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Father’s agony raising sick twin with severe disability

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Like all newlyweds, Francis Kinyua and his wife Rukia Gacheri were overjoyed to learn that they were expecting their first child. All was well in their young marriage until it was time for the baby to come.

It all started on October 9, 2007, when Kinyua, who worked as a guard, received a call that his wife had been rushed to hospital for delivery. When he got to Kiengu Nursing Home in Maua, Meru County around 6pm, he was shocked to learn that his wife had given birth to twins. All along, they thought she was carrying one baby.

Like any curious parent, when Kinyua asked the doctors how this happened, they casually told him that his wife may have missed out on attending prenatal clinics.

“They came to this conclusion because when they asked her for a clinic card before admission for delivery, she failed to produce it,” says Kinyua. But the parents were in for more shocking news. The couple was told that their newborns were not only twins, but were conjoined with one severely deformed; a case of a paralytic twin. A parasitic twin is an identical twin that has stopped developing during gestation, but is physically attached to the fully developing twin. The fully developed twin is also known as the dominant or autosite twin.

The doctors explained that the dominant twin, named Glory Kinya, had more chances of survival than her parasytic sister, who was totally reliant on Kinya.

Painful bus ride

“Before I could digest all this information, the doctors told me that there was nothing more they could do to save my babies and referred us to Kenyatta National Hospital,” recalls Kinyua.

And that is how the long, lonely journey of searching for help for their baby started. The new mother was immediately discharged. Fresh from delivery, mother, father and their newborns boarded a bus to Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.

“It was painful to watch my wife. Still weak and sore, seated in a bus headed to Nairobi to seek answers. She cried silently. The babies screamed. It broke my heart.”  After a long torturous journey, they finally arrived at the referral hospital.The doctor told them to come back on October 15, a week later. On the appointed day, they were told to come back after seven days.

“For two-and-a-half-months it was back and forth because there were no beds available for admission. Because we had no money for accommodation, we would merge seats and use them as beds. In the morning, we would look for a cheap place to freshen up and eat a small meal,” recalls Kinyua.

After three months of an endless pursuit, a frustrated Kinyua had a mental breakdown and ran out of the hospital screaming. Someone called the media who highlighted his situation. The story caught the attention of a doctor at Kijabe Hospital, who agreed to separate the twins for free.

“Before the operation, the doctor told us that the parasytic twin will not survive on her own. He also told us that they were suffering from spinal bifida. He said Kinya may not be able to walk. But we kept hope alive,” narrates Kinyua. The separation done in December 2007 was successful. Sadly, the parasytic twin died in the process. And for the surviving twin, Kinya, it was a long and agonising journey to healing.

Wife left

In 2009, Gacheri, having had enough, left Kinyua to take care of the ailing child alone.”One afternoon, I received a call when I was at Kenyatta with Kinya and the caller said my wife had packed her belongings and left. I was devastated that she had left without telling me, but what could I do? I had to focus all my energy on my daughter’s healing journey,” says Kinyua.

Alone, Kinyua continued to take care of an infant who solely depended on him for everything, from feeding to bathing.

Sometime in 2009, young Kinya then aged two, developed a rash around the incision point and on her abdomen, which became a septic wound.

Since she did not have an opening from which to pass stool, Kinya also underwent a colostomy in 2010 where they shortened her colon and removed the damaged part to create an opening in the abdominal wall. In a month, she uses diapers worth Sh7,000 and Sh60,000 worth of colostomy bags. Already, the 12-year-old has undergone 13 surgeries with the most recent one performed two months ago. But like other teenagers, she still dreams big and hopes for a brighter future.

“I home school her. I have bought her revision textbooks to enable her study from home. A teacher from a local private school brings her exams, which she does and the teacher marks them,” says the proud father.

Although she has been through so much, Kinya holds dear her dream to be a pilot.  To help that vision come true, Kinyua has unsuccessfully tried to enroll his daughter in several special schools for children living with disabilities.

“All schools for the disabled that I approached refused to admit her and told me to take her to another school because they were not equipped to handle her unique challenges,” says Kinyua. At home, Kinya likes to dress in her school uniform as she reads her textbooks. For her independence now that she is approaching teenage, she has since learnt to change her own diapers. The financial strain that Kinya’s medical bills put on the family drove a desperate Kinyua to sell 40 acres of ancestral land to seek specialised care. Tough as it may be, he soldiers on.

Conjoined twins

Conjoined twins are a rare occurrence especially in Kenya where there is no data on the same. According to global estimates, however, conjoined twins occur in about 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 100,000 births.

According to Dr Kimani Ndung’u, a gynaecologist at Consolata Hospital in Meru, the rare condition can be detected prenatally.

