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MY STORY: Why I never shed a tear when my father died

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Mercy Kamonjo, 22, had an abusive childhood. Her journey to healing from the trauma was not easy, but she finally unburdened her heart. She narrates her story to Bett Kinyatti.

“I didn’t shed a tear on the day we buried my father. I was 14, waiting to join high school. My elder brother was 18, our youngest three.

Mum shed hot painful tears as my father’s casket was lowered into the ground. I’ll never forget how much she cried—I think she cried for an entire week after the burial.

My father had been an alcoholic for years. Our home was on a lush farm in Molo, Nakuru County. Mum was a subsistence farmer, and my father a businessman.

He’d drink in Molo town then come home at night singing loudly and name-calling people along the way. We would all be so frightened every time we heard him approaching home. Often times, he would physically abuse my mother.

I don’t remember when the abuse started, but I remember an episode when I was about eight years old. We were seated around the dining room table when he locked the crook of his arm around my mother’s neck, strangling her.

She was gasped for air, struggling to release his grip. She motioned with her eyes and pointed to the knife in the kitchen, mouthed for me to get it for her. But I didn’t. I was too frightened. I figured he’d kill her instead.

The abuse turned my mum into a bitter woman. In turn, she started abusing my brother and I. She’d yell and throw things at us, even sufurias. Anything petty would spark off her anger. She beat us ruthlessly often times.

There were several nights we left home to spend the night at one of my aunt’s place. Some days we’d return home the next morning, while other times we’d stay for a week or even longer. The longest we stayed away from home was for two years—from 2004 to 2006—when we lived with my cousins.

I didn’t have friends from school, and one of my cousins became my closest friend. It’s here that I realised our life at home wasn’t normal.

There was peace at my aunt’s home. And a lot of love. My cousins could hold a real conversation with my aunt, and she’d listen to them and respect their opinions. I had never had a conversation with my mother.

The first time I did was out of frustration, when I asked her why we had to go back to living at home with my father. She told me that those were adult issues and I wouldn’t understand.

My father was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2007. He changed—he got born again, quit drinking, spent his evenings at home and became the father we had always wanted.

All his money went to hospital bills. We were just beginning to enjoy his loving presence when he passed away. I accepted his death.

I had the sense of maturity to realise he was gone, and that we had to move on with our lives. But I was also overburdened with bitterness and hatred. I suppose that’s why I didn’t shed tears on the day we buried him.

My aunt sponsored me to high school. I worked hard and excelled; and my dream was to become a journalist. I also got born again.

I unburdened my heart. I forgave my father for the painful childhood he’d subjected my brothers and I. I forgave my mother for making me feel unwanted; I had even written her a letter once asking if I was really her child or I had been adopted.

I also began to warm up to men, whom I had hated all my life. I moved to a new school in my third year and for some reason was elected the captain of the environmental club. It was probably God’s working. My passion for conservation was birthed. It was remarkable—I had such clarity of the subject.

I joined Kenyatta University in 2015 for a degree in environmental resource conversation. On my birthday—April 3, 2018—I founded an organisation called Kuza Generation Initiative.

It’s a youth-led organisation that teaches teens and primary-school kids about conservation initiatives such as planting trees. Mostly, we mentor them emotionally, spiritually and professionally. We talk to them about their career decisions, spiritual and personal growth, handling peer pressure, mental health …. we mould them holistically.

We’re a team of 70, our head mentor is Douglas Wando. We’ve adopted six schools in Nairobi so far, and reached out to over 3,000 youth.

It’s difficult to measure our impact just yet, but I see it in small ways. One principal of a school of a boy we’ve adopted said the level of discipline had gone up since Kuza began mentoring the students.

I wouldn’t have started Kuza if I hadn’t gone through what I did in my childhood. Kuza is what the lonely, bitter and confused 16-year-old Mercy would have wanted to guide her life.”

Source: Saturday Nation

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Mbagathi Hospital reveals why mother walked with dead baby for 5km

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Mbagathi Hospital has admitted that inefficiencies in its operations led to Immaculate Auma trekking to city mortuary with the body of her dead baby last week.

