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US-based woman speaks out on why she cremated husband as in-laws plan demo in the village

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The widow of a Kenyan-born man who died in the United States two weeks ago has come out to explain why her husband’s remains were cremated rather than being flown to Kenya for burial.

Dr Ada Kagumba told the Nation that much as she understands the frustration in the extended family of her late husband Mr Moses Okumu Maima, his wishes had to be honoured.

Mr Moses Maima’s family accuses Dr Ada Kagumba of failing to provide answers over his death in US before his body was cremated.

Dr. Kagumba is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Quincy, Illinois. She received her medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

But Mr Maima’s father and brothers on Saturday rejected that line of argument, saying they had plans to ferry his body to Kenya for burial.

In what promises to be the start of a protracted conflict between a Kenyan family and the US-based widow of their late son, Mr Maima’s family is planning a peaceful demonstration in their Memba village in Siaya County to “demand justice”.

Moses Maima in his car. COURTESY PHOTO

They also plan to carry out all the burial procedures for their son, though they do not plan to conduct any burial.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan family in shock as son is "quickly and secretly" Cremated in US

In an interview with the Sunday Nation, the widow dismissed allegations that she may have engineered her husband’s death — said to be a suicide — to get insurance money. She said those claims do not deserve her comment.

Dr Kagumba was also reluctant to disclose further details on the matter.

“Please, you Press people should leave us alone. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. My children and I are trying to move on,” she said.

Mr Maima’s father, Mr Androniko Miyare Maima, told the Sunday Nation yesterday that as it stands, they do not even have proof that their son is dead, because of the scanty information the widow has given them.

But there is a death announcement Dr Kagumba placed in the Daily Nation last Friday, where she stated that he died on March 20, nine days before his 51st birthday, and that he was buried “in accordance to his wishes”. The 87-year-old father was shocked to see the notice yesterday.

He said he received information about the death of his son last weekend and efforts to verify it have been futile as the widow is not cooperating.

“The brother in Nairobi is the one who informed me about his (Maima’s) death. It was about 1am,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan family in shock as son is "quickly and secretly" Cremated in US

The old man added that when the family reached out to the widow for more details, she informed them that he committed suicide after being involved in a road crash.

She told them, the distraught father said, that Mr Maima knocked someone down on his way from work and upon reaching home, he shot himself dead.

Mr Miyare, who was accompanied by Mr Maima’s elder brother Isaiah Yuko during the interview, said they do not buy into Dr Kagumba’s account of events.

They said that an advocate in the US whom they contracted to pursue the matter informed them that the “death” of their son was fishy, since no report was made about the claimed accident at any police station.

They added that CCTV recordings revealed that no crash indeed happened.

“How come a report about the accident was not made to the police? The CCTV on the said route have revealed that no accident happened on the said day,” said Mr Yuko.

Mr Maima, an alumnus of Starehe Boys, had lived in the US for more than 20 years, working as a sales consultant at Norman Frede Chevrolet in Houston, Texas. He had also been a sales agent with Berkshire Hathaway in Atlanta, Georgia.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan family in shock as son is "quickly and secretly" Cremated in US

He had been married to Dr Kagumba for more than five years and together they had a daughter aged about three. In all, Mr Maima had three children as this was his second marriage.

The Friday newspaper notice eulogised Mr Maima as a man of many talents who was multilingual and who had an interest in jazz music, politics, travelling and training to fly helicopters.

“He will be remembered as a kind, gentle, loving and supportive father leaving his legacy through his three wonderful children,” it said.

And while the news of his cremation might come as a shocker, some Kenyans living in America are fast adopting the foreign culture.

Mr Cysco Wandati, a Kenyan residing in Chicago, Illinois, said cremation is increasingly becoming an alternative to burial, especially for families that don’t want to incur huge funeral expenses. “People at home should not be shocked,” he noted.

“I know the family personally and I can tell you Maima had become what folks at home refer to as ‘Americanised’. He had very little interactions with the Kenyan community here in Chicago and I’m not surprised that he preferred to be cremated,” said Mr Wandati.

By Chris Wamalwa and Victor Otieno, Sunday Nation

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Diaspora

Kenyan Cultural Ambassador Emmy Kosgei lands in Atlanta for Majuu 2019 Festival

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Social media was abuzz Thursday after word went out that Kenyan celebrated gospel artiste Emmy Kosgei had landed at Atlanta’s  Hartsfied Jackson International Airport for the Atlanta Majuu Cultural festival 2019.

The musician is expected to make several performances at the Cobb Civic Centre in Marietta, Georgia, where this year’s extravaganza will be held.

On arrival, she posted the following message on Instagram:

Yaaay #atlantamajuuculturalExpo 2019 #ATLANTA#GA see you this friday 26th thru sunday the 28th! Celebrating our heritage and diversity#bringingculturealive #fashion #food #music#cobbciviccentre

The event, which  is organised by the Kenyan American Community Church, has been billed as an exceptional expo featuring a myriad Kenyan-African inter-cultures, and will also be graced by Kenya’s ambassador to the United States, Robinson Njeru Githae, among other dignitaries.

It coincides with 20 years anniversary of the Church.

KACC has, through such events in the past, added to the cultural tapestry that shapes the American Society which is increasingly becoming multicultural.

This year’s fete, the biggest since inception, is expected to pull thousands of guests, including other musicians from around the US.

Emmy Kosgei-Madubuko is best known for her 2009 hit song, Taunet Nelel, among many others.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan family in shock as son is "quickly and secretly" Cremated in US

“We are so excited to have her with us,” said Timothy Ndegwa, the KACC administrative secretary and proprietor of Mykenyanlink, an online platform which seeks to connect Kenyan entrepreneurs around the world. “This will be a weekend to remember as we shall also be having Gospel music stars like Wamuyu and Naomi Karanja,” he added.