“A pregnant woman should ideally have an ultrasound done early in the first trimester to identify presence of twins and if they are sharing a placenta or not. Subsequent ultrasound scans will establish if there are organs shared by the twins. This info will help in planning for safe delivery,” said Kimani. While there is a genetic predisposition to getting twins, conjoined twins are not genetic but the result of a chance occurrence during feotal development. Conjoined twins arise when a single egg from the female is fertilised by one sperm. The resulting pregnancy then splits into two but fails to split completely.

The delivered foetuses are physically joined at some point on their bodies. Contrary to popular belief, family planning methods cannot cause this condition. Although occurrence of conjoined twins cannot be prevented, early detection during prenatal visits can help doctors plan for the safe delivery and care of the babies.

By Standard.co.ke

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The road less travelled

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According to a June 2020 study by Flone Initiative, women make up 10 per cent of the work force in the public transport industry in the country, 85 per cent of them being matatu conductors in Nairobi; it is no longer a male-dominated job. However,

“I used to ride the so-called nganyas to school every day, and being that I am a social and open-minded person, I would interact with the accomodating personnel and with time, I deeply fell in love with the unique culture that is the Kenyan matatu industry,” she tells PD Wikendi. A daughter of Italian parents who met and got married in Kenya, Lucia is thankful to have been born and bred in this country with an atypical public transport sector, which would become her biggest passion.

After completing high school, she joined Montessori College in Nairobi to pursue teaching, a course she did not complete, as what she desired was to work as a tout. However, she would again proceed to pursue a certificate in pharmacy, which is her mother’s profession. In 2015, Lucia ditched her pharmacy career and decided to follow her heart, becoming a full-time makanga in Kitengela, a route she says she felt comfortable in, being that she was serving people she grew up around.

Lucia recalls how at first, residents of Kitengela, seeing a mzungu on the matatu door calling on passengers to board, were certain it was a prank. “In my first days, people were dumbfounded, wondering if it was a stunt. They even became reluctant to board the vehicle, as they thought that maybe there was a hidden camera somewhere recording the ‘prank’. No one believed a mlami could take this job, but, eventually, they realised it was for real and got used to it,” she recounts.

The venture was fraught with challenges for her; not only was she a woman in a rough man’s world, but also a ‘foreigner’. “Some commuters felt they could get aggressive towards me, for example when disgruntled by what they found to be high fares. Dealing with a rude passenger who does not want to cooperate and respect my hustle is still among my worst moments while in the line of duty. Some passengers like to show that they are allknowing. Again, there were instances where people thought I don’t understand Swahili or sheng, which I speak fluently, so they would throw jabs at me, but I never let it get to me. If you are a strong woman who respects herself and you understand that this is a job like any other, there is no situation that would be too difficult to manoeuvre. Women are many in the industry these days, and people now take it as a normal thing,” adds Lucia, who currently works in Crisis of Wamasaa Sacco.

PANDEMIC STRUGGLE
At the moment, the Covid-19 pandemic, which has really hamstrung their work, is

it is still unusual to meet a woman nganya crewmember. It is even rarer to meet one from a different race. But, the well known Lucia Alessandra Murotto, a Caucasian woman conductor, never saw these as barriers to stop her from following her passion. Walking along Nairobi’s Railways bus terminus, where Kitengela matatus are stationed, you will likely meet the 29-year-old shouting herself hoarse calling for passengers, a job she has now served in for over five years.

Growing up in Kitengela, Kajiado county, Lucia, famously known as Mlami by the area residents owing to her Italian origin, never prayed for something bigger in her future than serving in the matatu industry. Her desire to join the sector grew while she was still in high school, when the single mother of one used to commute daily to school, boarding the renowned decorated matatus of the vibrant route 110 Kitee, and got to interact with the friendly crews.

FALLING IN LOVE

the biggest issue that, like others in the sector, she’s dealing with on the job. “We are only carrying 60 per cent of the bus capacity, so, hitting the profit target becomes an uphill task. To cope, investors have sadly been forced to send some crewmembers home, and we’ve also had to raise fares so as to at least remain afloat,” she explains.

Challenges aside, what Lucia loves the most about her job is how the crews she works with are humble and understanding. “We live like one big family, sticking by each other through thick and thin. We are always there for one another, be it during funerals, weddings, when one of our colleagues gets a child, even birthdays, we come together and offer support,” she beams.

When not filling matatus with passengers and collecting fares, the last-born in a family of two daughters helps her mum out at her pharmacy in Kisaju. Meanwhile, the nganya culture enthusiasm has rubbed of on her nine-year-old son, who she says knows almost all the Kitengela hot mats by name.

For now, it appears Lucia is in it for the long haul. “I have been dreaming of investing in the matatu industry since I was 16. I would love to take my matatu to Kitengela, Rongai or even Eastleigh, since I have worked on the three routes and I know their ins and outs, ” she concludes.

By PD.co.ke

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Abel Mutua says he lost his first millions by overpaying actors

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Former Tahidi High actor Abel Mutua has revealed that he did not really enjoy his first ever millions.

The actor who is currently a co-director at Phyl-it Productions said he made a lot of money together with his friend in a single deal that saw them enjoy the millionaires status, albeit for a while.

