Karibu Magazine (Kings Edition) 2023

Our 6th edition is a collection of stories from the diaspora that have dominated the media and those that are yet to reach many minds all over the world. We have taken a great deal of interest in Joy Aoko's demise especially as it touches on a lot of diasporan movements we hope that even as events like these continue to multiply, solutions and information on prevention will continue to be found. We celebrate disability with Anne Wafula as she showcases her mindset and determination to make things happen in spite of her constraints. Enjoy our Kings editions!

Our 6th edition is a collection of stories from the diaspora that have dominated the media and those that are yet to reach many minds all over the world. We have taken a great deal of interest in Joy Aoko's demise especially as it touches on a lot of diasporan movements we hope that even as events like these continue to multiply, solutions and information on prevention will continue to be found. We celebrate disability with Anne Wafula as she showcases her mindset and determination to make things happen in spite of her constraints. Enjoy our Kings editions!


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23TH JUNE <strong>2023</strong><br />

KARIBU<br />




MUMS<br />

JOY AOKO<br />





Editorial Feature<br />




ESTHER<br />

MWANGI<br />

(SWEDEN)<br />

INSIDE<br />






AND MORE...<br />


COUNTY48<br />


PH OTOS<br />

ONLINE<br />


Dressed by:<br />

@elegance_fashion_kenya<br />

Photo credit: @veejaystudios<br />


Dear reader<br />


What do we say, or where do we start? With the journey of 2022 being a failure? Actually not. Let’s call it<br />

a journey of setbacks and learning. At the start of 2022, the organising team visited Kenya on business<br />

regarding the Kenya and Friends in the Park event. Despite their very best efforts things simply did not<br />

add up. But perhaps the biggest blow came with the event itself, Kenya and Friends in the Park. No matter<br />

what we did, there was roadblock after roadblock. Visas for the exhibitors from Kenya were delayed and<br />

some were even denied - something that has never happened before. Then the Kenya and Friends in the<br />

Park event inevitably took a downhill turn. Despite every angle we tried to tackle, we lost money over this<br />

event. But thankfully, there was a silver lining in all this. Despite the chaos and all the setbacks, we organised,<br />

managed and executed the long-awaited Lynn Ngugi UK Tour, which in itself became a resounding success<br />

even though there were still lots of ups and downs along the way. The bottom line is that Lynn Ngugi was<br />

coming to the UK for a specific purpose and reason, and both were met exceedingly. In retrospect, we are<br />

hopeful that the park event this year will be a much better reflection of what was missed last year, and that<br />

whatever we regard as ‘back to normal’ is what we expect to experience from start to finish.<br />

Earlier this year, Dr Alfred Mutua (Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs) travelled to London<br />

to meet with various representatives of the Kenya Diaspora Leadership, at the Kenya High Commission in<br />

London. The aim was to discuss various issues, key among the main topics being:<br />

1. Employment of 20,000 Kenyan nurses in the UK<br />

2. Importance of diaspora support for trade and investment in Kenya, encouraging Kenyans abroad<br />

to invest back home.<br />

3. Mobile Consular Services are to be mobilised outside of London to other key cities<br />

like Manchester and Glasgow, therefore making it easier for Kenyans to access<br />

GOK services.<br />

4. Equipping parents in the diaspora to teach their children Kenyan languages and<br />

promote the learning of Swahili.<br />

5. The Diaspora ministry is set to launch its website, which will offer over 4,000<br />

government services to Kenyans abroad.<br />

6. Supporting agriculture through water harvesting, with support from the Kenya<br />

diaspora community.<br />

7. Providing insurance to help families transport their loved ones back to Kenya<br />

for burial.<br />

The proposed initiatives and ideas aim to strengthen ties between Kenyans abroad<br />

and their country of origin. In the view of many diasporans, the Kenya Government<br />

has plenty of good ideas and initiatives, but unfortunately, they are mostly just on<br />

paper. In practice, or when it comes to real implementation and practicals, we might<br />

as well be waiting for a lifetime. But again, it is only fair that the diaspora community<br />

gives the new government the benefit of the doubt since they only recently won the<br />

general elections. Of most concern for many, though, is the question of our diasporan<br />

brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia, especially those in jail - but that’s a story for<br />

another day. Meanwhile, we were able to give Dr Alfred Mutua our annual magazine<br />

karibu magazine, he was well impressed with the excellent job we are doing. Many<br />

thanks and congratulations to our staff writer Baraza J Namunyu for making this<br />

happen.<br />

Sadly, this year, we lost one of our own, from the diaspora. Joy Achieng Aoko was<br />

only 22 when a very unfortunate, violent and needless attack in Tirana, Albania, left<br />

her comatose for weeks. This eventually led to her demise, despite being airlifted<br />

back home and being treated at a specialist Teaching and Referral National Hospital<br />

courtesy of the State. Our deepest condolences continue to go towards Joy’s family<br />

and may she continue to rest in perfect peace. We are hopeful that under the ongoing<br />

bilateral investigations between the governments of Albania and Kenya, the crimes<br />

committed against Joy will not go unpunished ad that justice will prevail for all who<br />

seek it on Joy’s behalf.<br />

It Can Only Be God.


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Editor in Chief/publisher:<br />

Lydia Olet.<br />

Tel: +447853207075<br />

info.karibu@gmail.com<br />

Editor:<br />

Baraza J Namunyu<br />

Tel: +447783662746<br />

jnamunyu@gmail.com<br />

Sub editor:<br />

Lydia Jepchirchir Smith<br />

Tel: +44 7446 082958<br />

Graphics & design:<br />

mrkeya (Noah Keya)<br />

mrkeya@gmail.com<br />

+447401307994<br />

Writer:<br />

Kimotho Ngugi<br />

Tel: +254 724 806802<br />


Who We Are<br />

MiVida is a home builder/<br />

residential developer<br />

formed in 2019 by Actis<br />

and Shapoorji PallonjiReal<br />

Estate ( to build middle<br />

income homes across<br />

Africa Actis is the largest<br />

emergingmarkets Private<br />

Equity investor in the<br />

world with over US 15<br />

billion under management<br />

while SPRE is the<br />

real estate arm of one of<br />

India’s largest construction<br />

conglomerates.<br />

Our Vision<br />

To become the leading<br />

real estate service and<br />

investment company<br />

in Kenya and Sub<br />

SaharanAfrica providing<br />

world class real estate<br />

that meet our customer<br />

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What we Do<br />

Address the shortage of<br />

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delivering a minimum<br />

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units(apartments/ over<br />

the next five years<br />

Finance prime and affordable<br />

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through direct cash<br />

contributions Provide<br />

third party services<br />

• Development<br />

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structuring and financing)<br />

• Project Management<br />

(incl financial<br />

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• Asset Management•<br />

Sales and Marketing<br />

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Website: www.mividahomes.com<br />

Facebook:/MividaHomes<br />

Twitter:/MividaHomes<br />

Instagram:/mividahomeske<br />

Mary Njonjo<br />

Business development Director<br />

LONDON,<br />

Spaces Canary Wharf,<br />

25 Cabot Square, London E14 4QZ<br />

Tel: +447568752228<br />

Email: diasporasales21@gmail.com<br />

6<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 7

Kenya High Commission<br />

Know Your Ambassador<br />

His Excellency<br />

Mr Manoah Esipisu<br />

Kenya’s High Commissioner<br />

to the UK<br />

By the <strong>Karibu</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> Team<br />

The Kenya High Commission<br />

in London was established<br />

in 1963 to pursue Kenya’s<br />

national<br />

interest in the United<br />

Kingdom. The diplomatic<br />

mission in London is also<br />

accredited to the<br />

International Maritime<br />

Organization and the<br />

Commonwealth of Nations.<br />

Kenya and the UK enjoy<br />

cordial relations, and the<br />

mission’s mandate is to forge<br />

closer relations between<br />

the people of Kenya and the<br />

people of the United Kingdom<br />

in pursuit of deeper bilateral<br />

and multilateral<br />

cooperation in trade and<br />

investments, culture, science<br />

and technology as well as<br />

other fields for mutual benefit.<br />

Location<br />

45 Portland Pl, Marylebone,<br />

London W1B 1AS<br />

Phone: 020 7636 2371<br />

Passport & ID Opening Times<br />

Monday - Friday<br />

09:30 - 12:30<br />

(Appointment only)<br />

Chancery Opening Times:<br />

Monday - Friday<br />

09:00 - 13:00<br />

14:00 - 17:00<br />

General Enquiries<br />

info@kenyahighcom.org.uk<br />

Phone: 020 7636 2371<br />

Consular Enquiries<br />

Email: immigration@<br />

kenyahighcom.org.uk<br />

Phone: 020 7636 2371<br />

8<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

In November 2018, Kenya’s<br />

High Commissioner His<br />

Excellency Mr Manoah Esipisu<br />

arrived in London with his<br />

wife Ms Waithiegeni Kanguru-<br />

Esipisu. He was already wellacquainted<br />

with the capital.<br />

Previous to his appointment,<br />

Mr Esipisu had travelled to<br />

the UK with his family on<br />

various occasions over the<br />

years. Mr Esipisu was born in<br />

rural Kenya. He loved telling<br />

stories growing up as a child,<br />

and this passion inevitably led<br />

him to a career in journalism.<br />

Mr Esipisu studied Literature<br />

and Political Science at the<br />

University of Nairobi, followed<br />

by a graduate journalism programme.<br />

He started his professional<br />

journey at Thomson<br />

Reuters after university. When<br />

he left Reuters, Mr Esipisu<br />

became the Spokesperson<br />

for the Commonwealth<br />

Secretariat, interacting with<br />

leaders and global issues of<br />

the day. Mr Esisipisu’s position<br />

as public affairs adviser<br />

to the President of the African<br />

Development Bank acted as<br />

a stepping stone towards a<br />

full diplomatic career. As a<br />

former spokesperson at the<br />

Commonwealth Secretariat,<br />

Mr Esipisu’s experience in<br />

securing and enhancing<br />

Kenya’s interests abroad has<br />

helped him in his current role<br />

as Kenyan High Commissioner<br />

to the UK.<br />

HE Mr Esipisu’s wife, Lynne<br />

Janis Waithiegeni Kanguru-<br />

Esipisu, is an avid entrepreneur<br />

among many other<br />

talents. A Bachelor of Arts (BA)<br />

graduate from the University<br />

of Nairobi, she also holds a<br />

SASETTA-recognised national<br />

paralegal certification from<br />

the Republic of South Africa.<br />

This was awarded by the<br />

South African Law School in<br />

July 2017. Mrs Esipisu is the<br />

founder and director of The<br />

Grateful Women’s Company<br />

Ltd, a social enterprise based<br />

in London. She is also an<br />

LLM Graduate (Master of<br />

Laws - International Dispute<br />

Resolution) at the University<br />

of London. This adds to<br />

Waithengeni’s repertoire of<br />

skills including being a seasoned<br />

communicator with<br />

vast experience liaising with<br />

government departments,<br />

coordinating public affairs,<br />

advising and mediating. She<br />

is also a specialist in dispute<br />

resolution, paralegal and<br />

public-private partnerships,<br />

public affairs and executive<br />

assistance.<br />

A key function of Mr Esipisu<br />

as the President of Kenya’s<br />

Spokesperson is to ensure<br />

effective communication<br />

and clarity of the President’s<br />

message and to promote<br />

service and delivery to the<br />

Kenyan diaspora communities<br />

across the UK and their<br />

interests through Kenyan<br />

diplomacy. Mr Esipisu believes<br />

in the importance of Kenyan-<br />

British relations, which rests<br />

not only on trade but also on<br />

the engagement between its<br />

people. Many Kenyans visit<br />

the UK for business, pleasure<br />

and education, probably more<br />

than any other country in<br />

Europe. British troops train<br />

in Kenya, and the UK works<br />

together with the Kenyan government<br />

to keep Kenya and<br />

the region safe. Free and fair<br />

international trade is an issue<br />

that the High Commissioner<br />

believes also to be important,<br />

and one that embodies a<br />

shared commitment of both<br />

nations. Kenya and the UK<br />

have engaged for over six<br />

decades and essentially, are<br />

‘tied by the hip’ with shared<br />

values and principles. Mr<br />

Esipisu has a strong reputation<br />

as a formidable mentor<br />

for journalists. He is in fact<br />

personally accredited with the<br />

training of some of today’s<br />

best-known business journalists<br />

in Kenya. Aside from<br />

his work responsibilities, Mr<br />

Esipisu is a keen writer and<br />

he also loves to travel. As a<br />

trailblazer in reporting governance<br />

and economic injustice,<br />

is also a co-author of the<br />

book, Eyes Of Democracy:<br />

The Media in Elections. He<br />

has also spoken at dozens of<br />

Kenyan events around the<br />

world on African development<br />

issues. Clearly, Mr Esipisu is<br />

a truly global diplomat – in<br />

every sense of the word.<br />

HE Manoah Esipisu presents credentials<br />

to Queen Elizabeth II<br />

Image: Courtesy<br />

Mr Esipisu’s wife, Waithiegeni<br />

Kanguru-Esipisu received by<br />

Queen Elizabeth II<br />

Image: Courtesy<br />

HE Manoah Esipisu Image:<br />

Courtesy<br />

Champion of the Diaspora Youth:<br />

HE Manoah Esipisu with Nancy<br />

Masila, founder of the Jasiri<br />

Network UK.<br />

Image: Courtesy<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 9

Celebrating The Youth League. Young Kenyans flourishing in<br />

the UK in academia, tech, entertainment, media.<br />

Na Balozi wa Kenya, Uingereza katika shughuli ya MTM<br />

awards kuadhimisha siku ya kimataifa ya Kiswahili<br />

Today The Queen<br />

received His<br />

Excellency Mr.<br />

Manoah Esipisu,<br />

High Commissioner<br />

for the Republic of<br />

Kenya in London.<br />

An Audience is<br />

a one-to-one<br />

meeting with<br />

The Queen which<br />

occur regularly<br />

throughout Her<br />

Majesty’s working<br />

week.<br />

[Photo: The Royal<br />

Family tweetmily<br />

Supporting Diaspora investment in Kenyan housing market. Attended launch of Diaspora Housing Management<br />

Limited fronted by real estate businesswoman Ms. Mary Njonjo who showcased emerging opportunities back home<br />

10<br />

6TH KINGS Random EDITION events | on JUNE Twitter: <strong>2023</strong> Photo Credits: Amb. Manoah Esipisu EBS (@MEsipisu)

With and Commonwealth and African colleagues at Number 10 Downing Street in London<br />

when we attended His Majesty King Charles III’s first #TroopingtheColour as Sovereign.<br />