“KACC has been promoting and supporting other Kenya Diaspora communities in celebrating their cultural heritage with great pride and enthusiasm,” wrote the head of the Church, Rev Dr GG Gitahi, on the Festival’s website.

For the last twelve years, the church has, through various cultural events, with great passion nurtured and celebrated cultural diversity that is exhibited in the rich Kenya-African culture.

However, Majuu festival was launched in 2015.

 There will also be – among other activities – traditional dances, children and youth cultural fashion shows, booths and huts showcasing Kenyan diverse ethnic groups’ cultures and traditions.

A poster announcing the 2019 Atlanta Majuu Cultural Festival. FILE PHOTO

“The festival seeks to inform, educate, inspire and entertain those in attendance even as it mesmerizes those who will be experiencing the Kenyan African Culture for the first time,” said Dr Gitahi.”

The event runs through Sunday night after which some of those in attendance will go on a 7 day cruise which will take them to The Bahamas and back.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan family in shock as son is "quickly and secretly" Cremated in US

We have many visitors from Kenya and around the world, said Catherine Njogu one of the event coordinators.

Other events include; Running with the champions, and a golf tournament.

Here is part of the program:

Run With A Kenyan Champion
Venue: Barrett Summitt
Address: 1990 Vaughn Rd NW,
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Date: Saturday, April 27th, 2019
***Volunteers report at 5AM
***Runners report at 6AM
1K Starts at 7:00AM Promptly
5K Starts at 7:30AM Promptly

Golf Tournament
Venue: Creekside Golf & Country Club
Address: 591 Westchester Club Dr
Hiram, GA. 30141
Date: Saturday, April 27th, 2019
Time: 10:00AM-3:00PM

Atlanta Majuu
Venue: Cobb County Civic Center
Address: 548 South Marietta Pkwy SE,
Marietta, GA 30060
Date: Friday 26th, Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th

For a full schedule of this weekend’s events, check the church’s website.

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KWITU Founder Lilly Richards Launches New Shoe Line in the US

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Kenyan Women in the United States (KWITU) Organization founder and president Lilly Richards has launched a new shoe line dubbed “Lavish by Lilly.”

The shoes, intended for the high-end market, are handmade by a master Italian craftsman from pristine Italian leather and are available on order.

Ms. Richards has taken to social media to express her joy even as she thanked her customers who have made orders for the shoes.

LL

“Yesterday I woke up to hundreds of tags on the Internet. I did not see it coming but the love and support was unbelievable,” she says.

“How did I get to be so lucky as to have your love and support. You have encouraged me and reassured me of God’s love and promises to us. I am beyond grateful. I am overwhelmed with joy.

My heart is full and at this point I can say I am truly happy and always blessed. Thank you for standing with me as I take a chance. Thanks to all that have put in orders. Nashukuru.”

Lilly is an advocate for women and children and currently partners with results.org to help influence political decisions and bring to end preventable maternal and child deaths.

She founded KWITU, one of the largest and most active Kenyan women network in the diaspora.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan family in shock as son is "quickly and secretly" Cremated in US

SOURCE: Mwakilishi.com

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Diaspora

Kenyans in the diaspora agonise as the deadline for e-passport nears

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Kenyans living in the diaspora are concerned that they might not get the new e- passports on time despite a deadline extension announced recently by the government and a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta that the documents be issued in their countries of residence.

Citizens living overseas who spoke to the Nation pleaded for the government to intervene and put things in order at its embassies abroad.

On Friday, Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau told the Nation his ministry was working with the Immigration Department to ensure centres for passport applications abroad started working.

“We have identified missions where the programme will start. It is a process that has already been initiated,” he said.

Embassies will first have to deploy more personnel, but Kenyans abroad were being encouraged to register on the diaspora portal.

This, the ministry says, will help establish the areas to prioritise for the centres. Initially, the Interior ministry, which houses the Immigration Department, said it would start with a centre in North America, another in the Middle East and South Africa before expanding gradually.

So arrogant

But a Kenyan residing in Germany expressed displeasure at the kind of services offered at the embassy in Berlin.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan family in shock as son is "quickly and secretly" Cremated in US

“When we call at the Berlin Embassy it is hell on earth! They pick no calls and when they pick, they are so arrogant. How will we be able to travel? Even after protesting at the Berlin Embassy there is no change,” she said, requesting anonymity for fear of reprisals.

But Ms Selline Branis Onalo, who represented Kenyans in Mexico and other central American countries described the tribulations they go through. As Kenya doesn’t have a resident embassy in Mexico City, it runs relations through the mission in Washington.

“It is like the Embassy has forgotten its role in Mexico. Some of us tried to write to the authorities including emails to the Kenyan Embassy in Washington DC, which covers Mexico. We haven’t heard anything from them,” she told the Nation.

In the entire Americas, Kenya has embassies in the US, Cuba, Brazil and Canada, collectively serving more than a dozen countries.

Officially, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs manages diplomatic missions abroad. But specific services like passport issuance are provided by the same departments as at home. That means the Immigration Department will have to send attaches to all embassies to ensure the service is provided there.

In September last year, Kenyans held peaceful demonstrations in Berlin to protest against poor services at the embassy.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan family in shock as son is "quickly and secretly" Cremated in US

They also complained about how they were forced to travel back home to renew their passports. Later in December, Deputy President William Ruto announced that the deadline for obtaining new generation passports was extended from August 2019, to an unspecified date in 2020.

source:Daily Nation

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