Speaking on the new episode of Stories of My Life on his YouTube channel, Abel said while they were able to secure a production deal that made them millions, they blew the same on paying actors and production crews hefty salaries.

According to the actor, their lives changed when they were commissioned to produce the show Sue Na Jonnie and Hulabaloo Estate for DSTV’s Maisha Magic East.

Abel revealed that DSTV sent them 40 percent of the total production cost for a number of episodes, something that blew their minds and made them believe they had kissed poverty goodbye.

The actor said the offer was so sweet because they were supposed to produce over 100 episodes with each going for about KSh 400,000.

”We were commissioned to produce Sue Na Jonnie and Hulabaloo Estate. That meant we were to produce over 100 episodes, which they paid over KSh 400,000 per episode. The amount as crazy, we knew that is it, we had become millionaires. We went home excited, talked to our wives and told them to prepare for an opulence lifestyle.” Abel said.

TUKO.co.ke understands Abel and his friend Phil’s company made over KSh 40 million for the same.

This, he said gave them the opportunity to try and change the film industry in the country by doing things a bit differently, including paying actors reasonable dues.

Well, that was the beginning of their end because they ended up overpaying actors and crew who had asked for less money.

Abel added him and his two friends heading the production company decided not to pay themselves salaries but instead pay everyone and will finally pay themselves upon the completion of the two projects.

Thing went smoothly until when it hit them production of the two shows involved the use of high technology equipment which also chewed into their budget.

The actor attributes the ”squandering” of their millions to high paychecks to actors and production, which even left them with a KSh 5 million debt.

”We knew we would work, pay everyone and when it is all done, then we would pay ourselves and everyone would walk home with not less than KSh 5 million each. Things went south, we had paid people lots of money, not finished production and with a debt of KSh 5 million. We suffered a major loss with the projects and we did not really make much money as we expected. We had to look for help from friends and family who would loan us to complete the productions.” Mutua disclosed.

The actor wrapped up by advising Kenyans to support film makers because most of them suffer losses like they did.

By Tuko.co.ke

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Lifestyle

Ruth Matete says she’s done with religion, laments religious people abandoned her

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Tusker Project Fame winner Ruth Matete is definitely tired of hypocrites and fake people who hide behind religion while persecuting others.

The musician on Saturday, September 19, had enough of it and decided to bash the aforementioned group of people as she was done with religion.

Ruth Matete denounces Christianity, says religious people abandoned her

Ruth Matete said she is so done with hypocrites. Photo: UGC
Source: Instagram

In a long Facebook post seen by TUKO.co.ke, Ruth who until now as a pastor defended her latest move by saying that God is not a Christian, nor is he religious.

”Am so done with fake people!! Done with religion!! Thank God, that God is not a Christian. He is not religious. Oh! If it had not been for the Lord, who was always on my side. The enemy would have swallowed me. I would have drowned in the waters. But my soul has found an escape. I have escaped like a bird from the snare of the Fowler. How is the volume? Are the subwoofers working well?, Ruth wrote.

Ruth told off people who accused her of all manners of evils and took her through hell when she was deep into many scandals, including her latest one involving the death of her beloved hubby.

According to the singer, everyone deserted her including pastors, friends and even some family members when things got thicker on her side.

The lass said she was hurt by the accusations especially from people who did not have proof of what they were saying about her.

”Can we talk? I know this will land me in trouble with the Religious people but hey! So now, some of you have some weird audacity. You have never liked me from the word go and that’s alright. When I was going through hell and high waters and scandal was my name, you turned and kept your distance. You only want to associate with me when am the star and being celebrated. But when the rubber meets the road, hamnijui. Wah! One thing that hurt me the most was that time is when pastors I have ministered in their churches left me. Like no call. In fact some of them came up with prophecies during their live broadcasts saying that God showed them I’ll go to jail and that I was guilty. Chaiii!!! ,” she exclaimed.

Ruth wondered why the same people who ditched her were now coming back to her ”begging” to be friends again.

”Then now, God has vindicated me. I have had to pick my own broken pieces and try to move on, you’re back! Wow!! Calling me. Texting me. Telling me you were praying for me. Mercy Lord!! Was it so hard for you to just call or text and tell me that? You avoided me like a plague. You didn’t want people to know that I serve in your church or I have ever served in your church. Indeed the heart of man is wicked. Some talked and talked and I have proof. But now you’re my number one fan since I came back on social media. You comment on all my posts. Like everything I post. ‘Yes Pastor!’ ‘We love you’. Hehehehehe.” Ruth wrote.

She wrapped up by urging everyone who ran away during the times of her struggles to just keep off and let her be the ”evil woman” she was.

This comes just months after she was acquitted of being party to her hubby’s death.

Before that, quite a number of people trolled her and accused her of being an evil woman who possibly caused her hubby’s death.

By Tuko.co.ke

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