Esipisu eyes economic diplomacy in UK assignment<br />

[Photo: Standard]<br />

Meetig with HE Amb. Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah of<br />

the State of Qatar<br />

Visited the Gurudwara Sahib in the Midlands City of<br />

Birmingham, where he engaged in fruitful discussions with<br />

the Patron and Chair of Nishkam Group of Organisations,<br />

Bhai Sahib, Prof Mohinder Singh OBE<br />

Random events on Twitter:<br />

Photo Credits: Amb.<br />

Manoah Esipisu EBS (@<br />

MEsipisu)<br />


«YOUTH<br />

FEATURE»<br />

JOEL M.<br />

BARAZA<br />

“A Bright<br />

Future in<br />

Sound<br />

Engineering”<br />

“He is born and bred in the<br />

UK Diaspora and he calls<br />

Liverpool his home - for<br />

now. Ultimately, he identifies<br />

himself as unashamedly<br />

Kenyan - true to the<br />

bone 100%. This is Joel<br />

Muliro Baraza - or Just<br />

Joel. He lives in Liverpool<br />

city with his parents,<br />

his equally talented twin<br />

sister Joy Namikoye, and<br />

his colourful little sister<br />

Faith Nelima. Both Joel<br />

and Joy are extremely<br />

gifted musicians, dancers<br />

and actors, each with<br />

their own style of music.<br />

Joel leans more towards<br />

Christian rap while Joy<br />

leans more towards<br />

Christian hip-hop. Joel<br />

lives a very vibrant and<br />

colourful life, and there is a<br />

certain vibe to his gait that<br />

makes people take notice.<br />

Joel lights up the<br />

room whenever he walks in.<br />

When Joel is in the hood,<br />

everybody will know it.”<br />

“Joel loves his music and<br />

his dance. He lives like<br />

he was born for dancing.<br />

Dancing is the air he<br />

breathes every morning<br />

and every evening. But<br />

Joel is also a prolific<br />

songwriter. His music is<br />

trending widely on Spotify<br />

and SoundCloud. The powerful<br />

Christian message<br />

behind his music has<br />

earned Joel thousands of<br />

followers and fans from all<br />

over the world.<br />

This year Joel is sitting<br />

for his <strong>2023</strong> GCSE exams.<br />

During the day Joel is<br />

hard at work with schoolwork;<br />

in the evenings he<br />

revises to address any<br />

learning gaps. His focus<br />

is to pass his exams with<br />

flying colours and leave<br />

school with a minim Grade<br />

of 7 on all his GCSE papers.<br />

Joel is a proud student of<br />

the St Margaret Academy<br />

in Aigburth, South<br />

Liverpool. At the weekends<br />

Joel is busy working<br />

on the next song or<br />

editing a track that needs<br />

doing before he drops it to<br />

his universe of fans. Using<br />

his own initiative, Joel has<br />

built networks with established<br />

artists, something<br />

he began to do intensively<br />

during the covid years.”<br />

“Joel is a born-again<br />

Christian who takes his<br />

faith very seriously. In fact,<br />

he guards it with a passion<br />

and has no qualms defending<br />

it vigorously against<br />

anyone, at any time. Jesus<br />

is his friend, and you<br />

better just accept that.<br />

12<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

‘The trick is to take each day at a time<br />

and to choose your battles wisely”.<br />

At his local Salvation Army<br />

church in Liverpool Walton,<br />

Joel is part of the media<br />

team where he serves as<br />

a sound technician. This<br />

ties in very neatly with<br />

his dream and ambition<br />

to become a sound engineer<br />

for his future career.<br />

Joel also plays the tuba at<br />

the YP band in his church.<br />

Ocassionnaly, when given<br />

an opportunity Joel will<br />

present a song alongside<br />

his sister Joy, an extremely<br />

talented actress, singer and<br />

self-taught guitarist. Both<br />

Joel and Joy are big fans of<br />

the legendary Lynn Ngugi<br />

- not because of her fame,<br />

but because of her character.<br />

For Joel, Lynn Ngugi<br />

exemplifies the self-discipline<br />

and focus any serious<br />

Black artist should have<br />

- whether in the performing<br />

arts or general entertainment<br />

industry. It matters<br />

who you lean from, and it<br />

matters who you associate<br />

with.<br />

Like most teenagers, Joel’s<br />

childhood journey has<br />

not always been smooth.<br />

From the age of 10, Joel<br />

has seen his share of ups<br />

and downs in life. He<br />

has struggled with severe<br />

peer pressure and has even<br />

questioned his faith on<br />

numerous occasions. But<br />

Joel also comes from a<br />

very supportive family<br />

where he has learned<br />

to overcome the internal<br />

battles he faces occasionally.<br />

The trick is to take each<br />

day at a time and to choose<br />

your battles wisely. Not<br />

every battle is yours to fight,<br />

because you only live once.<br />

In 2019, when Joel lost his<br />

grandmother, Major Mary<br />

Birengo (a retired officer of<br />

The Salvation Army), it really<br />

broke his heart. Joel loved<br />

his grandma very much,<br />

and her death taught him<br />

the realities of life - that<br />

nothing on this earth is<br />

permanent. Not even the<br />

people we love most. From<br />

that point onwards, Joel’s<br />

faith became more resolute,<br />

and his music moved<br />

up another level. Today Joel<br />

wants the world to know<br />

that only Jesus is Lord and<br />

that there is always hope<br />

despite all the difficulties<br />

we go through. He definitely<br />

makes for a future sound<br />

engineer with<br />

a difference.”<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 13



A Life Story by Agnes Odindo Awuoche, Liverpool UK<br />

I finished midwifery school<br />

in 1985. Taking from previous<br />

misfortunes with my other baby<br />

Caleb, I thought to myself - well,<br />

I had waited for at least three<br />

years before I could conceive<br />

again. And now having just<br />

learned midwifery, I felt I could<br />

conceive. And so Angela was<br />

born in 1986, two years after<br />

I lost Caleb. This time the<br />

pregnancy went well. Doctor<br />

Nisibirwa was very good at<br />

his work. I was observed very<br />

carefully. All was well. Towards<br />

delivery time I went<br />

into labour and we<br />

opted for a normal<br />

delivery at Nairobi<br />

Hospital. Angela was<br />

delivered during the<br />

day. The doctors were<br />

careful because Caleb<br />

had died at birth [it’s<br />

a long story!]. Dr Kung’u ‘The<br />

Paediatrician’ - the ‘perfect<br />

guy’ in those days, was there<br />

to receive Angela too. When<br />

Angela was delivered, she<br />

cried lavishly, suggesting a<br />

good Apgar score. But there<br />

was a problem. Usually after<br />

delivery, almost immediately<br />

they put your baby across your<br />

stomach to stimulate the uterus<br />

to detach the umbilical cord.<br />

But here this is not happening,<br />

and I’m wondering why. Then<br />

soon, I went into a deep sleep.<br />

When I woke up Dr Kung’u said,<br />

“Oh, you have a good, nice<br />

baby girl. What do we name<br />

her?” I said, “Angela.” And he<br />

said, “Everything is OK, she’s<br />

breathing fine.” Yet the baby<br />

had a cleft lip and palette. So<br />

right away I was like, “Can I see<br />

my baby?” When they brought<br />

Angela, oh! It was heartbreaking.<br />

I immediately asked, “What<br />

could have caused this - and<br />

why was it not seen on the X-ray,<br />

on the ultrasound?” The doctor<br />

said, “Agnes, there was no reason<br />

for an ultrasound on your baby<br />

then because you presented no<br />

problem. Obviously, we couldn’t<br />

expose a pregnant mother to<br />

X-rays, you know that. We had<br />

no reason to.”<br />

...But one time I put my foot down. I once<br />

said to Dr Kung’u, “I’m not leaving your<br />

office until we find out what’s wrong with<br />

my baby.<br />

As Angela got on, I noticed that<br />

she could not suckle. I had to<br />

take off time off work to feed<br />

her using a nasogastric (NG)<br />

tube - a skill needing meticulous<br />

attention or else she would<br />

choke and die. Over time, it<br />

made me so furious that even<br />

after I was doing all this, Angela<br />

was not growing, beautiful as<br />

she was. Whenever I took her<br />

to the doctors they just looked<br />

at her and said, ‘This girl has no<br />

issue, she’s going to grow.’ But<br />

one time I put my foot down. I<br />

once said to Dr Kung’u, “I’m not<br />

leaving your office until we find<br />

out what’s wrong with my baby.<br />

I want every test done.” We did<br />

a thyroid test, and the results<br />

showed that Angela lacked<br />

thyroxine - the hormone that<br />

helps with child growth. And<br />

by this time, she had already<br />

had brain damage. Had she<br />

been given thyroxine from day<br />

one she could have grown just<br />

like any other child. The cleft<br />

lip would be repaired later on<br />

with no issue. My baby never<br />

developed. In the end, I lost<br />

her needlessly because of this.<br />

If only there was something I<br />

could do to prevent it. Antenatal<br />

care in Kenya needs to improve.<br />

Thyroxine levels must be<br />

checked in every child<br />

born in Kenya. Testing<br />

should be routine<br />

like with sickle cell<br />

and diabetes. Kenya<br />

needs to change.<br />

By the time Angela<br />

was on thyroxine,<br />

she had developed<br />

cardiac problems and other<br />

complications. Doctor Gikonyo<br />

the cardiologist, had told us that<br />

Angela would die any time after<br />

about three years of age. Her<br />

internal organs would outgrow<br />

her chest cavity, her heart would<br />

be restricted. Oh! I cried for<br />

days. I was depressed for ages.<br />

But still, I had to attend to my<br />

baby. I learned to give her the<br />

best quality of life - even if just<br />

for 3 years. So, I put my foot<br />

down and I said, “Stop being<br />

depressed. In the hospital you’re<br />

looking after other people’s<br />

loved ones; you are able to look<br />

after your own.” So, Oh God I did.<br />

Angela became everything. I<br />

expressed my breast milk for the<br />

first six months. I made sure I<br />

14<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

was eating well. I even started<br />

gaining weight - from size 12<br />

then 14, then 16. I was like, “I’m<br />

eating for two, so it doesn’t<br />

matter. So be it.” I remember<br />

saying one day, “Well, three<br />

years have passed and Angela<br />

is still with us, so all I’m going<br />

to do is give this baby love for<br />

as long as I will have her.” And<br />

really, I did. I showered Angela<br />

with love. Eventually, we took<br />

Angela for surgery. I heard of<br />

a hospital in Kikuyu where an<br />

American doctor with Flying<br />

Doctors’ Service at AMREF was<br />

said to do surgeries on children<br />

thrown away by families<br />

because of their defects, and<br />

they would get well. When I<br />

went to Kikuyu hospital to meet<br />

this doctor, Oh my God, he was<br />

so loving and so receptive. He<br />

loved Angela from the instant.<br />

He said, “Oh, we’re going to<br />

make this baby as beautiful as<br />

she is meant to be. All we need<br />

to do is take our time to feed<br />

her. When she’s gained good<br />

weight, we can then do surgery.”<br />

And finally, he did, when Angela<br />

was about 3 years old. If you saw<br />

what the doctor had done you<br />

would not believe it. Amazing.<br />

Angela didn’t speak for a long<br />

time. She just used to mumble.<br />

But eventually, she could say<br />

‘no way, no Mama,’ and things<br />

like that. She brought joy into<br />

the home. My strength grew. I<br />

realised that I am stronger than<br />

I think. I learned that in life,<br />

you must carry your burdens<br />

but don’t let them weigh you<br />

down. As Angela grew, I knew<br />

that she needed me all the time,<br />

but our resources were running<br />

low. Angela would need special<br />

care for the rest of her life.<br />

When Europe wanted nurses<br />

from Kenya I thought to myself,<br />

“Angela is here with special<br />

needs, but I need to bring in<br />

extra money to the family. I<br />

have to go to Europe.”So I made<br />

the decision. I left for England,<br />

having made<br />

arrangements for<br />

Angela to be<br />

looked after.<br />

Angela died<br />

at the age of<br />

21, instead<br />

of the 3<br />

years<br />

initially<br />

given<br />

by<br />

the<br />

doctors.<br />

But still, it’s<br />

something you know<br />

will happen, but you are<br />

not prepared for it. I remember<br />

being at work one day at the<br />

Liverpool Royal University<br />

Hospital in England when my<br />

eldest daughter Edna rang me.<br />

Edna knew that Angela had<br />

died. Angela had coughed blood<br />

and bled continuously. By the<br />

time they took her to A&E at<br />

Aga Khan hospital, they could<br />

not revive her. Edna was having<br />

some difficulty telling me the<br />

news. Eventually, she said, “Oh,<br />

the doctors have said Angela<br />

has died. She did not make it.”<br />

While I was still talking to Edna<br />

my manager was listening.<br />

When I finished on the phone<br />

he said, “Listen, Agnes, take<br />

a holiday and when you are<br />

ready to go to Kenya, just go.<br />

Let us know when you’re ready<br />

to come back.” And then one of<br />

my friends Michelle McMahon<br />

drove me back to the house<br />

and stayed with me. I cried that<br />

night all night. The next day I<br />

took up the courage, booked<br />

a ticket home, and packed<br />

my bag. I went to Manchester<br />

Airport and boarded the flight<br />

to Nairobi, to go and bury my<br />

child. We gave Angela the best<br />

burial in her rural home, in<br />

Alego. Since coming to England<br />

I realised that maternal care for<br />

children and pregnant mothers<br />

includes<br />

regular<br />

ultrasound<br />

visits. During<br />

development, anything<br />

can change and problems can<br />

be detected early. This clearly<br />

is not happening in Kenya.<br />

Honestly, the Angela issue<br />

could have been discovered<br />

long before she was born. We<br />

would have been prepared<br />

during pregnancy with critical<br />

supplements like folic acid,<br />

which in the UK is routine.<br />

What’s more, cleft lip and palate<br />

is a well-researched medical<br />

condition. It appears only at<br />

