By S Jakakimba via
It is 3.14am, dawn of Sunday 5th July, 2015. Myself and 2 others I travel with just docked in Kisumu 3hrs before, from Migori County. I surprise my crew that instead of going to bed after a night well spent dancing to Emma Jalamo, I need highway company to visit a fairly humble family hundreds of Kms away in Tongaren, Bungoma County.
I also don’t know the way and we later get lost twice before reaching the homestead. We pass by Nakumatt Kisumu for some shopping as I remain tight-lipped.
Fast forward – I later end up carrying and reading a presidential letter signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, listing a myriad of promises to the Family of Stella Namalwa Nyongesa, her who was brutally killed by terrorists in the Garissa University massacre, and regretting with deepest remorse, the loss and pain that Mrs. Jane Nasimiyu Nyongesa & Mr. Josephat Nyongesa had to bear by the tragic loss of their daughter.
In the last paragraph, the President further boldly and reassuringly tells the outrightly now forsaken couple, “My Government assures you of justice for this brutality”.
So, on 21st September, 2013, I left the University of Nairobi’s Main Campus Library around 10.35am to head to Westgate Mall, but for a friendly diversion that kept me stuck and delayed at the new lounge in Nairobi Safari Club on University Way.
The chat extends and I be-like, let me rush to Westgate then head to watch Gor Mahia match. More delay and the next thing – Breaking News on citizen TV that armed robbers are inside the mall I was enroute to. I give it 15 minutes to calm down just to realize an hr later that God had used a friend whose identity I prefer to keep confidential, to save my life from the spray of terrorist bullets.
From that fateful Saturday, terrorism and related deaths scare me. Every time we face these challenges as a Nation, my Heart bleeds. Literally. Garissa happened. Garissa response was mishandled. We lost 147. Sad. Thenâ€ª#â€ŽDennisOKARIâ€¬ of NTV later broadcasts a documentary – ‘Children of A Lesser God’, featuring the pain and anguish Stella’s family faced after her bullet- mutilated body was had to be laid to no rest at a borrowed piece of land for her coffin to lay forever, to dust. This finds me on a cold night, in Johannesburg.
I shed tears after flashbacks of 21/09/2013 come back to me, and my narrow escape. Pained, I feel the loss of this family. A family that sold its only asset, some land, to pay for Stella’s fees. Through her, they had the slimmest hope that the ultimate happiness of their family would be the success story whose burden would be shouldered by Stella. Some day. Stella who moved straight from a cracked, grass thatched room all her life with a Grade B, to a university hostel with lights and running water.
I declared there would never be peace in my Heart if I didn’t find time to visit with, condole, encourage, hug, and leave Mr. & Mrs. Nyongesa’s Family with hope for the future, found in John 14:1.
Mr. President, it is time we moved from rhetoric and PR to action and deliverables on (guarantee of) security for the Peoples of the Republic of Kenya. The Nyongesa Family still await with baited Breadth and failing hearts, the ‘justice’ your government assured them ‘for this brutality’.
With the tears rolling again today as I stood by Stella’s borrowed gravesite, I rest.
With a Heavy Heart. A crying heart.
Stella’s case, is representative of what families go through courtesy of insecurity, and uncoordinated responses when our enemies strike us hard.
May your innocent Soul, and those of all the rest, eternally Rest in Peace, Stella.