The hospital, however, maintained that Auma’s baby did not die at the facility but was instead pronounced dead on arrival.

Yesterday, Nairobi Health Executive Charles Kerich, who was speaking at Mbagathi, said that Auma arrived in the hospital at 9.45am with her six-month-old infant who was declared dead by a pediatric clinical officer.

According to reports by Standard Media Mr Kerich said that according to hospital policy, Auma was referred to the police to file a notification. He added that she left before the hospital could assist her to move the body.

“A nurse at the hospital offered to assist Immaculate to organise for transportation to the police station and onward to the mortuary. However, while the hospital was organising for a vehicle, the mother was discovered to have left with the body of her child,” said Kerich.

Source: Standard Media

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Diaspora

Kenyan woman battling cancer in US appeals for help to pay her house rent

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

A US-based Kenyan woman has touched the hearts of many with her story. Zipporah Kamau who was diagnosed with one of the most devastating forms of cancer last year and has been going through Chemotherapy in Seattle, Washington, says the doctors recently told her that she had only three days to live.

Her story is heartbreaking to say the least. In a tragic twist of fate, soon after she arrived in the US in November 2017, her son was struck by a car and died in Nairobi.

When she and her then husband attended the funeral, he passport got lost and she was forced to apply for travel documents to get back to the US.

She stayed in Atlanta, Georgia, for a while before relocating to Seattle to live with her friend, only identified as Beth. It was then that she got sick and was diagnosed with Lymphoma, an aggressive form of cancer that begins in infection-fighting cells of the immune system, called lymphocytes. Now the doctors tell her that she may need to go through dialysis as her kidneys are failing.

“I have gone through 9 rounds of Chemo and now they have told me that I have to start another round of palliative chemotherapy but I don’t think I can do it any more. My body is totally ruined by the previous round of Chemo,” she tells Jeremy Damaris of Kikuyu Diaspora TV in an interview.

“They recently said I had only three days to live and that my kidneys are affected..but I know I can live longer than that in Jesus mighty name,” she adds.

Zipporah Kamau (Right) pictured here at an event in Kenya in 2016. PHOTO/BMJ MURIITHI

Looking emaciated and weak, she appeals to well wishers to come to her aid and help her to at least pay her house rent which has accumulated to over $4,000 as she has not done so since June last year.

“I live with a friend where I am supposed to pay $600 a month but because of my condition, I have’t been able to meet my end of the bargain for the last six months. My roommate is a very nice lady but she can only do so much,” says Zipporah as she fights off tears.

Zipporah Kamau during the interview. PHOTO/SCREEN GRAB

During the interview, she sends a message to her children back in Kenya. “Whatever happens, just know that I love you all very much,” she says, after calling each of them by name. She wishes she could pay fees for her children who are in college. “I hope to see you some day when I get stronger,” she tells them.

Photos taken in 2016 show a healthy looking  and bubbly woman compared to the recent pictures which depict a pale shadow of her former self. You may send your donation via CASHAPP.  The number is +1 253 499 3845 (Zipporah Kamau) or via MPESA at +254 718 504 548 (Jeremy Wambui)

To get the full story, Watch the video below [in Gikuyu] courtesy of KDTV:

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Business

VIDEO: Uhuru loses temper, threatens to deal with CS Macharia

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

A video has emerged in which an irate President Uhuru Kenyatta tells off  Transport CS James Wainaina Macharia for not living up to expectation .

Kenyatta made a surprise visit to a Chinese construction site where he found the construction work had stalled and started to enquire the reason behind it.

He also enquired on how they had been allocated funds and listened as the CS and the Chinese contractor each gave a different figure, much to the President’s dismay.

The CS tried to interject the President to save face for the Chinese but a seemingly infuriated Uhuru could hear none of it.

In their defense, the officials from the Chinese company insinuated that there was shortage of funds and that the project would be fast-tracked if they received enough monies.

 

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