certain times, especially in<br />

mothers who lack enough folic<br />

acid. During their fertile days,<br />

women lose iron and folic acid,<br />

which is what makes the blood<br />

cells, the haemoglobin. Women<br />

lose a lot of it when they<br />

menstruate in their lifetime.<br />

That’s why during pregnancy,<br />

women take folic acid for<br />

themselves and the baby. This<br />

should really put everything in<br />

perspective.<br />

Follow Agnes on Facebook:<br />

https://www.facebook.com/agnes.<br />

awuoche<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 15

16<br />

16<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

17<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 17






and trying<br />

to contain<br />

the situation<br />

as best as<br />

she could.<br />

Other people<br />

had arrived on<br />

the scene and<br />

taken over from her, she had been<br />

performing CPR on him already. I<br />

noticed her partner on the ground<br />

and something just switched in me<br />

and I went into fight mode. Myself<br />

“I often wonder where to begin on<br />

this journey called grief. Sometimes<br />

it’s not about dealing with grief or<br />

coming to terms with it; sometimes<br />

it’s about re-living the grief so<br />

that you can actually begin<br />

to break down the emotions<br />

attached to that grief. 2021<br />

has got have been one of<br />

my worst years. As a family,<br />

we had 10 bereavements<br />

and I felt emotionally,<br />

psychologically, financially<br />

and mentally drained.”<br />

my worst years. As a family,<br />

we had 10 bereavements and I<br />

felt emotionally, psychologically,<br />

financially and mentally drained. I<br />

was functioning on a reserve which<br />

was running low. It was the 13th of<br />

May, and I was at home unwell. I was<br />

preparing for another funeral which<br />

was due the next day. A very close<br />

friend of the family had tragically<br />

died in an RTC and so everything was<br />

still just raw. At just after 8 pm I got<br />

a text message from my friend and<br />

neighbour enquiring whether my<br />

daughter had been dropped off after<br />

brownies. One thing I must mention<br />

here is that every Thursday my friend’s<br />

partner would be our taxi service for<br />

taking the girls (his daughter and my<br />

and three other people tried to<br />

resuscitate him for what seemed<br />

like forever though I believe it was<br />

about 15 minutes while waiting<br />

for the ambulance to arrive. But<br />

sadly, he died right before our eyes,<br />

we couldn’t do anything to save<br />

him. That moment is stored in my<br />

memory. I can still remember the<br />

cries and numbness around me.<br />

But I remember also the hysteria<br />

from the girls. My daughter and her<br />

friend were awarded the highest<br />

daughter) to brownies. A couple of<br />

minutes later, my phone rang. Our<br />

children hadn’t returned home from<br />

brownies with her partner and she<br />

was worried. So she decided to go and<br />

find out what was happening as they<br />

were over 30 minutes late. Ten minutes<br />

later my phone rang again. It was my<br />

friend, she was hysterical and calm at<br />

the same time if that makes sense. I<br />

couldn’t hear anything. But I just knew<br />

she was frantic about something. I<br />

jumped in the car and drove off at 100<br />

mph. I arrived where the girl was, only<br />

to see a group of people gathered.<br />

Imagine the scene where 2 young girls<br />

aged 8 and 9 watched as the only adult<br />

around them collapsed. They tried to<br />

turn him over to do first aid but they<br />

couldn’t. My daughter ran to the road<br />

to wave down cars to stop and help,<br />

while his daughter watching helplessly<br />

searched for her dad’s car keys so she<br />

could unlock the car and call her mum<br />

for help. Both girls were beyond brave;<br />

they didn’t have a minute to panic,<br />

they just knew they needed to save<br />

his life, they tried to call for help. They<br />

tried to help him while waiting for help<br />

themselves.<br />

When I arrived at the scene, I jumped<br />

out of the car and run towards my<br />

friend who was comforting the girls<br />

honour you can receive as a Guide.<br />

In the UK only several of those<br />

honours have ever been given and<br />

in Scotland only a handful. They are<br />

the youngest honoraries to receive<br />

such an award for bravery. It has<br />

taught me that to be vulnerable<br />

means to be brave. Be vulnerable<br />

with your emotions because you’ll<br />

need all the bravery you can master<br />

to tackle the storm of grief. The girls<br />

are very brave, and it shows how<br />

we often underestimate children. I<br />

18<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

Children learn quickly. I have had heartwarming stories of children as<br />

young as 3 years who called an ambulance when their mother went<br />

unconscious due to hypoglycemia due to diabetes, and the mother’s<br />

life was saved.<br />

drove home, but I don’t remember<br />

that journey at all. I was feeling very<br />

numb, very lost, very confused, but<br />

also frustrated. I didn’t really talk<br />

about my emotions because we had<br />

a funeral the next day. As a matter of<br />

fact, I haven’t really talked about it<br />

because it ignites so many different<br />

emotions in me. What I do know is<br />

that my life changed that day, and<br />

my perspective changed. Every day<br />

I’m learning to face a storm that<br />

hits me from all angles and I simply<br />

don’t know how to navigate it. Some<br />

days I’m equipped, and some days<br />

I rely on the navigation of others,<br />

especially those close to me.<br />

Grief doesn’t go away; and as long<br />

as you are willing to face it, grief can<br />

help you to accept the events that<br />

have passed. But you must also be<br />

willing to show vulnerability. When<br />

we relive the grief and reflect on it<br />

from the perspective of what we<br />

have learned from it and review the<br />

personal effort we put to assist and<br />

share the situation, it’s better than<br />

when we bottle it in. Otherwise,<br />

it becomes cancer. It can erupt at<br />

any moment, which could make<br />

us feel overwhelmed and flee or<br />

withdraw into ourselves. It’s also<br />

at times difficult to shelter others<br />

from witnessing stressful situations<br />

in the hope that we are protecting<br />

them. We have to allow people to<br />

go through all the stages of grief<br />

and remember that each individual<br />

has their own coping mechanism, as<br />

long as we offer support and safety.<br />

I have found that those people who<br />

manage to go through grief, help<br />

themselves by campaigning for<br />

solutions to end or solve problems,<br />

and this gives them the satisfaction<br />

that they are able to live through<br />

grief. After the incident, I only spoke<br />

to my daughter once about it simply<br />

because I didn’t know what to say<br />

and what not to say. She had been<br />

so traumatized and I didn’t know<br />

how to help. I have since attended<br />

a bereavement course that I wish<br />

anyone who has experienced grief<br />

or parents should attend. We must<br />

talk about death and be open about<br />

it. Our African culture, heritage,<br />

and tradition have taught us that<br />

death and the topic, in general, is<br />

very taboo. So we bottle up our<br />

emotions and in turn, we let our<br />

children bottle up their emotions<br />

- until they can’t cope anymore. So<br />

now in our house, we talk about<br />

people who have died. We don’t say<br />

they have ‘passed on’ because that<br />

indicates they are coming back. We<br />

don’t say they ‘lost their life’ because<br />

it indicates they’ll find it again (if<br />

something is lost, it can be found).<br />

Instead, we call a space a spade,<br />

and they’re opening up for honest<br />

dialogue.<br />

Children learn quickly. I have had<br />

heartwarming stories of children<br />

as young as 3 years who called an<br />

ambulance when their mother went<br />

unconscious due to hypoglycemia<br />

due to diabetes, and the mother’s<br />

life was saved. We have to learn<br />

to tell the children the truth and<br />

teach them how to cope in cases<br />

of emergency as well as accessing<br />

situations that can help others<br />

without putting themselves in<br />

danger. What we must also do is<br />

ensure we break down barriers and<br />

taboos around conversations. If<br />

we can learn to have open honest<br />

conversations with our children at<br />

a very young age without the fear<br />

of saying the wrong thing, then we<br />

allow our children to have an open<br />

dialogue about different subjects.<br />

We have the power to unknowingly,<br />

instil negative thoughts in our<br />

children from when they are<br />

toddlers. But we also have the<br />

power<br />

to equip our<br />

children and ourselves<br />

with the tools to<br />

navigate life with<br />

whatever curve balls<br />

life throws at us.<br />

Dealing with grief<br />

is no different, it<br />

involves talking,<br />

sharing, writing,<br />

and absolutely<br />

anything<br />

apart from<br />

bottling it<br />

up. I have<br />

moments<br />

where<br />

I am<br />

frozen<br />

in time and<br />

instantly taken back<br />

to that day and my friend just<br />

senses my despair and is always<br />

at hand with chocolate orange,<br />

poems and hugs. There is a lot we<br />

need to learn about grief and also<br />

about supporting our children. It’s a<br />

lifetime journey and it’s a joint effort<br />

for not only parents but the entire<br />

family. We must teach our children<br />

the importance of being honest<br />

with their emotions.<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 19



Courtesy - Eastbrook School<br />

20<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

The Young Mayor of Barking and Dagenham<br />

It is March <strong>2023</strong> and<br />

Eastbrook’s Regina Pamba<br />

has been elected as the<br />

young Mayor of Barking and<br />

Dagenham (or B&D). For<br />

Regina, this position came<br />

with many ‘firsts’. She’s the<br />

first Eastbrook student and<br />

the first British Kenyan to<br />

hold this post. As a young<br />

woman of the people and for<br />

the people, Regina takes great<br />

pride in representing her<br />

peers’ views astutely and succinctly.<br />

Throughout her years<br />

at Eastbrook, Regina’s values<br />

and attributes of a good<br />

leader have been evident.<br />

Her passion for the pursuit of<br />

justice and, her ‘no-nonsense<br />

approach, unsurprising<br />

provided Regina with this<br />

opportunity and mandate to<br />

represent the young people<br />

of Barking & Dagenham.<br />

Indeed she had a hectic<br />

schedule ahead, but she also<br />

had the maturity to balance<br />

the demands of her studies<br />

leading to her GCSE, planning<br />

her activities and representing<br />

the young people. Here is<br />

Regina’s own account of how<br />

she became the Young Mayor<br />

of Barking & Dagenham:<br />

“This has been such an<br />

exhilarating journey and the<br />

reality of it hasn’t really set<br />

in yet. It’s been a long time<br />

coming, I should say and I<br />

am super proud to start on<br />

the path of being a young<br />

people’s advocate. To become<br />

Young Mayor, you must be a<br />

member of the Barking and<br />

Dagenham Youth Forum<br />

which is the Borough’s platform<br />

for ‘young people to<br />

have a say on issues af ecting<br />

their lives and communities,’<br />

and it’s comprised ‘of 13 to<br />

18-year-olds elected by peers,<br />

in schools and youth groups,<br />

having a say and influence<br />

on policymakers.’. I joined<br />

the forum in 2019, being the<br />

only member from Eastbrook<br />

at the time and by being my<br />

true authentic self, I cast the<br />

foundations for my electoral<br />

victory on Wednesday 22nd<br />

of February. I have always<br />

been outspoken and unafraid<br />

of the truth, which some<br />

people may see as a negative<br />

and at times has cost me a<br />

lot, but I view it as me being<br />

able to speak honestly and a<br />

skill like that is particularly<br />

useful in the unprecedented<br />

times we face now.”<br />

“Coming into Year 11, I sort<br />

of had my ‘eureka’ moment<br />

and realised it is only me<br />

who can grant me the successful<br />

future that I desire<br />

so badly. I realised that I<br />

was in the wrong headspace<br />

and was quickly falling into<br />

a path that I didn’t want to<br />

go down. I set my sights on<br />

becoming Young Mayor, very<br />

early on, maybe in December<br />

or so, I enjoy close relations<br />

with the two previous Young<br />

Mayors and have been able<br />

to accompany them and<br />

witness, side by side, the ef<br />

ort and passion that goes into<br />

a job like this. I nominated<br />

myself and received lots of<br />

encouraging support from<br />

my fellow Forum Members,<br />

who have long been encouraging<br />

me to take up this job<br />

but the same support did<br />

not translate in my school<br />

life. Contrary to popular<br />

belief, I wrote no speech in<br />

advance and spoke on a limb<br />

to the whole forum hoping I<br />

could sway them with charisma.<br />

It worked. I vowed to<br />

continue to uplift the spirit<br />

and profile of Barking and<br />

Dagenham alongside fighting<br />

for the voices of Barking and<br />

Dagenham’s youth and I hate<br />

to break a vow. I am committed<br />

to setting the foundations<br />

for young people in Barking<br />

and Dagenham for future<br />

generations, this will always<br />

be at the forefront of everything<br />

I do.”<br />

Regina’s term will last<br />

between March <strong>2023</strong> and<br />

February 2024. In that time<br />

she will work alongside one<br />

of the B&D Youth Forum<br />

sub-groups to fundraise for<br />

their chosen charity this year,<br />

which is Centrepoint - the<br />

UK’s leading youth homelessness<br />

charity that provides<br />

housing and<br />

support for young people.<br />

Regina will also attend<br />

various formal events during<br />

her term and represent the<br />

voices of young people across<br />

the borough on topics important<br />

to them.<br />

Courtesy - Eastbrook School<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 21

