in on the back of my father; I wanted to be taken in on merit.”

Annrita won a role in the Web series, Because Love and the film, Sumu la Penzi. The roles have galvanised her resolve to reach the plateau in the movie/TV world. She has also featured in corporate ads. Until last year, she was working as a marketing executive at 254, the events company owned by musician and self-styled Hypeman, DNG.

Currently, she’s developing a blog that will tackle various issues affecting society, especially girls.

“I am deliberate about being a role model for young women and girls,” she says.

“The media, especially the social networks, are awash with negative images of what greatness is. We need people to say that one doesn’t have to chase stardom or be a ‘slay queen’; that you can work your way up and still be decent.”

She already has a platform. “My father travels to schools to talk to students about the consequences of choice, and how to avoid being entrapped,” Annrita says. “This year I want to accompany him. I have a message. You know I am the firstborn in my family; I want to be a big sister to girls as they come of age.”

Annrita is finally at peace with her identity as a Kiriamiti. There is no shadow to duck out from; no embarrassment in accepting the bad that happened. She is free.

Sunday Nation

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Travel blogger Susan Wong leaves Capital Fm

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Travel blogger Susan Wong has announced her departure from Capital FM where she worked as the lifestyle editor.

She announced the news to her fans on Wednesday talking about her time working for Capital FM for the last eight years.

“Capital FM is not just my workplace, but over the years, it has been my home and a challenging space that has sharpened and moulded me into the person I am today. @CapitalFMKenya is my family and I leave with incredible lifelong friendships and memories that I’ll cherish forever,” tweeted Ms Susan.

She however did not say what plans she has next.

Susan is popularly known for her blog posts on travel capturing different cities around the world for their beauty and tourism appeal.

She also hosted an online show with fashion blogger This is Ess called ‘Our 2cents’ that highlighted different issues.

Her fans on Twitter were saddened by the move and this is what they had to say.

Rumie Lo tweeted, “You will be missed… when Susan would say “especially” in the our2cents videos…. onwards and upwards Susan.”

Tony BonMbugua said, “You had very in-depth and interesting articles on lifestyle topics… Also, this video is quite sth all the best.

Samih_st wrote, “Godspeed Ma’am” while Anthony ndong commented, “All the best Susan in your future endeavours keep inspiring.”

Nairobinews

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Actress Nyce Wanjeri lays it bare on problems that rocked her marriage, leading to divorce

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Nyce Wanjeri, formerly of hit show Auntie Boss, has opened up on her crumbled marriage to Titus Wagithomo.

Speaking to Radio Jambo, Wanjeri said that she is not yet ready to disclose everything, but their nine-year marriage was stretched due to a myriad of issues including disrespect.

She said that their relationship started showing cracks as they clocked seven years together, and when it reached its boiling point in 2018, she could not take it anymore.

“Mizozano huanza, Yetu ilianza tukielekea seven years. Ilkua ngumu kwanza ju pocketwise hatukua sawa lakini tulikua tunapush each other. Fanya hivi nifanye hivi tulete mezani. Tulipatana Kenya National Theatre… Alikua ashakaa mwaka mimi nilikuja nyuma yake. Tulikua na stories similar kidogo lakini wakati miaka saba inaelekea unakuta pia wewe unagrow; kuna mtoto ananiita mama, kuna mtoto anamwita baba.

“Tukiingia seven years pesa kidogo ndizo zinaanza kuingia. Kulikua na disrespect before, but wakati huo ndio nilianza kufeel ugumu kidogo. I am very spiritual. Niliomba sana na tukaweza kuweka utofauti kando na tukaendelea vizuri.

“Then sometime last year, vitu havikua vinaenda vizuri. 2018 wasn’t such a good year. Nikaona siwezi. Tuliongea kama watu wazima.

“Did you involve both your parents in a bid to bring you together?” Posed radio host Massawe Japanni.

“Kwanza mimi sina wazazi. My mom passed in 2016, my dad was 2004.Wale naangalia sana kama wazai ni my uncles; wananisupport na kuniombea pia…Sohatunge ingisha wazazi sana kwa vile hajawahi kuja kwetu hajawahi ona watu wetu.. Hakuingia but kulikua na hio mipango….

“Why didn’t he?” Japanni pressed further.

“Sijui, nimeuliza hio swala mara kadhaa, kila mwaka, mbona hatuendi…Alinitambulisha kwao lakini cha muhimu pia wazazi wangu watauliza msichana wao alienda wapi…Si kwa ubaya lakini ni tatizo. Pia hio sio reason ya wanawake ya kutaka kutoka kwa ndoa at ju jajakuja kwenu au hajatoa mahari,” she added.

Wanjeri affirmed that their marriage was over.

“Kwa hapo ni vitu kadhaa, zenye ziko ready kwa saa hii kuzitoa lakini ni vitu ambavyo kama mwanamke zingeweza.

“Ya kwanza nimesema ni disrespect… watu wengi waliingilia hii kitu kulingana na ile iliwekwa wakasema ashafika, ashapata pesa, ashaenda Nigeria, ashakua success. Kitambo walikua pamoja leo hii hawako juu ya hio success. Mimi husema hivi pesa huja na huisha, amaterial things are nothing. Kitu ya maana ni je kuna upendo na heshima?”

 “Kwa keli tumeachana, vile alisema tumeachana ni kweli tumeachana…kila ndoa ina matatizo yake na kila mtu ana ako na ile kitu inaleta problems; sitaki kiusema ni mashindano kwa vile watu ambo wanshare blanketi moja hujui, mambo mengi hufanyika.

“Na pia kwenye hii industry yetu kuna ile naita disrespect. If mtu amekudesrespect leo, kesho, kesho kutwa na hiachange pia wewe kama mtu kuna wakati itafika utachoka…. Ukiangalia kivyako unaona either unanyanyzwa hapa kila naambia watu

“Inafika wakati mtu anachoka na unakua kiakili, ushakua mtu mzima kuna vitu vingine you can’t take.

News of the breakup became public after Wagithomo made the revelations on Facebook.

“Why am I using Facebook? My marriage is over. So painful I swear. I saw it coming though. Success causes absenteeism, lack of bonding and lack of family time. Why did I imagine we last forever? We are both artists. It’s not normal. It doesn’t work,” wrote Wagithomo.

He later hastily pulled down the post.

SDE

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Mvita bae is calling: MP leaves Kenyan women drooling over weight loss photos

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Mvita MP Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir has shared before and after photos of himself that has left his followers in awe.

It all started after the MP wanted to Skydive while holidaying in Dubai in 2014 but got rejected in each and every venue because of his weight. Most parachutes are made to hold up to 120kg for men but he was 10 Kgs past the limit.

“They said, ‘You are overweight. You won’t defy gravity and the parachute won’t hold you’,” he recalls.

From this encounter, the MP vowed to work out and get his sexy back, managing to cut from 130Kgs to 84Kgs. Now he’s ranges around that weight and he has always encouraged people to live a healthy lifestyle.

Abdulswamad now has a hot body, and, as expected, Kenyan women are swarming trying to get his number. On social media, women have been openly confessing their lust over the 45-year-old married politician

 

During his free time, Abdulswamad undertakes a lot of charity work. Through, the Sharrif Nassir foundation, a non-profitable organization, Abdulswamad supports the needy members of the society.

He is one of the most influential and richest men in the coast region. He also does shipping and logistics businesses. Besides that Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Radio Rahma.

Ghafla

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