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How I survived ordeal in the hands of a vicious gang



For close to seven hours, Rebecca, 23, a Sudanese living in Nakuru, was held hostage by a criminal gang that has been terrorising the town and its environs for more five years now, despite being outlawed in 2016.

She narrates her ordeal.

On Monday, June 6, I left my house in Park View estate to deposit some Sh25,000 for my brother at a local bank in Nakuru town.

It was around 2 pm. I flagged down a boda boda outside my home. Little did I know that I was being taken to my tormentors. The boda boda operator started behaving strangely. First, he claimed his motorcycle did not have enough fuel and that he wanted to fuel at a fuel station in the neighbouring estate.

Then he started heading full speed towards Bondeni slums. He was speeding so much that I started bleeding because I was yet to recover fully from birth complications after delivering my baby a week earlier. My pleas to the rider that the speeding was causing me discomfort fell on deaf ears.

He told me to shut up, and that if I said anything else he would kill me. My thoughts I thought about my week-old baby and his four-year-old brother back at home and kept quiet as the boda boda weaved around the rough roads at break-neck speed. The boda boda stopped outside one of the shanties at Bondeni slums. Three men were waiting. They were armed with machetes, clubs and all manner of weapons.

Before I could alight, one of them pulled me down and I landed on the dusty ground-injuring my head. I started bleeding again. I tried to struggle, but they pinned me down and threatened to kill me. One of them snatched my handbag, opened it took the Sh25,000 inside. They sarcastically said I was ‘rich.’ They were so sure of themselves that they kept on sipping alcohol and smoking bhang as they divided the money among themselves.

Then they started demanding more. One of them gave me a mobile phone and told me to call my husband. He gave me instructions on what to say, including a Sh50,000 ransom for my freedom. They threatened to kill me if my husband failed to send the money to the phone. One of them started asking me why and how I came to Kenya and what I have been doing for a living, and details of my family.

At around 4pm, I started pleading with them to allow me go back home to breastfeed my baby, but one of them retorted that I had “a very uncooperative husband.” At around 7.30pm, they asked me to chose how I wanted to die because my husband had not sent the money. All I could say was “I do not know, only God knows.”

One of the gang members was kind. He argued that the Sh25,000, was enough and pleaded with his accomplices to allow me go back home to breastfeed my baby.

They then ordered me to leave, warning of dire consequences if I ever reported the incident to the police.

I walked home, stopping to take breaths along the way because I did not have much strength left. I later learnt that about the time the gang released me, my husband was working with the police to trace me through the mobile phone they made me use to make the ransom demand. By the time police, led by Nakuru Town East DCI Benson Mutie, got to the scene, the gang had vanished.


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Othuol Othuol’s final journey commences at KNT



The late comedian Ben Maurice Onyango alias Othuol Othuol, who passed on while receiving treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), will be laid to rest on Saturday at Got Gaga village, Ndere in Alego, Siaya County.

Comedians In Kenya Society chairman Ken Waudo said the hearse carrying the late Churchill Show rib cracker left Chiromo Mortuary on Friday morning for its first stopover at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT) Tree Yard for the first funeral service.

The funeral service, Waudo said, is being held while strictly observing Covid-19 restrictions before the body commences the journey to his Siaya final resting place.

“We would like to thank all friends, family and fans who stood with us, as well as all the entertainment fraternity, more so comedians, with a special mention to Churchill and Jalang’o for their immense support and being on the frontline to mourn greatly our colleague. Also political leaders who came in handy,” said Waudo.

On Wednesday evening, Kenyan comedians held a candlelit vigil at KNT for the late comedian led by Churchill and Jalang’o and which also acted as a fundraiser.

The comedians were also joined by a section of celebrities from different sectors as well as the fallen comedian’s fans as they also sought to offset his burial expenses.

According to Waudo, the funeral committee had put a budget of Sh1 million to cater for all the burial expenses and to offset Othuol’s debts.

The comedian died at the age of 31.


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Mwangi Mukami: Kenyan man who scored D+ in KCSE earns his 5th degree in US



Mwangi Mukami has shared his inspirational story on how he had achieved academic success in the United States (US) years after he was considered a failure by the Kenyan education system.

Mukami scored a D+ in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams and had no chance of joining any institution of higher learning in the country.