I grew up on the side of town<br />

where corners were left and barefoot<br />

boys dribbled nylon -thread<br />

fastened balls on the dusty<br />

pavements of the civil servant<br />

quarters. Somewhere between<br />

the high and low estate.The pavements<br />

were pleasantly hot on all<br />

afternoons when the kindergarten<br />

behind the short driveway<br />

to the cobbler’s home closed<br />

sending all the children into a<br />

frenzy. Once in a while fights<br />

would break out between the<br />

boys and be on each other’s neck<br />

through out the week;needless<br />

the fights would be pacesetters<br />

for who sent the maximum<br />

blows and kicks. I remember one<br />

Melchizedek Alukwe Omung’ala<br />

(I hope I got the name right)<br />

once bit a bully’s ear, the boy<br />

had to ran to the headteacher to<br />

report the ordeal.As the kindergarten<br />

norm the two boys were<br />

summoned to the headteacher’s<br />

office.<br />

22<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

She had a silver speckled<br />

eyes and must have spent her<br />

early years of her life scrubbing<br />

floors, telling my the<br />

roughness of her palms. But<br />

came to realize later that she<br />

was a farmer in her village.<br />

When jolly she would grin<br />

and stand next to her office<br />

window watching the sun set<br />

as it’s rays reflection hit the<br />

old dusty shelves in her office.<br />

She always wore a conservative<br />

floral dress to school and<br />

when she wasn’t gloriously<br />

beating the unruly boys and<br />

girls she would be dull busy<br />

in her office. The kids who<br />

ever visited her dusty office<br />

lived to tell about it but it<br />

wasn’t a pleasing tale to tell<br />

twice.<br />

At some point we all wished<br />

to be forever young, the<br />

kindergarten feeling was<br />

unmatched and a childhood<br />

adventure never to be erased<br />

in our memories. The thought<br />

of joining primary school<br />

gave me shivers from how I<br />

saw my elder siblings getting<br />

exhausted and the stories<br />

they shared were somehow<br />

traumatizing. My parents had<br />

not planned to take my sister<br />

and I to Tharuni primary<br />

school P.o box 417 Limuru<br />

we were ‘gatecrashers’ to<br />

the class one entry exam.<br />

My neighbor Mrs Kanyoro<br />

who had been a long serving<br />

youth matron at our church<br />

had managed to convince<br />

my parents that we were<br />

bright enough to join primary<br />

school depiste our tender age,<br />

this was after she had spotted<br />

my sister and I perform at<br />

the catholic inter parish<br />

young christians competitions<br />

some time before. We<br />

Voice of the Youth<br />

did the school entry exam in<br />

th most stunning way with<br />

my my sister scoring with 3<br />

points ahead of me. It was<br />

the first ‘serious’ exam where<br />

I saw an invigilator, here<br />

things were different, there<br />

was a system to be followed<br />

not as it was at the our local<br />

Fr Kizito kindergarten where<br />

the headteacher was playing<br />

multiple roles. They passed<br />

the exam papers to us, I was<br />

blank for some minutes.<br />

What did I fear? Was it the<br />

prospects presented by the<br />

primary entry exam? Or was<br />

it the state of mind when the<br />

tall dark bearded wrinkly<br />

looking man stood Infront of<br />

the room sending a deathly<br />

silence across the room?<br />

I never felt the urge to be in<br />

school, the thought of it never<br />

at any given moment bacame<br />

a bother. I went to school<br />

because it was ‘mandatory’<br />

(I know its weird coming out<br />

that way) I clearly struggled<br />

to resist the idea of waking<br />

up early early each morning<br />

when sleep was at its best. I<br />

was reluctant to take a bath,<br />

even though mother always<br />

tried to make things seem<br />

easy for me. The warm bath<br />

water mother would get ready<br />

in the plastic bucket broken<br />

at the top bearing a black<br />

patch on its otherwise yellow<br />

glow. The man who repaired<br />

the bucket must have bore a<br />

grudge against my mother,<br />

the shoddy work he did outlasted<br />

my childhood upto do<br />

date when I go home I still<br />

see the ugly mark left on the<br />

once striking pail.<br />

Every morning at 5:13am<br />

my mother would switch on<br />

the radio and the same song<br />

would repeatedly blast us out<br />

if bed. These songs on the<br />

local vernacular station were<br />

prescription to out ears. The<br />

likes of the late Queen Jane,<br />

Joseph kamaru, John Ndichu<br />

and DK wa Maria just to<br />

name a few graced the mornings<br />

as from my room I could<br />

hear my mother humming to<br />

their lovely tunes.<br />

It never came along singly<br />

especially how mother<br />

pushed the academic buttons<br />

until finally school became a<br />

normal and the alien feeling<br />

subsided. I remember with a<br />

collected nostalgia the tea she<br />

made us before leaving for<br />

school,it ushered a new day<br />

with an absence of pain and<br />

deep thoughts, an absence<br />

of fear that I had harboured<br />

for quite some time. It was<br />

as though it baptised me<br />

each and every morning of<br />

my primary school life. The<br />

tea was a rare mix of tender<br />

rain and tropic tea delicate<br />

scented with a trace of cinnamon.<br />

Today if I compared<br />

the tea to a woman then she<br />

would be beautiful, graceful<br />

and calm, she would have a<br />

youthful glare when suddenly<br />

goaded, her voice like that<br />

of blended flutes , she would<br />

have a light gauze hanging<br />

loosely from her form, her<br />

dance would be epic. So sweet<br />

of the my childhood memories<br />

yet in that distance I<br />

search for a moment I search<br />

for the beauty that defines<br />

those days, the barriers we<br />

crossed, the open reciting<br />

of the multiplication table,<br />

the 2pm naps they forced us<br />

to take not forgeting dreaming<br />

of a future I did not<br />

comprehend.<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 23


KENMA-UK<br />


KENMA–UK is a member-led organization<br />

that seeks to serve and<br />

supports new nurses and midwives<br />

moving from Kenya to the United<br />

Kingdom. The association consists<br />

of Nurses and Midwives who have<br />

relocated from Kenya and now permanently<br />

residing in the UK. These<br />

are people who are passionate<br />

about sharing their experiences<br />

with all other Kenyan Nurses or<br />

Midwives, empowering, and supporting<br />

each other as they settle<br />

in the UK. Each nurse has a story to<br />

tell, and they all strive to achieve<br />

excellence in their daily lives within<br />

the communities they serve both<br />

in the United Kingdom and Kenya.<br />

Rationale<br />

Because the founding members<br />

know from experience just how<br />

tough it can be to relocate to a<br />

new country, the aim of the association<br />

is to provide targeted<br />

support to facilitate a smooth<br />

transition, every step of the way.<br />

as such, KENMA–UK has published<br />

a booklet that offers a wealth of<br />

advice to help Kenyan nurses settle<br />

into the UK when they arrive for<br />

the first time. It provides relevant<br />

information that would enable<br />

a Kenyan nurse or midwife to<br />

navigate some of the inevitable<br />

challenges they may come up<br />

against in the UK. To every new<br />

nurse, this booklet is a must-have,<br />

which should be kept close by to<br />

answer queries and concerns that<br />

may arise. included also are web<br />

links, telephone numbers and<br />

other useful tips and tools to help<br />

new nurses learn and understand<br />

British culture. it teaches what is<br />

required to make the journey from<br />

living in Kenya to living in the UK<br />

smooth without too many bumps<br />

along the way.<br />

Impact<br />

A key outcome of the association<br />

is that every nurse that arrives is<br />

able to enjoy his/her new life and<br />

career in England, knowing there is<br />

always someone contactable who<br />

can support him/her along the<br />

way. Kenyan Nurses and Midwives<br />

Association UK (KENMA UK) therefore<br />

warmly welcomes Kenyan<br />

Nurses and Midwives recruited<br />

from Kenya to work in the UK. The<br />

association was formed with the<br />

aim of ensuring that newly arrived<br />

nurses have a smooth transition<br />

from the Kenyan healthcare<br />

system into the British healthcare<br />

system. This comes on the back of<br />

the bilateral agreement on health<br />

workforce recruitment between<br />

Kenya and the UK in 2020. The association<br />

aims to assist in supporting<br />

nurses and their families from<br />

the time they think of applying<br />

to relocate from Kenya, to finally<br />

settling in the United Kingdom.<br />

their core objective is to provide<br />

information, and guidance, including<br />

support with education on the<br />

UK’s way of life.<br />

Parameters<br />

It is important to note that KEN-<br />

MA–UK is not affiliated with any<br />

political party or trade union. All<br />

the work they do is voluntary,<br />

primarily assisting Nurses or Midwives<br />

who have trained in Kenya to<br />

settle in the UK. However, this does<br />

not limit their scope of assistance.<br />

they collaborate with other international<br />

associations to support all<br />

nurses or midwives from around<br />

the world. KENMA-UKare is not a<br />

recruiting agency; however, they<br />

can advise on ethical recruitment<br />

processes as outlined by the MoU<br />

between Kenya and UK.<br />

Memorandum Of Understanding<br />

In July 2021, the governments of<br />

Kenya and the United Kingdom of<br />

Great Britain and Northern Ireland<br />

signed a bilateral agreement on<br />

the health workforce. The aim is to<br />

cooperate in the delivery of healthcare<br />

through the recruitment of<br />

healthcare professionals in Kenya<br />

for employment in the United<br />

Kingdom of Great Britain and<br />

Northern Ireland. This recruitment<br />

shall only be conducted through<br />

government-to-government arrangements<br />

or their licences and<br />

accredited employment agencies.<br />

On 11th November of the same<br />

year, the Department of Health<br />

and Social Care (DHSC) in the UK<br />

announced that Kenya was added<br />

to the amber list of countries in the<br />

Code of Practice for the International<br />

Recruitment of Health and<br />

Social Care Personnel in England.<br />

This meant that the Ministry of<br />

Labour and Social Protection in<br />

collaboration with the Ministry of<br />

Health, Kenya was mandated to<br />

spearhead the implementation of<br />

24<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

the agreement in the recruitment<br />

and migration of qualified<br />

health professionals to the United<br />

Kingdom. The list is based on<br />

the World Health Organisation<br />

(WHO) Workforce Support and<br />

Safeguard List compiled in 2020.<br />

The KENMA–UK Launch<br />

On 25th July 2021, KENMA-UK<br />

was launched in the presence of<br />

the Kenyan High Commissioner<br />

to the UK Hon Esipisu Manoa,<br />

Hon Kivutha Kibwana and senior<br />

officials in the Nursing profession<br />

both from Kenya and the<br />

United Kingdom. The main aims<br />

and objectives were to identify<br />

ways of collaboration between<br />

all the stakeholders present and<br />

more. More than 300 registered<br />

nurses and midwives attended<br />

the virtual event. There is more<br />

to be done for our Kenyan<br />

Nurses and Midwives in the UK<br />

as outlined in the objectives of<br />

the association.<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 25

Special Feature<br />

The Diaspora Times and The Diaspora Connect<br />

The Diaspora Times<br />

Spread the love<br />

We are the Diaspora voice connecting all globally. https://kenyanparentsinusa.com Spread the love<br />

July 1st, <strong>2023</strong> -Issue 173 Diaspora Source Of Anything,. Everything Try us to get best results.<br />

The Future Today<br />

TEL+4049668550<br />

TEL+4049668550<br />

Abigirl Phiri Stop gender based violence P. 5<br />

Capturing The Moment With Tourism<br />

Page 05<br />

Inspiration Stories<br />

By Memory Phiri page 17<br />

By George Wachiuri page 15<br />

Thursday’s worst air pollution was centered over Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis and Cleveland<br />

Air Quality Alert<br />

Across US Cities<br />

Unity Homes is a leading property<br />

developer of residential communities<br />

in Kenya. With 687 completed homes<br />

and 2000 homes in the pipeline, Unity<br />

Homes is one of the fastest-growing<br />

property developers in East Africa.<br />

D<br />

120 million people under air quality alerts across a dozen States from Minnesota to New York<br />

angerous air quality and hazy skies persist<br />

as smoke from Canada’s raging wildfires<br />

drifts south, leaving more than 100<br />

million people under air quality alerts<br />

across a dozen states from Minnesota to<br />

New York and down to the Carolinas.<br />

By 6 p.m. Thursday, Detroit topped the list of cities with<br />

the worst air quality in the world, followed by Washington,<br />

DC, according to IQAir. Chicago and New York City<br />

were among the top 10.<br />

Air quality in Illinois improved Thursday afternoon<br />

Whats Inside<br />

P 04<br />

Centum 19<br />

Laughter click here P. 18<br />

P. 10<br />

Wellness P. 20<br />

Sports 21<br />

Weather P. 05<br />

P. Unity Homes P. Abigirl Phiri Corner as a massive thunderstorm complex raced across the<br />

Midwest, blowing through the harmful smoke from the<br />

wildfires and clearing the air in its wake.<br />

The storm, referred to as a bow echo because of its<br />

arc-like appearance on radar, has produced wind gusts<br />

close to 90 mph. A wind gust of 88 mph was reported in<br />

western Illinois early Thursday afternoon, and a severe<br />

thunderstorm watch was in effect in Illinois and parts<br />

of Indiana ahead of the system.<br />

As per CNN report<br />

Text only +4049668550<br />


We do not specialize in investigative journalism but inform diaspora what is happening as reported or from our correspondents<br />

https: /kenyanparentsinusa.com , liams2314@yahoo.com | Published in Marietta GA. $1 ksh 0.00 a l you need. TEL4049668550<br />

The<br />

* Page 13 *<br />

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THE DIASPORA TIMES 170.indd 1<br />

Ultimately, we share investment<br />

opportunities, news, and articles. Kenyans in<br />

the Diaspora are heterogeneous, coming from<br />

different ethnic backgrounds and skin colours.<br />

The Diaspora Times was<br />

founded by Dr. Isaac Kinungi in<br />

2021 as a weekly newspaper<br />

covering news items from Kenya<br />

and around the world, with<br />

contributors from the worldwide<br />

Diaspora. The newspaper has<br />

a column on fallen heroes since<br />

Independence Kenya, a health<br />

column, religious forum and<br />

even a column for jokes. Advertising<br />

is welcome in the newspaper.<br />

The Diaspora Connect<br />

magazine is a sister publication<br />

that works closely with the Diaspora<br />

Times to inform Kenyans<br />

about investment opportunities<br />

that reliable real Estate<br />

companies offer. The Diaspora<br />

Connect Kenya magazine is an<br />

avenue for diasporans to speak<br />

with one voice. Further, we can<br />

use it to advance ourselves in<br />

all fields. Let’s all contribute<br />

and share our joy or grief with<br />

other Kenyans worldwide so<br />

that the information shared can<br />

help others. Be part of those<br />

determined to advance themselves<br />

while advancing others.<br />

Using these two publications,<br />

Diasporans can connect with<br />

those in Kenya both on politics<br />

and welfare to advance themselves<br />

politically and economically.<br />

There are programs that<br />

can assist bright students to<br />

immigrate to the USA and we<br />

feature such groups monthly.<br />

Ultimately, we share investment<br />

opportunities, news,<br />

and articles. Kenyans in the<br />

Diaspora are heterogeneous,<br />

coming from different ethnic<br />

backgrounds and skin colours.<br />

But despite all these differences<br />

we are united by one common<br />

theme, our love for the country<br />

we love as Kenyans by birth,<br />

marriage, or naturalisation. As<br />

diverse as we are, we are interconnected<br />

by the fate of Kenya<br />

as a nation. We are a microcosm<br />

of people representing all<br />

these differences and different<br />

regions and counties of Kenya.<br />

In spite of our diversity, we seek<br />

to be unified as Kenyans and<br />

we desire to speak with one<br />

Kenyan Diaspora voice.<br />

Our website is http://kenyanparentsinusa.com<br />

26<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

com<br />

Page 12<br />

Y PAGE 07<br />

6/30/<strong>2023</strong> 7:37:44 AM<br />


6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 27

Community Feature<br />



By Anne Njeri Nugent,<br />

Co-founder<br />

For Kenyans Connect - Northern Ireland<br />

formation and birthing, this came about when<br />

Anne and Damaris Muchendu, a resident<br />

in Belfast, met. Their love and passion for<br />

Community Work and desire to re-birth the<br />

Kenyan Community in Northern Ireland with the<br />

aim of bringing Kenyans together to avoid social<br />

isolation and to bring forth a platform where we<br />

could all engage, share ideas and information,<br />

empower each other and keep the Ubuntu Spirit<br />

burning. And it’s been a journey, as a journey<br />

of a thousand miles starts with one step, still<br />

ongoing and so far with a functioning board of<br />

very capable leaders from the local community<br />

and Kenyan community. And so we work as a<br />

team so that we can drive forth the vision of<br />

the need for unity in the diaspora. One of the<br />

Kenyans-Connect events was attended by Deputy<br />

High Commissioner Amb. Joakim Kamere (who<br />

truly encouraged us to re-organize and structure<br />

ourselves and be one voice). Members of the<br />

Legislative Assembly in Belfast were present as<br />

well as an International researcher and other<br />

local leaders. Anne is also the Secretary-General<br />

and Damaris the Co-ordinator whilst other posts<br />

are held by the members.<br />

History of the group<br />

I personally felt that in Northern Ireland there<br />

lacked a close-knit Kenyan Community where<br />

one could just have that sense of belonging and<br />

keep the Ubuntu Spirit/Harambee Spirit of<br />

togetherness alive. I grew up in a place where<br />

community outreach/spirit was the order of the<br />

day. So when 2022 April/May I met Damaris<br />

Muchendu in Belfast, a conversation was struck<br />

about a gap for an active community/platform for<br />

Kenyans to converge as a community. She was the<br />

third Kenyan I had met in the span of 3yrs of my<br />

being in NI. We quickly formed a WhatsApp<br />

group & Facebook group and rebirthed it<br />

Kenyans Connect- Northern Ireland. There<br />

wasn’t even a Social media presence/existence<br />

of Kenyans living in Northern Ireland, though<br />

there was a previous association years<br />

before that I suppose it went inactive due to<br />

unavoidable circumstances. And truly there<br />

was a need to fill in the gap for continuity.<br />

Founders<br />

Damaris Muchendu and Anne Njeri are the<br />

founders. Leaders are Chair - Jean Kasera;<br />

Vice Chair - David Kashindo; Secretary - Anne<br />

Njeri; Treasurer - Kevin Wilson; and Coordinator<br />

- Damaris Muchendu. It’s a 7 board/<br />

Committee and Voluntary Community-based<br />

group. Activities so far include the celebration<br />

of Kenyan National days - Madaraka Day,<br />

and Jamhuri Day, attended by Deputy Kenya<br />

High Commissioner UK - Joachim Kamere,<br />

Members of the Legislative Assembly from<br />

Belfast West, and other local leaders from<br />

other organisations. We have had so far<br />

two Summer Picnics on the Beach with our<br />

kids, and one Annual General Meeting. We<br />

are also underway/ongoing, doing a funded<br />

Community Leadership training course as a<br />

group (Board & Leaders).<br />

Parting Shot<br />

Leaders are there to serve and work with us.<br />

Leadership should not be cutthroat micromanaging<br />

at least that’s what I believe. But of<br />

course carry the vision/mission(to bring the<br />

community together), articulate, amend and<br />

implement.<br />

28<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

<strong>Kings</strong> Developers Limited<br />

(KDL) is a real estate<br />

company that was founded<br />

as part of the Royal group<br />

Companies. Since its<br />

inception in 2009, <strong>Kings</strong><br />

Developers has become<br />

synonymous with the<br />

development of ultra-high<br />

commercial, residential,<br />

retail and mixed use properties<br />

making it the premier<br />

quality homes developer in<br />

the Kenyan market.<br />

With a portfolio that spans<br />

over fifteen years and over<br />

35 completed projects,<br />

<strong>Kings</strong> Developers’ mission<br />

is to go above and beyond<br />

the notion of just providing<br />

homes, but also developing<br />

a luxury life. And this has<br />

been boosted by the noncompromising<br />

use of cutting<br />

edge technology, high<br />

quality construction materials,<br />

skilled professionals<br />

and a passion to open up<br />

elite property ownership<br />

across the country.<br />

The firm was established<br />

to offer innovative solutions<br />

for local and foreign<br />

investors in the Real Estate<br />

Sector in Kenya. To mention<br />

a few of the firm’s project,<br />

there’s <strong>Kings</strong> Serenity<br />

in Ongata Rongai, <strong>Kings</strong><br />

Barini in Lavington, <strong>Kings</strong><br />

Eden Garden in Lavington<br />

amongst many others. The<br />

various locations include:<br />

Ruiru, Ongata Rongai, Nakuru,<br />

Kilimani, Kileleshwa,<br />

Lavington, Eldoret and<br />

Mombasa road. The company’s<br />

projects range from<br />

affordable to mid to high<br />

end projects.<br />

In the Affordable housing<br />

sector, KDL have built several<br />

projects which include<br />

<strong>Kings</strong> Serenity in Ongata<br />

Rongai, <strong>Kings</strong> Sapphire in<br />

Nakuru city, and currently<br />

the ongoing project in Ruiru<br />

: The <strong>Kings</strong> Boma Estate<br />

which will be the pearl<br />

of Ruiru town in Kiambu<br />

county. With its groundbreaking<br />

ceremony having<br />

taken place in January<br />

<strong>2023</strong>, officiated by H.E The<br />

President, Dr William Ruto.<br />

<strong>Kings</strong> Boma has a flexible<br />

payment plan of upto 2<br />

years, to ensure that your<br />

home ownership journey<br />

will be a journey of ease.<br />

In the mid market, there’s<br />

<strong>Kings</strong> Vintage Homes along<br />

Ngong road - 2Bedroom<br />

apartments that seeks to<br />

revolutionize what comfort<br />

living means. The apartments<br />

will have majestic<br />

views of Ngong forest, proximity<br />

to several schools,<br />

major highways and shopping<br />

malls.<br />

In the high end markets,<br />

<strong>Kings</strong> Developers is building<br />

Apollo Suites in Kileleshwa<br />

which hosts spacious 3Bedroom<br />

Apartments with SQ,<br />

that epitomize luxury and<br />

modern living. Anything<br />

and everything that you<br />

will need to make your life<br />

comfortable, will be found<br />

at Apollo Suites.<br />

Apart from residential<br />

homes, <strong>Kings</strong> Developers<br />

also have commercial<br />

spaces. The most popular<br />

being the iconic building in<br />

Nairobi The Prism Tower in<br />

Upper Hill which serves as<br />

a home to top businesses in<br />

the country.<br />

As the real estate industry<br />

continues to evolve, <strong>Kings</strong><br />

Developers Ltd, remains<br />

dedicated to innovation,<br />

excellence, and client<br />

satisfaction. With the unwavering<br />

commitment to<br />

providing exceptional real<br />

estate experiences, the firm<br />

is well-positioned to shape<br />

the future of the industry.<br />

Choose <strong>Kings</strong> Developers<br />

as your trusted partner in<br />

the real estate journey. Buy<br />

Kenya, build Kenya, for your<br />

search for a home has come<br />

to an end.<br />

www.kingsdevelopers.com.<br />

Email sales@kingsdevelopers.com<br />

Call / Whatsapp : +254<br />

700090060<br />

29<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 29


“It's not about Disability, it's about what people<br />

can do when there is support”<br />

Dr Anne Wafula Strike<br />

(PhD) is a Kenyan-born,<br />

British wheelchair racing<br />

champion who started<br />

life as a Kenyan outcast<br />

but fought her way<br />

through life to become an<br />

iconic, global wheelchair<br />

Paralympian. Growing<br />

up back in Kenya, Anne<br />

dealt with rejection by her<br />

community at an early age.<br />

She had beaten the odds<br />

and as a result, she has done<br />

proud for herself and people<br />

living with disabilities. Below<br />

are some slides from a<br />

media book published by<br />

Mr Keya (<strong>Karibu</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>’s<br />

Principal Graphics Designer).<br />

The slides summarise some<br />

of the most powerful sayings<br />

and quotes from Dr Anne<br />

over the years.<br />

“Today Dr Anne is a<br />

board member of UK<br />

Athletics, holds a British<br />

MBE for services to disability<br />

sports and serves as a<br />

patron of several charities<br />

supporting the rights of<br />

people with disabilities. She<br />

is a formidable disability<br />

rights campaigner, after<br />

competing in wheelchair<br />

racing at the Paralympics<br />

despite being shunned<br />

by her village because of<br />

polio. The villagers did<br />

not understand what was<br />

happening to her. Some<br />

thought it was witchcraft,<br />

while some thought it<br />

was a curse from God.<br />

They even tried to burn<br />

Athumani’s mud hut<br />

down. The villagers lacked<br />

sufficient knowledge<br />

of polio. Despite this,<br />

Athumani was determined<br />

to see his daughter thrive<br />

beyond life with polio. “My<br />

dad is my hero,” she always<br />

says. Dr Anne is who she is<br />

today because her father<br />

Athumani believed in<br />

her when everybody else<br />

around rejected her. He<br />

was a very forward-thinking<br />

person who believed<br />

that education would<br />

rescue Anne. Athumani<br />

made sure that Dr Anne<br />

got an education despite<br />

the prejudice and lack<br />

30<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>


of access to getting an<br />

education. Anne graduated<br />

from university in Kenya and<br />

became a teacher. She then<br />

met her husband, and they<br />

moved to the UK in 2000.<br />

By chance, when Anne<br />

discovered this sport, it<br />

subsequently changed<br />

her life. The community<br />

bought Anne her first racing<br />

wheelchair and this began<br />

a journey to competing<br />

alongside the world’s best.<br />

Anne represented Kenya<br />

at the 2004 Paralympic<br />

Games in Athens, being<br />

the first person from sub-<br />

Saharan Africa to compete<br />

in wheelchair racing. Two<br />

years later she attained<br />

British citizenship and<br />

represented Great Britain in<br />

two World Championships<br />

and four Paralympic World<br />

Cups. Dr Anne believes that<br />

her story shows what people<br />

with disabilities can achieve if<br />

they are given opportunities.<br />

“”It’s not about the disability,<br />

it is about what people can do<br />

and achieve when there is<br />

support,”” she always says. Dr<br />

Anne believes that human<br />

beings want opportunity, not<br />

sympathy.<br />

Dr Anne once returned to<br />

the village in Kenya where<br />

she was once rejected as<br />

a child, with her husband<br />

and her son beside her.<br />

The people were staring<br />

and wondering, how did this<br />

happen? This is typical of the<br />

stigma and prejudice that you<br />

get when you have a disability<br />

in Africa. You are not expected<br />

to find love, have a child,<br />

be someone’s wife, be a<br />

teacher, speak up publicly,<br />

or advocate for issues that<br />

affect people in society. They<br />

still judged her yet here she<br />

was, doing all those things<br />

that they believed were not<br />

possible.”<br />

Credit: Mr Keya<br />

(Media Book 2022)”<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 31

JoyAoko<br />

A Show of Unity among<br />

Kenyans Abroad<br />

A Special Feature by the <strong>Karibu</strong> KitUK <strong>Magazine</strong> Team<br />

When Ruth Abongo Aoko<br />

first arrived at the hospital in<br />

Tirana, Albania, she looked at<br />

her daughter lying there, in a<br />

state of coma. Then Ruth cried.<br />

She had never, in her wildest<br />

dreams, expected to find herself<br />

in the middle of this wild drama<br />

unfolding before her. Still<br />

unbeknown to Ruth, she would<br />

soon find herself starring in a<br />

fast-moving drama, with a cast<br />

of international players from<br />

Europe, Kenya, and the rest of<br />

the world. Ruth realized that<br />

her choice meant a long, brutal<br />

fight ahead. But she was ready<br />

to fight. Joy’s story would not<br />

end like this in a foreign land.<br />

East or west, home is best – Joy<br />

was going to come back home<br />

one way or another.<br />

Seeking Greener Pastures<br />

In February 2022, Joy Achieng<br />

Aoko, at the age of 22, travelled<br />

from Kenya to Albania in<br />

search of green pastures. She<br />

landed in the city of Tirana,<br />

where she secured a job as a<br />

trainee in the casino industry.<br />

All that Joy wanted to do was<br />

to change her life and that of<br />

her mother, Ruth Abongo.<br />

According to Ruth, Joy always<br />

had things under control. But<br />

four months after she arrived<br />

in Albania, the 22-year-old<br />

Kenyan would end up in a<br />

hospital in a coma, fighting for<br />

her life.<br />

A Vicious Attack<br />

On the night of August 13,<br />

2022, someone entered Joy’s<br />

apartment and attacked her<br />

brutally. Evidence shows that<br />

she was raped. Joy was then<br />

dumped outside her apartment<br />

building. By the time Joy was<br />

reported missing on 14 August<br />

2022 by her employer, she<br />

had spent many hours in the<br />

open street in critical condition<br />

and presumably left for dead.<br />

Joy had suffered numerous<br />

injuries including broken ribs<br />

and bones, as well as severe<br />

hand and stomach injuries.<br />

Ultimately, Joy acquired a<br />

brain injury. Someone had<br />

done the worst to Joy in that<br />

foreign land. The emergency<br />

services came to the scene and<br />

took Joy to the nearest hospital.<br />

She was admitted, intubated,<br />

and consequently transferred to<br />

the Trauma Unit. Her condition<br />

remained critical, and for<br />

several weeks Joy was under<br />

critical care. Eventually, the<br />

doctors said that they couldn’t<br />

do much more. Joy needed to<br />

be taken to a more specialized<br />

unit in Europe.<br />

specialized facility which<br />

was not available in<br />

Albania.<br />

“There are doubts that she<br />

was raped.” As things stand,<br />

investigations by the Albanian<br />

government are not clear.<br />

The Kenyan Government<br />

has since formally requested<br />

those files, and the Albanian<br />

authorities were yet to<br />

cooperate. Regardless, in the<br />

minds of those who know the<br />

inside story, the bottom line<br />

is that someone attacked Joy<br />

that night, so hideously and<br />

completely ruined her life.<br />

How would someone do this to<br />

Joy, and why? Earlier reports<br />

suggest that the Albanian police<br />

had initially told the family<br />

that Joy had tried to commit<br />

suicide by jumping from the<br />

second floor of her apartment<br />

block. Ruth challenges this<br />

narrative to this day because<br />

32<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

it was contrary to<br />

what she already knew.<br />

When Ruth looked at a photo<br />

from the scene - which she had<br />

to jump through hoops to get<br />

hold of in the first place, the<br />

photo did not indicate that Joy<br />

jumped through any window.<br />

Things did not correlate at<br />

all. Ruth asked questions,<br />

she could not get clear<br />

answers. Foreign Affairs State<br />

Department for Diaspora<br />

Affairs Principal Secretary<br />

Roseline Njogu, pledged to<br />

follow up on the issue and<br />

ensure that Joy receives the<br />

best medical care.<br />

Kenyans heed a distressed<br />

mother’s call<br />

When the Albanian police<br />

and the media visited Joy<br />

apartment after the attack, it<br />

was a total mess. Partly eaten<br />

food was strewn all over the<br />

floor and some was found on<br />

her bed. However, there were<br />

no suspects detained<br />

from the incident. No<br />

CCTV footage was handed<br />

over, and no case files were<br />

made available. However,<br />

Ruth has a somewhat more<br />

detailed story of what<br />

transpired days before<br />

Joy was attacked. That<br />

very evening of the attack,<br />

Ruth was on the phone with<br />

Joy. Joy having her dinner.<br />

Abruptly, Joy’s phone just<br />

went off. Ruth never heard<br />

from Joy again. Hours later<br />

the next day, Ruth was told by<br />

Joy’s employer that Joy was<br />

found unconscious outside her<br />

apartment and taken to a local<br />

hospital. As the news spread<br />

in the diaspora community,<br />

Ruth relocated temporarily<br />

to Albania to care for her<br />

daughter who was in a coma.<br />

The world media remained<br />

conveniently quiet about Joy’s<br />

story but Kenyans from all<br />

over the world responded to<br />

Joy’s mother’s call to help.<br />

The story soon went viral on<br />

social media. Had Kenyans<br />

not raised the siren Joy’s<br />

Kenyan Solidarity Abroad<br />

Kenyans abroad are a special<br />

breed indeed. As Joy’s story<br />

gained momentum, hundreds<br />

of well-wishers from all over<br />

the Diaspora rallied behind<br />

Joy. In Europe, Margaret Rulf<br />

(Mudge), based in Germany,<br />

urged all Kenyans and wellwishers<br />

to come forward<br />

and support Joy. A Kenyan<br />

living in Albania called Suzzie<br />

Lavi provided Ruth with<br />

translation, transportation,<br />

and food. In the USA, the<br />

Chairman of Kenya Diaspora<br />

USA, Dr. Marasa, appealed<br />

to every Kenyan in the US to<br />

donate at least $5 dollars to<br />

this cause. His sentiments<br />

were echoed by the Secretary<br />

for the Association of<br />

Kenyans in Diaspora, Sheila<br />

Maonga. Kenyans everywhere<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 33