Sharing his story on his Facebook page, he said an opportunity to leave the country for the US restored his dreams of attaining a college or university education.

“Over 20 years ago, Kenya’s education system wrote me off as a failure because I had a D+,” he narrated.

“I remember vividly saying to my peers that I wanted to be a policymaker or an attorney. Their response was a burst of collective laughter and sneer,” he added.

Focused on his goal, Mukami did not waste any time when he arrived in the US. He immediately went back to school to pursue his dreams.

Now aged 36, the young man has recently graduated with his fifth degree from the University of California and hopes he will live long to open doors of opportunities to more D+ students.

Mwangi Mukami: Kenyan man who scored D+ in KCSE earns his 5th degree in US

Mwangi Mukami with his mother during a graduation ceremony. Photo: Mwangi Mukami.
Source: Facebook

“For the misfits, the rejected, and the oppressed,” he said.

He attributed his success to his mother who raised him and his six siblings single-handedly while selling unspecified things at the Kawangware market.

“Congratulations to my mom. The degree is a reflection of her tenacity. I am grateful and honoured to have wonderful brothers and sisters who support and trust my ability to achieve,” he added.

He further noted that he proudly uses his mother’s middle name – Mukami- as his surname because she was his hero

According to Mukami, his mother sacrificed a lot to ensure they got a decent education, had food to eat even during difficult situations and that they had the nest childhood.

Mukami said whatever they lacked in material wealth was compensated by what they possessed in spiritual, mental, and emotional health.

“I was raised in a ten by twelve foot house by a woman who believed I could change the world. And I am still changing the world,” he said.

The 36-year-old went on to reveal that for three years now, he had been providing scholarships and relief grants to children in Kawangware and most recently, in Kibera and Mathare. previously reported of a young medic who defied all odds to achieve her dream careers just to prove wrong a family friend who discouraged her from studying.

Ifeyinwa Ezeudu is a medical doctor, pharmacists, science laboratory technician, weight management coach, nutrition and lifestyle coach.

Ezeudu said she was discouraged from pursuing her career choices because she was a Muslim girl.


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UoN masters degree finalist who sells eggs appeals for a job



A jobless graduate who’s finalising his masters degree is appealing for well-wishers to give him a job. Dennis Obiri Ogola from Ndumbuini in Kabete sells boiled eggs despite having a diploma, degree and is set to complete his master’s programme in early 2021.

“I’m currently doing my masters and I’m in my last semester of the coursework. I have a diploma in Procurement and Supply Chain Management from the Kenya Institute of Management and a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Procurement and Supply Chain Management option) from the University of Nairobi,” says Dennis.

Humble background, hawking eggs, rent arrears

The soft-spoken Dennis hails from a humble background and is the firstborn in a family of six children. Wellwishers enabled him to pursue his studies and he dreams of helping his younger siblings get a good education.

“I was helped by a children’s home to complete my primary school education. I joined high school in the same children’s home and because of my good manners, they offered to further my education. I did my diploma and after scoring a second class (upper division) in my degree, I got sponsors for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme at UoN,” he says.

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Dennis got into the eggs business after another well-wisher was touched by his plight and gave him the startup capital even though the proceeds scarcely meets his needs. On a good day, he makes Sh300 profit which he reinvests in the business, leaving him with peanuts to live off.

“I have some rent arrears but I spoke to the landlord and he’s understanding- but at the end of the day, he wants money.” Photo: Courtesy.

 “After hearing of my situation, an empathetic Human Resource practitioner in a financial institution gave me capital to start this business selling eggs and smokies. In a day, I sell a tray of boiled eggs at Sh600 (Sh20 per egg), making a Sh300 profit. I spend Sh300 on eggs for the next day and use some of the remaining money buy saviets, onions and tomatoes for kachumbari , wrapping papers and tomato sauce. The remainder of the money cannot pay my rent. I have some rent arrears but I spoke to the landlord and he’s understanding- but at the end of the day, he wants money,” he says.

“The far I’ve reached, it’s taken a lot of patience and perseverance. I would like to appeal to anyone with a job to offer me the opportunity. I dream of at least helping my siblings,” concludes Dennis, who has over ten certificates.

You can reach Dennis on 0705446010.

by SDE

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