JoyAoko<br />

A Show of Unity among<br />

Kenyans Abroad<br />

responded overwhelmingly.<br />

Ruth is thankful beyond words<br />

to everyone who chipped<br />

in, morally, financially, and<br />

spiritually. Ruth’s prayer is that<br />

Joy’s case gets going. People<br />

everywhere are praying that<br />

Ruth remains strong – and<br />

already she has proven to be a<br />

strong woman indeed.<br />

Evacuation - Coming<br />

Home<br />

Hearing Ruth’s appeal, the<br />

Kenya Government deemed<br />

it in Joy’s best interests to<br />

bring her back home to Kenya<br />

to complete her journey of<br />

healing among her loved ones.<br />

The state offered to fly Joy<br />

back to Kenya and to provide<br />

rehabilitation services locally,<br />

which could be cheaper.<br />

And so began Joy’s medical<br />

evacuation from Albania back<br />

to Kenya. Looking around,<br />

tears just rolled down Ruth’s<br />

face. Tears of knowing that<br />

she was bringing her daughter<br />

home safely, even though Joy<br />

was totally unaware that she<br />

was on a flight. The aircraft<br />

touched down at Wilson<br />

Airport at around 6:30 pm on<br />

the same day it had left Tirana.<br />

As the plane landed, another<br />

surprise hit Ruth. There was a<br />

crowd on the ground waiting…<br />

Joy’s welcome committee.<br />

High-ranking Government<br />

officials all lined up waiting<br />

to receive Joy. All this was in<br />

Joy’s honour. Ruth always<br />

knew that her daughter Joy<br />

would take her places one day.<br />

But with this extraordinary,<br />

special honour taking place<br />

before her eyes that day, Ruth<br />

was overwhelmed. Ruth looked<br />

at her daughter and just cried.<br />

She cried because she always<br />

knew that Joy would always<br />

be a child of blessings. Ruth<br />

wished that Joy could open her<br />

eyes and witness all this for<br />

herself.<br />

towards her treatment and<br />

rehabilitation expenses. The<br />

GoFundme page allowed<br />

everyone to participate<br />

in giving. But the Italian<br />

quotes were so expensive, so<br />

Ruth decided to appeal to<br />

the Kenyan Government.<br />

Joy was already accessing<br />

physiotherapy services<br />

privately, but this was being<br />

paid out of pocket.<br />

Outstanding Reception in<br />

Kenya<br />

Joy was ushered to an AMREF<br />

Ambulance. The Diaspora<br />

Affairs Principal Secretary<br />

Roseline Njogu received Joy<br />

at the airport and thereafter<br />

escorted her to the Kenyatta<br />

University Teaching, Referral &<br />

Research Hospital (KUTRRH),<br />

Thika Road, for further<br />

treatment. She was put in an<br />

HDU room with all machines<br />

up and running. The next<br />

day, Ruth was quite anxious.<br />

She arrive at the hospital and<br />

found that Joy was not in the<br />

HDU anymore, she was in the<br />

IDU room. Three Doctors<br />

had already attended to Joy<br />

and she had a Nurse assigned.<br />

Two physiotherapists and a<br />

nutritionist were also present.<br />

Joy is in very good hands. Ruth,<br />

however, asked kindly that<br />

everyone continues praying for<br />

her.<br />

Please Stop the Blame<br />

Game<br />

Perhaps Kenyans need to stop<br />

blaming Ruth for her daughter<br />

Joy going to Albania to work.<br />

This was not Ruth’s volition.<br />

Sometimes life just happens.<br />

Indeed there are many parents<br />

in Kenya with children<br />

working abroad, just like Ruth<br />

did. As every parent knows too<br />

well, there are uncertainties in<br />

life everywhere - this is just one<br />

of many. So for those Kenyans<br />

who blame Ruth, Ruth wishes<br />

to address them thus:<br />

First, everybody in Kenya<br />

knows - and for sure it’s not a<br />

secret, that across the country,<br />

job opportunities are not<br />

enough for the youth. The<br />

few jobs available require<br />

experience, which most youth<br />

will not have. So in case a<br />

youth manages to secure a<br />

chance abroad, as a parent,<br />

you can hardly deny them that<br />

chance.<br />

34<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

JoyAoko<br />


6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 35


36<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>


6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 37

KENYA<br />


How much do you know<br />

about Kenya? The following<br />

summarizes key aspects about<br />

our country and we hope you<br />

and your children can benefit<br />

from it.<br />

Independence from Britain on 12 th<br />

December 1963.<br />

Geography & Demographics.<br />

Kenya is the 49 th largest country in the<br />

world covering an area of 581,309 km 2 .<br />

With a population of 45 million the<br />

overwhelming majority of whom are<br />

below the age of 50.<br />

Administration.<br />

The country was previously divided into<br />

8 provinces- Central, Rift-valley, Coast,<br />

Nyanza, Western, Eastern, Nairobi and<br />

North Eastern.<br />

After the new constitution in 2010, the<br />

country is now divided into 47 countieseach<br />

headed by a governor akin to the<br />

ones we have in the US- or Nigeria.<br />

Nairobi remains the political, economic<br />

and social capital of the country with<br />

very limited effort to move any national<br />

foundations elsewhere.<br />

Politics and governance.<br />

A presidential system with a president<br />

elected after every 5 years.<br />

Two Legislative houses-the Lower House<br />

- Parliament with 349 members and<br />

the upper house- The Senate with 67<br />

members.<br />

Membership is by election through<br />

some members are nominated directly<br />

by their political parties.<br />

All counties have elected members<br />

who form regional parliaments and<br />

governments.<br />

Kenya has had 4 presidents since<br />

independence:<br />

ü<br />

ü<br />

ü<br />

ü<br />

Jomo Kenyatta who led the<br />

country to independence until<br />

his death in 1978.<br />

Daniel arap Moi from 1978 to<br />

2002.<br />

Emilio Mwai Kibaki- from<br />

2002-2013-todate.<br />

Uhuru Kenyatta (son to the first<br />

president)-2013-todate.<br />

*Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga served as the<br />

second prime minister of the country<br />

from 2008-2013.<br />

Regional hub.<br />

Nairobi remains a regional and the<br />

African headquarters of many global<br />

corporations such as GE, Google, GSK,<br />

and Microsoft; as well as scientific<br />

and research organization such as<br />

the International center for inspect<br />

physiology and ecology-ICIPE.<br />

It is the only third world country with<br />

a UN headquarters-the United Nations<br />

environmental program located in<br />

Nairobi along Limuru Road<br />

Major exports<br />

· Tea, coffee, horticulture (flowers<br />

and fruits), pyrethrum, tourism and<br />

manufactured goods to the region.<br />

· Sports especially athletes, rugby<br />

and recently footballer(s).<br />

key economic sectors<br />

1. Agriculture, horticulture and food<br />

processing.<br />

2. Banking and insurance.<br />

3. Technology and mobile<br />

communication. Among the country<br />

with the highest mobile phone<br />

connectivity with 35 million active<br />

mobile phone handsets.<br />

4. Dairy farming.<br />

5. Kenya will soon be a major exporter<br />

of valuable minerals, oil and natural<br />

gas.<br />

Major tourist attractions/Places to<br />

visit:<br />

· The spectacular and beautiful Great<br />

Rift Valley.<br />

· The great Mount Kenya (the second<br />

highest mountain in Africa).<br />

· Maasai Mara Game Reserve and<br />

specifically the wildest migration<br />

across the crocodile infested Mara<br />


· The Nairobi National Park in the<br />

outskirts of Nairobi.<br />

· Beautiful and spectacular beaches<br />

at the Kenyan coast.<br />

· The Fort Jesus along Nkrumah<br />

Road in Mombasa -Built by the<br />

Portuguese explorers and opened<br />

in 1593.<br />

· Bullfighting in Western Kenya.<br />

National Anthem.<br />

The Kenya national anthem expresses<br />

the convictions and aspirations of the<br />

Kenyan people. It was commissioned<br />

in 1963 – Originally in Swahili and was<br />

based on a traditional tune sung by<br />

mothers of the Pokomo Community to<br />

their children.<br />

Key personalities:<br />

· Field Marshall Dedan Kimathi<br />

Waciuri (deceased)- A brilliant<br />

military organiser who led the<br />

Mau Mau uprising against the<br />

British. Captured and executed by<br />

the British on 18 th February 1957;<br />

and sadly still buried at the Kamiti<br />

Maximum security prison to this<br />

day.<br />

· Jomo Kenyatta (deceased) -<br />

Founding prime minister and<br />

president of the Republic of<br />

Kenya.<br />

· Oginga Odinga (deceased)<br />

– Freedom fighter and<br />

independence icon.<br />

· Masinde Muliro (deceased)<br />

– Freedom fighter and<br />

independence icon.<br />

· Daniel arap Moi- Second president<br />

of the Republic of Kenya.<br />

· Mwai Kibaki- Third president of<br />

the republic of Kenya.<br />

· Raila Amolo Odinga- second prime<br />

minister of the republic of Kenya.<br />

· Kipchoge Keino- Most famous<br />

athlete and sports administrator.<br />

· Martin Shikuku (deceased)–<br />

Independence icon and renowned<br />

MP.<br />

· Professor Wangari Maathai<br />

(deceased)- First female<br />

professor of veterinary medicine,<br />

environmental campaigner, and<br />

winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.<br />

· Professor Ngugi wa Thiongo –<br />

Renown writer and professor of<br />

English and literature.<br />

· Professor Francis Imbuga<br />

(deceased) – Professor of<br />

literature and renowned writer.<br />

· Thomas Joseph Mboya<br />

(deceased)- Trade unionist, MP,<br />

Minister and brilliant architect of<br />

the Kenya’s early economic plan<br />

and strategies.<br />

Kenya’s Timeline.<br />

1. 1952- Mau Mau uprising- the<br />

bloody uprising against colonial<br />

rule.<br />

2. 1963- Country defeats the British<br />

and gains independence<br />

3. 1978 - First president of the<br />

country dies in his sleep. Daniel<br />

Arap Moi takes over.<br />

4. 1982- Attempted coup d’état to<br />

overthrow the government of the<br />

day.<br />

5. 1991- The law changed to allow<br />

the registration of more political<br />

parties.<br />

6. 1998 – A bloody terrorist attack<br />

in the middle of the capital leaves<br />

230 dead.<br />

7. 2002- President Moi retires<br />

and Mwai Kibaki takes over as<br />

president.<br />

8. 2007- Disputed elections results<br />

in very bloody skirmishes and<br />

the unfortunate death of 1,600<br />

Kenyans many killed with<br />

unimaginable brutality.<br />

9. 2013 – President Kibaki retires<br />

and Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta takes<br />

over as president.

5TH EDITION | JULY 2022<br />

40 6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 41




Ee Mungu nguvu yetu<br />

Ilete baraka kwetu<br />

Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi<br />

Natukae na undugu<br />

Amani na uhuru<br />

Raha tupate na ustawi<br />

Amkeni ndugu zetu<br />

Tufanye sote bidii<br />

Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu<br />

Nchi yetu ya Kenya<br />

Tunayoipenda<br />

Tuwe tayari kuilinda<br />

Natujenge taifa letu<br />

Ee, ndio wajibu wetu<br />

Kenya istahili heshima<br />

Tuungane mikono<br />

Pamoja kazini<br />

Kila siku tuwe na shukrani<br />

O God of all creation<br />

Bless this our land and nation<br />

Justice be our shield and defender<br />

May we dwell in unity<br />

Peace and liberty<br />

Plenty be found within our borders<br />

Let one and all arise<br />

With hearts both strong and true<br />

Service be our earnest endeavour<br />

And our homeland of Kenya<br />

Heritage of splendour<br />

Firm may we stand to defend.<br />

Let all with one accord<br />

In common bond united<br />

Build this our nation together<br />

And the glory of Kenya<br />

The fruit of our labour<br />

Fill every heart with thanksgiving.<br />

42<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>


6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 43


JACK OF<br />



NONE<br />

Part 2: From Homelessness<br />

in Kenya to Debt in the UK<br />


By Baraza J. Namunyu, Liverpool UK<br />

If you paid close attention to<br />

the previous episode of this<br />

two-part tale, I cut the story<br />

short and promised a sequel.<br />

And so here we are. Welcome<br />

back to the story! And by the<br />

way… before I forget, they call<br />

me ‘Balozi Baraza’. It’s all on my<br />

social media handles. So… in this<br />

episode, I will tell you in more<br />

detail what else happened in my<br />

peculiar life from last time. To<br />

begin with, below is a summary:<br />

Between the years 2001 and<br />

2005, I lived next to the Waruku<br />

settlement in Nairobi (let’s<br />

not call it a ‘slum’ please). At<br />

Waruku, I was in and out of<br />

work and homeless. I survived<br />

through handouts and roomhopping<br />

from one friend’s home<br />

to another. Eventually, it became<br />

unsustainable at some point. In<br />

August 2001, I travelled to the<br />

UK for a Salvation Army Youth<br />

Summer camp. This was a gamechanger<br />

in my life. I was based<br />

there for about 4 weeks. It was an<br />

awesome experience. But then,<br />

in September I had to come back<br />

to Kenya, back to Waruku… This<br />

time, however, my Salvation<br />

Army Officer parents were<br />

stationed at the Salvation Army<br />

Kabete Children’s Home, just a<br />

few yards away from Waruku.<br />

Naturally, I moved in and lived<br />

with them but I was still in and<br />

out of work. In early 2003, I met<br />

a good Samaritan called Rajan<br />

Shah. He heard my story and<br />

sent me to hospitality college<br />

for a 3-year, fully sponsored<br />

Group Diploma in Hospitality<br />

Management. In June of that<br />

same year, I was hired as a<br />

trainer/choirmaster for St Joseph<br />

of Arimathea ACK in Kasarani,<br />

off Thika Highway. Financially,<br />

it kept me away from rock<br />

bottom. I got married in October<br />

2005, after which I relocated to<br />

Kawangware. In early 2006 I<br />

then moved to Liverpool in the<br />

UK to settle and start a family.<br />

Today, we share three amazing,<br />

talented children, the older<br />

ones being twins (Joel and Joy)<br />

now having just sat their GCSE<br />

exams. They are followed by<br />

Faith Nelima, nine years younger<br />

and in primary school. She loves<br />

colouring.<br />

Having settled in the UK, between<br />

2006 and 2016 I worked in the<br />

community as a care worker.<br />

Within that time, I was elected<br />

chairman of the Liverpool Agape<br />

Kenya Fellowship, besides serving<br />

in other positions within the<br />

Kenyan community. I also went<br />

through university (LJMU) for my<br />

Foundation and Honours degrees<br />

(Social Policy, Health & Housing)<br />

followed by an MSc in Public<br />

Health. I also became employed<br />

at St Helen’s College, supporting<br />

learners diagnosed with special<br />

educational and health needs. I<br />

have been there for close to 10<br />

years now. In late 2017, I tried<br />

to for teacher training (PGCE<br />

Further Education) but after<br />

3 months it did not work out.<br />

Family responsibilities would<br />

not permit. I will discuss this in<br />

greater detail in my book, coming<br />

out soon.<br />

So, what about the debt? Well…<br />

my journey into debt started with<br />

a simple decision. It always starts<br />

with a decision. In 2016, following<br />

some advice I should never have<br />

listened to, I made some very<br />

unwise money choices that got<br />

me into bad financial debt. In my<br />

case, in the 2016-2017 period,<br />

some Kenyans in Liverpool who<br />

I trusted at the time had joined<br />

MLM schemes and they seemed<br />

to be doing well. Against my<br />

better judgement, I signed up<br />

46<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

Part 2: From Homelessness<br />

in Kenya to Debt in the UK<br />

too. What I learned later the hard<br />

way was that MLM schemes are<br />

not for everybody. Some will gain<br />

and others will lose - and believe<br />

me, I was not among the winners.<br />

The way these online schemes<br />

work is that initially, they make<br />

you feel like you are actually<br />

making money. So of course,<br />

you know what would happen<br />

next – I paid in more.. and more..<br />

and more! And why not? After<br />

all, it seemed to be working! I<br />

even got some friends to invest<br />

in the scheme too. And then one<br />

day, it hit me hard. Toward the<br />

end of February 2017, my direct<br />

debits had a problem. Money had<br />

stopped coming into my account<br />

a week earlier and I had no idea.<br />

The scheme had stopped paying.<br />

First, it was denial. But the more I<br />

denied it the more real it became.<br />

Eventually, the penny dropped<br />

for me. I was in trouble. Trapped<br />

in debt.<br />

In the process, I struggled<br />

spiritually, and with my own<br />

identity. The yoke of debt around<br />

my neck just added to all the<br />

other drama happening in my<br />

life at the time. In the very end, I<br />

had no one to blame but myself.<br />

The decision was mine. I had to<br />

take responsibility if I was going<br />

to start the healing process in<br />

any way. How I fought my way<br />

out of debt within three years is<br />

a fascinating story. To read all<br />

about it you must look out for my<br />

book, which will carry the same<br />

title as this series, Jack of all<br />

Trades Master of None. Anyway!<br />

In late 2017, I took up part-time<br />

taxi driving to help with debt<br />

and to keep me afloat to support<br />

the family. Fast forward and<br />

eventually, by December 2020<br />

I was officially out of debt with<br />

loans. What rejoicing! The heavy<br />

burden of debt was behind me<br />

now. It was time to rebuild my<br />

relationship with my children.<br />

During the dark days, these little<br />

guys showered me with so much<br />

unconditional love. They put up<br />

with me and told me always that<br />

they love me. They were my rock<br />

throughout that time. I was the<br />

immature one, they were the<br />

mature ones. They are my heroes.<br />

Above it all, God came through<br />

for me.<br />

Yes, this is quite a story. Look<br />

out for the book. For now, allow<br />

me to give you a summary and<br />

some valuable life lessons learned<br />

from my experience with debt.<br />

For those of you in Kenya who<br />

think that life abroad is a walk<br />

in the park, you need to wake<br />

up. Please understand that life<br />

in the diaspora is not easy. The<br />

reality is very simple, really.<br />

Let’s live within our means. Save<br />

what you can - rainy days have<br />

a nasty habit of coming without<br />

knocking. Finally, if you have<br />

noticed a family member or<br />

friend in debt, remember that<br />

they need to make a decision<br />

themselves to get advice. Giving<br />

support and listening to them<br />

is a game-changer - it can make<br />

a big difference to a person in<br />

debt. Anyone can get into debt<br />

for various reasons. The thing<br />

to remember is that you’re not<br />

alone and that it’s never too early<br />

or too late to seek support. It<br />

is important to take the step of<br />

faith and regain control of your<br />

life as you find your way back to<br />

debt-free living. Dear reader, this<br />

is a long story. It is not likely to<br />

end in one or two magazine<br />

articles. Look out for the book.<br />

Out before the end of <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Social Media: Balozi Baraza<br />

on Facebook | Instagram |<br />

Tiktok<br />

JOBANA Foundation on<br />

Facebook | JOBANA Media<br />

on YouTube<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 47



ABOUT US<br />

Shammah Splendid Centre And<br />

School Is located in the Kibera<br />

slums where several families<br />

live in dismal poverty. Kibera is<br />

Highly Populated with over half a<br />

million people.<br />

S.S.C advocates for positive<br />

values including honesty, respect,<br />

trustworthiness, obedience,<br />

cleanliness, accountability and<br />

self-discipline. We are an openminded,<br />

outward-looking, and<br />

perseverant community with a big<br />

dream for the society we serve,<br />

and education is the pillar upon<br />

which this bright future is laid.<br />

Our centre targets students who<br />

are keen to learn but due to<br />

unfortunate circumstances are<br />

not able to access the education<br />

system. Many are orphans<br />

or have single parents due to<br />

the HIV/AIDS endemic, have<br />

previously been molested in<br />

some way or have been involved<br />

in petty crime. Our centre has<br />

become a beacon of hope for<br />

them, providing not only highquality<br />

sustainable education but<br />

also giving them a chance to feel<br />

valued and listened to. We see a<br />

solution to helping students out<br />

of poverty and preventing crime<br />

and drug activity through highquality<br />

education.<br />

The students participate in<br />

co-curricular activities besides<br />

academic pursuits. We have<br />

realized that; Success is not what<br />

you accomplish in life but what<br />

you aspire others to do. We are<br />

looking for partners to assist<br />

these students in acquiring the<br />

necessary life skills, continue<br />

their education in vocational<br />

training and develop the right<br />

attitudes that will help them<br />

achieve their full potential. We<br />

hope and pray that through our<br />

services, and your help, we will<br />

touch and transform the lives of<br />

many young people. We hope<br />

with your support to expand our<br />

services so that more of those<br />

impoverished can benefit. Truly<br />

in unity we stand.<br />

You can be part and parcel by<br />

supporting us in the following<br />

ways:<br />

• Help us with learning<br />

facilities (textbooks,<br />

exercise books,<br />

Storybooks, pens, rulers,<br />

rubbers, sets, calculators,<br />

used items such as<br />

computing machines,<br />

tables, cooking utensils,<br />

water tanks etc.)<br />

• sponsoring of any student<br />

in any way, sending your<br />

donations at will.<br />

• Support our feeding<br />

programs.<br />

• You can buy a desk, a<br />

piece of chalk, a ball, a<br />

playing kit or any other<br />

form of help.<br />

We are living in a dynamic world;<br />

education is the key and the BEST<br />

you can invest in somebody’s life.<br />

Many will benefit, when a girl is<br />

educated, in the future society. A<br />

life full of serving others is a life<br />

worth living, We do our BEST and<br />

leave the REST to God.<br />

Send your donation via Mpesa<br />

Paybill No:400222 | Account<br />

No:486825#Your Name<br />

Additional Contact<br />

Info Website: www.<br />

shammahsplendindcentre.sc.ke<br />

Phone: +254 706 064759<br />

Email: shammahspendindcentre@<br />

gmail.com<br />

Vision I Mission Values<br />

To provide holistic education to the<br />

under privileged in our community<br />

and its surroundings with complete<br />

honesty.·<br />

To give opportunities for learning<br />

to the less fortunate in the<br />

community to enable individuals<br />

to access adequate knowledge,<br />

attitudes and skills that will equip<br />

them to be responsible citizens of<br />

this dynamic world”. Discipline,<br />

Honesty,Teamwork, God<br />

reverence, Responsiveness<br />

48<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>


6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 49

welcomed me with mixed<br />

emotions, I felt like I would go<br />

back home but man must never<br />

heed that which he never believe<br />

in and just like they define music<br />

“the fascinating note , which<br />

flying like a river reed comes from<br />

a trembling throat”. I chose to<br />

define my own path. I checked<br />

in with admission number 7470,<br />

made few friends who like me<br />

were totally stranded and you<br />

could tell by the shock in their<br />

eyes that this was a whole new<br />

level of experience. It wasn’t<br />

easy bidding mother who had<br />

accompanied me goodbye.It took<br />

me sometime as I stood there<br />

sunk in distress as I watched them<br />

walk away vanishing through the<br />

mirage but I knew I had to change<br />

up and gear up for the long stay<br />

ahead.<br />

I was the tallest (I thought so) joining form one<br />

but definitely there was the likes of Adam Kibwana<br />

who would later become the school captain and I<br />

remember the form two staring at me from their<br />

classroom windows and they must have wondered<br />

who this chap is as I dragged my big black metal box<br />

through the dusty road leading to the institution<br />

administration block. ‘DETERMINATION KNOWS<br />

NO BARRIER’ the faded school motto on the wall<br />

Not so long a short man with a<br />

funny accent whom age had taken<br />

a chance on approached us and<br />

requested us to follow him to our<br />

respective dormitories, we were<br />

quite a number. Things were<br />

totally different from what I had<br />

in mind about boarding school.<br />

Or maybe things will change with<br />

time? I kept on consoling myself<br />

as I eagerly waited for the dinner bell<br />

to ring. Thoughts of running away kept<br />

hitting my mind hard and deep, voices in<br />

my head had an otherwise solution but<br />

still where was I to run to with the school<br />

having a double barbed wire fence? I had<br />

no clue how I got here and for sure home<br />

was far away, I guessed right.<br />

50<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

LemFi:<br />

Empowering Kenyans in the UK with Every Transaction<br />

For countless Kenyans in the UK, the desire to support<br />

their families and loved ones while residing in the<br />

UK has always been met with financial obstacles.<br />

However, LemFi (formerly Lemonade Finance), has<br />

stepped in to bridge the distance, helping families<br />

maintain the cherished bonds that time and distance<br />

often strain.<br />

With LemFi, Kenyans will no longer miss out on the<br />

joyous celebrations that fill their hearts with laughter<br />

and warmth. Birthdays, weddings, graduations—<br />

LemFi that transcends the boundaries of space and<br />

time, ensuring that they are present in spirit, even<br />

when their physical presence cannot be.<br />

By offering a platform that provides the best exchange<br />

rates and free international money transfers, LemFi<br />

ensures that every hard-earned Kenyan shilling<br />

reaches its destination intact, maximizing the impact<br />

of their financial support.<br />

In a world that moves at an unprecedented pace,<br />

instant transactions have become a necessity. LemFi<br />

recognizes this need and delivers on its promise of<br />

instant transactions, allowing Kenyans to send and<br />

receive money in real-time.<br />

No longer do families have to endure long waiting<br />

periods or uncertain financial circumstances.<br />

For most Kenyans, every transaction lies a heartfelt<br />

story, a tale of love, sacrifice, and unwavering<br />

commitment. Whether it’s a mother sending<br />

money to support her child’s education, a sibling<br />

helping their brother start a small biashara, or<br />

a shosho providing for the well-being of their<br />

grandchildren, LemFi becomes the vehicle that<br />

transforms financial transactions into emotional<br />

bridges, strengthening the ties that bind families<br />

together.<br />

Beyond the exceptional product features, though,<br />

LemFi’s impact extends far beyond the realm of<br />

individual transactions. It goes one step further and<br />

enables families to invest in education, improve<br />

living standards, and drive economic growth. With<br />

each transaction, LemFi is helping build a stronger,<br />

more prosperous Kenya.<br />

To be a part of the LemFi community is an invitation to<br />

be part of a transformative movement, to embrace<br />

a future where financial barriers are shattered, and<br />

heartfelt connections are strengthened.<br />


6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 51

52<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>


CORNER<br />

With the inclusion<br />

of Kenyans in the<br />

Diaspora popularly known as<br />

County48 in the ballot box, Kenya<br />

is facing an unprecedented shift<br />

of political landscape of monumental<br />

proportions.<br />

Firstly, the County 48 has significant<br />

influence of voters in their<br />

villages that are as result of the<br />

direct and indirect support their<br />

people back home.<br />

This support may include community<br />

projects they have initiated<br />

or contributed to, children<br />

they have supported in schools<br />

or even the mere respect they<br />

command through their personal<br />

or academic achievements.<br />

This influence can be crucial in<br />

shaping the political direction<br />

of the area ultimately determining<br />

the calibre of people who get<br />

elected to represent the people in<br />

that area.<br />

Unlike back home where democracy<br />

is largely determined by<br />

the weight of your pocket which<br />

consequently and to a large<br />

extend favours corrupt leaders,<br />

in the Western democracy where<br />

majority of the County48 community<br />

live its completely a different<br />

ball game as the paradigm shifts<br />

from weight of pocket to issue<br />

based politics.<br />

This paradigm shift is and would<br />

be therefore a culture shock for<br />

the corrupt leaders who believe<br />

WHY<br />

COUNTY<br />

48 COUNTS<br />

money is everything. This means<br />

an<br />

unprecedented natural death is in<br />

the offing the older generation of<br />

hand-out style of leaders.<br />

This is the very reason why we<br />

have seen open revolt for perceived<br />

corrupt aspirants on many<br />

of County48 forums while those<br />

who support corrupt leaders are<br />

afraid of coming out in the open<br />

to campaign for them.<br />

On the same platforms we have<br />

seen the majority of members<br />

openly using every available opportunity<br />

to criticise and demonise<br />

corrupt Kenyan leaders for<br />

alleged looting of public coffers<br />

and now using the same wealth<br />

to extend their dynasty of corruption<br />

and domination overseas.<br />

It’s now clear that unlike in Kenya<br />

where issue of honesty and<br />

accountability is never a priority<br />

in the campaign trail, for the<br />

County48, the onus is how the<br />

perceived leaders will transform<br />

the country to the next level with<br />

a visionary agenda.<br />

Understandably the question<br />

of accountability will make<br />

County48 a very tricky ground for<br />

voting-hunting for those leaders<br />

with corruption tainted CVs as<br />

As this may trigger tough questions<br />

to such leaders about their<br />

source of wealth and particularly<br />

on issues of massive donations<br />

By Thomas Musau.<br />

during the campaign period.<br />

Buying of voters is simply impossible<br />

in County48. This is because<br />

not only the community can afford<br />

basic needs but also their environment<br />

has already made them<br />

averse to deceit and manipulation<br />

that form the bulk of their home<br />

politics.<br />

The fact that County48 cannot be<br />

profiled on ethnic based politics<br />

is also a headache for politicians<br />

used to divisive politics based on<br />

tribal hatred. This again is another<br />

blow for cheap politicians with no<br />

ideas who thrive on threats and<br />

illogical consequences or ethnic<br />

gains based in who and how they<br />

vote.<br />

Ultimately, the ripple effect of the<br />

County48 political landscape will<br />

shape the politics of the entire<br />

country and bring a new generation<br />

of issue-based, progressive<br />

and accountability driven politics.<br />

As the Kenya’s Independent<br />

Electoral and Boundaries Commission<br />

(IEBC) progressively gives<br />

more voting rights to members of<br />

County48, and eventually being<br />

able to have its own representatives<br />

in the houses of parliament,<br />

Kenyan politics will never be the<br />

same.<br />

For any comments about this<br />

article please email tomusau@<br />

gmail.com<br />

Tweeter @ThomasMusau<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 53



6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 55


Anne Njeri Nugent<br />


Anne Njeri, or as her friends<br />

nicknamed her “The Pageant<br />

Runaway Queen” since exploring<br />

the Pageantry World, comes across<br />

as a caring extroverted person with<br />

a bubbly spirit. Yet, she embodies<br />

the spirit of a true girl born in<br />

the busy capital city of Kenya.<br />

In Nairobi, Anne achieved her<br />

education right through Nursery,<br />

Primary, and Secondary. In College,<br />

Anne achieved a qualification in<br />

Marketing and International Business<br />

Communications. She then started<br />

off as an apprentice trainee in a busy,<br />

fast-paced firm in the Energy Sector<br />

as a GIS Data Mapping Technician.<br />

This was a job she did with so much<br />

passion and enthusiasm for many<br />

years up to the point that she moved<br />

to the UK. Currently, Anne lives in<br />

Northern Ireland, in a lovely ‘wee<br />

town’ called Armagh County. The<br />

locals call it ‘wee’ even though it’s<br />

a term commonly used to describe<br />

things that aren’t so little at all - like a<br />

‘wee’ cup of tea or a‘wee massive bun.’<br />

Anne made her debut in the<br />

pageantry worldin 2020/21,<br />

dubbed the Miss/Mrs Africa UK<br />

Empowerment Pageant. Anne<br />

emerged as Third Runner Up in<br />

the highly contested international<br />

pageant, after making it as a<br />

56<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

finalist out of a record of entries received by<br />

the organisation. With so many participants of<br />

African origin and ancestry across the UK, Anne<br />

was so proud to fly high the Kenyan flag and<br />

represent her country of birth in the Grand<br />

Finale. This took place in July 2022 at Kimpton<br />

Clock Tower Hotel, Manchester. During the<br />

Grand Finale, contestants were tested on their<br />

fundraising abilities for the different causes of<br />

the pageant, their interview skills, personality,<br />

public speaking skills, and their impact on their<br />

respective communities both back home in<br />

Africa and here in the UK. Contestants also got<br />

to showcase their traditional and evening wear.<br />

Anne could hardly believe it when her name<br />

was called out on the final Top Five and admits<br />

she felt so emotional. In her world, she believes<br />

representation matters and the power of showing<br />

up and redefining stories to inspire the next<br />

generations of women and, especially her fiveyear-old<br />

daughter who is her greatest inspiration<br />

and motivation, her Mummy was a winner! as she<br />

did get to watch her on the big stage. Anne only<br />

hopes she planted a seed in her of believing in<br />

oneself.<br />

Anne has good, savvy flair and style as far as<br />

dressing up is concerned. From her early days<br />

growing up in Nairobi, working in a high street<br />

menswear shop in a busy mall in Nairobi gave her<br />

a lot of experience in Sales and Fashion generally.<br />

Anne also considers herself a philanthropist.<br />

She believes that one doesn’t need a lot to give<br />

as there are many elements giving. She donates<br />

a lot of her time to youth advocacy causes,<br />

women empowerment initiatives and community<br />

development. She also invests her time in the<br />

youth through the transfer of skills, mentorship<br />

and empowerment. Shared knowledge is of<br />

more value than stored knowledge. Giving back<br />

to the community will build and create a better<br />

tomorrow.Anne hopes to compete again in the<br />

Pageantry and to get involved in Fashion shows<br />

like the Aberdeen Fashion Week, the London<br />

Fashion Week, the African Fashion week and<br />

many more. She also collaborates with brands and<br />

businesses for content creation. Anne’s Parting<br />

Shot:<br />

● “Never underestimate the Power of planting a<br />

seed; it will grow.”<br />

Anne’s Social Media:<br />

● Facebook: Anne Nugent Njesh | Instagram @<br />

njeeerynjesh.<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 57



Founding Leader of the PPD Party (Diaspora)<br />

My name is Bernard. I hold a Bachelor<br />

of Arts (B.A. Hons) in Economics, a<br />

Postgraduate Diploma in Law (PGDL) and<br />

a Master of Philosophy in Political Science<br />

(MPhil). I have over 20 years of lecturing<br />

experience in the tertiary sector including<br />

colleges and universities in Africa and<br />

Europe specialising in Economics and<br />

Law. My journey to being a champion of<br />

the Diaspora County 48 Kenya is rooted in<br />

a career that began in Kenya my beloved<br />

country of birth. Born in Kitui county to a<br />

teacher father and a housewife mother,<br />

there was nothing that could point to the<br />

direction my future life would take. One<br />

can say my ending up as the founding<br />

Party Leader of the Party for Peace and<br />

Development (PPD Party) was just as<br />

destiny would have it when my first<br />

experience of “diaspora” came early in life.<br />

For my primary school education, I<br />

moved from Kitui to Mombasa. Living<br />

in Mombasa felt like “diaspora”. Anyone<br />

who has ever been to Mombasa for<br />

the first time will tell what it feels like<br />

with that first experience of seeing the<br />

Indian Ocean and crossing it by ferry at<br />

Likoni. No experience can match that<br />

feeling, at least in my case. This was the<br />

beginning of my quest to explore the<br />

world. I completed my Primary School<br />

Education in Mombasa at Serani Primary<br />

School and joined the then-missionary<br />

secondary school, Kyome Boys School.<br />

I achieved a Division 1 (distinction) in<br />

my ‘O Levels’ and proceeded to do my<br />

‘A Levels’ at St Charles Lwanga, Kitui. My<br />

late parents were very devoted Christians.<br />

They strongly believed in the need to<br />

give children strong Christian values at<br />

an early age. This was best guaranteed<br />

by sending their children to faith-based<br />

schools. This is something that stuck with<br />

me, and I have ensured that my own<br />

children attended faith-based schools<br />

here in the UK. After passing my A Levels<br />

with 4 principals and a subsidiary, I joined<br />

Moi University in Kenya and graduated<br />

in 1993 as part of the last student<br />

cohort under the 7-4-2-3 education<br />

system which was replaced by the 8-4-4<br />

education system. Immediately after<br />

my graduation, I got my very first job at<br />

the American Universities Preparatory<br />

Institute where I taught TOEFL, SATs,<br />

GRE and GMAT to students proceeding<br />

to study in the United States of America.<br />

From the moment I started working<br />

there, I knew that sooner or later I would<br />

leave Kenya for the Diaspora. At this point<br />

going to the United States of America<br />

would have been the obvious choice. But,<br />

as destiny would have it, my expedition<br />

took me to Southern Africa. The then<br />

newly-independent country of Namibia<br />

was to become my home for the next 11<br />

years.<br />

Back at the American Universities<br />

Preparatory Institute, a colleague was<br />

hosting Namibian students, and when<br />

these Namibian students were returning<br />

home they invited my colleague to<br />

visit. My colleague informed me about<br />

this visit. I knew my time had come to<br />

pursue my diaspora quest. From that<br />

point on my preparations culminated<br />

in my departure from Kenya to Namibia<br />

on 18th February 1995. Ever since then,<br />

the diaspora has become my second<br />

home. I boarded Kenya Airways at Jomo<br />

Kenyatta International Airport and landed<br />

at Windhoek International Airport. Flying<br />

and soaring high up the skies with the<br />

eagles is an experience of a lifetime. Fast<br />

forward to the year 2006 and by then, I<br />

was a permanent resident of Namibia.<br />

Having completed a Postgraduate<br />

Diploma in Law (PG Dip Law) at the<br />

University of Cape Town (South Arica)<br />

and a Masters Degree in Political Science<br />

(MPhil cum laude) I taught at the<br />

University of Namibia. I also married,<br />

had a son, and opened a private college.<br />

After 11 years of living in Namibia, I felt<br />

I had achieved all that I could achieve<br />

- including the founding of the Kenya<br />

58<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

Welfare Association of Namibia.<br />

Essentially, it was through the Kenya<br />

Welfare Association of Namibia that my<br />

involvement in diaspora politics was<br />

rekindled. Back at Moi University, I was<br />

Chairman of the Akamba University<br />

Students Association (AUSA) and<br />

later in 1992 a member of YK’92. So,<br />

thanks to Namibia, it occurred to me<br />

how Kenyans in the diaspora were<br />

fragmented and disunited, and how<br />

this also made them very vulnerable.<br />

It was time to unify all Kenyans in the<br />

diaspora, and if that were to happen<br />

I needed a larger arena and bigger<br />

audience in the diaspora. So it was<br />

time to move again. The expedition<br />

bug had hit me and my sojourn in<br />

Namibia, my second home, was over.<br />

I wanted to experience more of the<br />

Diaspora. The time was right to explore<br />

other continents.<br />

Again, my preferred choice was the<br />

United States of America. But as<br />

destiny would have it, on 22 October<br />

2006 I boarded a South Africa Airways<br />

flight that landed at Gatwick Airport<br />

in the United Kingdom. By then I<br />

was an experienced diasporan. I had<br />

toured the world and I understood<br />

better what was needed to unite<br />

Kenyans in the diaspora. The 2010<br />

Kenyan Constitution created 47<br />

counties in Kenya. In June 2014, the<br />

Kenya Diaspora Policy (KDP 2014) was<br />

adopted by the Kenya Government.<br />

For once, a legal framework existed<br />

for engagement between the Kenya<br />

Diaspora and the Kenya Government.<br />

With the support of Lydia Tett Olet, a<br />

prominent and highly respected TV<br />

Talk Show host, the name Diaspora<br />

County 48 Kenya was unveiled. Hon<br />

Moses Kuria was in attendance in his<br />

capacity as a former diasporan.<br />

As the founding Party Leader of the<br />

Party for Peace and Development<br />

(PPD) of Kenya, our motto is Together<br />

We Can. Last year (2022) alongside<br />

other prominent diaspora leaders<br />

like Lydia Tett Olet, we embarked<br />

on a massive awareness campaign<br />

to mobilise Kenyans in the Diaspora<br />

to register themselves, for purposes<br />

of accessing public services and<br />

participating in the recently held<br />

general elections in Kenya. With<br />

the newly created Department for<br />

Diaspora Affairs in Kenya, we have an<br />

ongoing registration campaign for all<br />

Kenyans living abroad. Additionally,<br />

we exploit the benefits of social media<br />

networking with a presence on all<br />

major social media platforms. As we<br />

continue to engage with the Kenyan<br />

government as a partner for serving<br />

all Kenyans in the diaspora, we have<br />

identified key services that Kenyans<br />

living in the diaspora would like us<br />

to address. Top among them is the<br />

provision of insurance in the event<br />

of unforeseen hardships, distress,<br />

evacuation - and, in the worst-case<br />

scenario, death, burial in the diaspora<br />

or repatriation of mortal remains<br />

for burial in Kenya. To this end, we<br />

encourage every Kenyan living in<br />

the diaspora or relocating abroad to<br />

ensure that they take up insurance in<br />

the event of any eventualities. This is<br />

an area where we seek to engage with<br />

the Government of Kenya to ensure<br />

that all Kenyan citizens abroad are well<br />

served and protected.<br />

For further information please<br />

contact:<br />

Bernard Kavyu<br />

Office: +44 121 295 1116<br />

UK Mob: +44 7985 129 668<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 59

Health & Wellbeing Feature<br />

Ginny Wanjiro<br />

“The Kenyan nurse who introduced<br />

haircare for Black patients”<br />

“Ginny Wanjiro is a Kenyan-born<br />

nurse who works for the NHS in the<br />

UK. She is an Intensive care nurse<br />

at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital.<br />

During the Covid pandemic,<br />

Ginny always paid attention to<br />

all her patients’ needs in terms<br />

of their physical health, as well<br />

as hair and skin. Due to the very<br />

limited equipment available to<br />

her, however, Ginny found it a big<br />

challenge to continue providing<br />

her patients with the kind of<br />

care she aspired to. The most<br />

affected patients were those<br />

from diverse ethnic backgrounds,<br />

especially if they had curly, coily,<br />

or afro hair. Given that the hospital<br />

treats patients from all over the<br />

world, Ginny knew she had to fix<br />

the problem. As a devoted nurse,<br />

and after she saw patients of Black<br />

and minority ethnic heritages hair<br />

become matted forcing staff to cut<br />

it off during the pandemic, Ginny’s<br />

pioneering spirit kicked in. It led<br />

her to decide one day to bring<br />

hairbrushes and combs to work.<br />

There were so many patients in<br />

intensive care who came from all<br />

over the country during Covid, and<br />

they were so ill. Although Ginny and<br />

her colleagues kept the patients<br />

alive, they didn’t have the tools<br />

to look after their patients’ hair<br />

properly. All they could get were<br />

little white combs which just didn’t<br />

work, especially on Afro-African<br />

hair. Some of the patients’ hair had<br />

become so matted it had to be cut<br />

it off, which was heartbreaking<br />

for Ginny. She thought, what<br />

can she do as a nurse to make<br />

sure her patients are ok, but also<br />

to improve their care standards?<br />

Already at Guy’s and St Thomas’,<br />

hospital care is world-class. But<br />

Ginny knew it could do better. She<br />

said to herself, they will not be<br />

defeated. She will make their ICU<br />

inclusive. So, Ginny sourced different<br />

60<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

styles of combs which could be<br />

used on all hair textures. She also<br />

looked for moisturisers for patients<br />

of all skin tones. What came out as a<br />

result was a project that was piloted<br />

across four intensive care units at St<br />

Thomas’ Hospital. Ginny’s vision<br />

for how patients should look<br />

came from personal experience.<br />

When her father became ill and<br />

then died, he had been perfectly<br />

groomed, and this she said, was a<br />

comfort.<br />

For Ginny, her father’s face is the<br />

face that always stays with her.<br />

And that’s what she aspired to do<br />

for her patients’ relatives too. For<br />

Ginny, it’s those little things that<br />

really count. She wanted all her<br />

patients to be looked after as they<br />

deserve to be, especially when<br />

in intensive care. They should<br />

feel the best they can. This<br />

includes having their hair nicely<br />

brushed and their skin beautifully<br />

moisturised. Ginny ordered a<br />

range of combs including afro<br />

combs, wide-toothed combs and<br />

detangling brushes. Her colleagues<br />

in dermatology advised her on<br />

the best moisturiser for most<br />

skin types. She also had good<br />

feedback from patients’ families,<br />

which was satisfying. It made<br />

her feel like she was making a<br />

difference. Soon afterwards thanks<br />

to Ginny, 20 nurses were trained<br />

during a three-month trial, with<br />

more joining daily to look after<br />

the hair of around 250 patients. If<br />

successful, the initiative may be<br />

rolled out more widely across the<br />

Trust and ultimately through the<br />

NHS in the UK.<br />

Coronavirus opened Ginny’s eyes to<br />

a hiddden need. So many patients<br />

came into the intensive care units<br />

who were very sick, and their hair<br />

was terrible. Their skin was flaky,<br />

and they were in really bad shape.<br />

This is what made Ginny think,<br />

about what is lacking, and what<br />

needed to be done to improve<br />

patient conditions in the ICU. Six<br />

months after Ginny’s initial meeting<br />

with management, she was granted<br />

funding. Her haircare initiative was<br />

launched in September as a pilot<br />

across four of St Thomas’ ICUs.<br />

Ginny’s haircare services would<br />

cover more than just the basics.<br />

Patients would have their hair<br />

washed, cut, blow-dried, and if they<br />

wished, braided.”<br />

“The impact of the pilot on the<br />

mental well-being and confidence<br />

of some of the most vulnerable<br />

patients at St Thomas’ was almost<br />

immediate. Many of the patients’<br />

relatives wrote to Wanjiro to express<br />

their gratitude for the new care<br />

service. For Trish McCready, an ICU<br />

sister at St Thomas’ who is part of<br />

the haircare initiative, providing<br />

haircare services to patients is<br />

not just a superficial exercise, but<br />

crucial to their recovery. When<br />

they get better, they want to leave<br />

in a reasonably sane condition.<br />

If not a little bit better than<br />

when they arrived, they want to<br />

leave the hospital without knotty<br />

matted hair or horribly dry skin.<br />

Psychologically, it makes them<br />

feel better too. They deserve the<br />

best care experience possible, for<br />

probably what’s not going to be the<br />

nicest of journeys going - through<br />

intensive care.”<br />

Ginny Wanjiro (far left) and staff<br />

at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS<br />

Foundation Trust<br />

Sister Ginny Wanjiro.<br />

Photograph: Alicia Canter/<br />

The Guardian<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 61

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6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 6363


My faith, My testimony, and My Mission<br />

My names are Esther N.<br />

Mwangi. I am the founder<br />

of Rumbling Watersound<br />

International Ministries - or<br />

RWSI. I am over-45 years old<br />

and a single mother of 4<br />

beautiful children. I live in<br />

Stockholm, Sweden, but I was<br />

born and raised in Kenya. I am<br />

the last born in a family of 7<br />

children. I grew up in a faithrich<br />

family. Going to church<br />

and praying every evening<br />

before supper was normal.<br />

I grew up seeing my father<br />

include God in everything he<br />

did. Even though I had grown<br />

up in a family that believed<br />

that there was God, it was not<br />

until I was in secondary school<br />

that I received Jesus as my<br />

personal saviour. Since then, I<br />

can say that I grow daily in my<br />

walk with Jesus Christ. I have<br />

not always been committed,<br />

so my life is all about the<br />

grace of God and His mercies<br />

toward us all. I came to Sweden<br />

in 1996 and have lived here<br />

since. I noticed that there were<br />

fewer people that believed<br />

in God here than there were<br />

in Kenya. I got friends that<br />

were unbelievers and on one<br />

occasion we had planned<br />

on going to a club to enjoy<br />

ourselves. But God changed<br />

all that with a divine dream/<br />

vision encounter in December<br />

of 1996 that totally marked<br />

me for life. Since that time,<br />

that vision has always brought<br />

me back to God no matter<br />

how far I wanted to run. Since<br />

then God has allowed me to<br />

have many divine visions and<br />

encounters that have kept<br />

me stronger in faith. My faith<br />

in God has become the only<br />

rock that carries me, holds me,<br />

hides me, and surrounds me.<br />

God means everything to me.<br />

I have gone through a lot in<br />

my life that has helped shape<br />

me to become the person<br />

that I am today. It all started<br />

many years ago when I got<br />

frustrated. I could not see God<br />

doing anything in my life the<br />

way I had experienced Him<br />

while in Africa. The Sweden<br />

that I encountered was not<br />

the Sweden that I had in<br />

my mind when I left Kenya<br />

for Europe. All these factors<br />

contributed to my desire to see<br />

a God that is not only real in<br />

Kenya but in my now present<br />

country of residence. That<br />

year, I had also gone through<br />

a painful divorce that totally<br />

went against everything that I<br />

thought life was going to look<br />

like for me. I began to struggle<br />

with my faith in God. I couldn’t<br />

understand how God could<br />

answer my prayers while in<br />

Kenya but not in Sweden. It<br />

meant that either something<br />

was wrong with my faith or<br />

God was never real at all. I gave<br />

God one year to prove to me<br />

that He was still God even in<br />

Sweden. I also told Him that I<br />

wanted everything about my<br />

life to have a testimony about<br />

Him. What I never knew was<br />

that I was asking for problems.<br />

Within that year, I promised<br />

to obey every little detail He<br />

asked me to do. That year God<br />

totally emptied everything that<br />

64<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>



Written by <strong>Karibu</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> Team<br />

I can call mine and filled my life<br />

with testimony after testimony.<br />

for example, getting hit by a<br />

car - the car was written off<br />

but I was left standing; getting<br />

permitted to live and work<br />

here, and buying a house with<br />

basically no financial status, …<br />

just to mention a few.<br />

I have written my first book,<br />

The Near Miss, which is coming<br />

out soon. In this book, which I<br />

could call a book full of drama<br />

and suspense, the events in it<br />

unfold as if watching a thriller<br />

movie - only that I was the<br />

main actor. I talk about my<br />

near-death experience after<br />

delivering my youngest son.<br />

How I moved from celebrating<br />

the birth of my youngest<br />

son to fighting for my life.<br />

Every second passed, and<br />

doctors were forced to make<br />

a tough decision uncertain<br />

of the consequences. By<br />

this time I was placed under<br />

clinical comma, with none of<br />

my organs working. Totally<br />

paralyzed. I needed help<br />

with everything including<br />

breathing, eating, and all<br />

basic hygiene. In the book,<br />

I talk about my visit to<br />

heaven, what Jesus Christ<br />

paid for and the power<br />

of the cross, the power of<br />

faith-based prayers, the value<br />

of having a circle of people<br />

that believe around you, and<br />

what God allowed me to learn<br />

about the power of the words<br />

that we speak beside many<br />

other things. In the coming<br />

book, I hope that through my<br />

testimony, many will begin<br />

believing in God and expect<br />

Him to do the impossible…..<br />

I have written my first<br />

book, The Near Miss,<br />

which is coming out<br />

soon. In this book, which<br />

I could call a book full of<br />

drama and suspense...<br />

The RWSI is a non-profit<br />

organization. Its sole focus<br />

is bringing Gospel music<br />

to everyone, besides other<br />

things. After living in Sweden<br />

for a while I realised that<br />

gospel artists rarely have an<br />

open platform to express<br />

themselves freely through<br />

their music, except the very<br />

few times in churches. I also<br />

realised that it is much easier<br />

to get sponsors as long as<br />

one is singing anything else<br />

than gospel music - in Europe<br />

in particular. RWSI, therefore,<br />

focuses mainly on sponsoring<br />

new gospel singers to record<br />

their first song. We also help<br />

in promoting their music to<br />

the best of our ability to a<br />

given point. At the moment<br />

we also have a 24/7 RWSI<br />

Internet Radio Station with the<br />

hope of turning into a proper<br />

FM Radio Station in the near<br />

future. The full vision of RWSI<br />

was given during its official<br />

launch on 25th February <strong>2023</strong><br />

at TumbaScene, Utbildningsv<br />

2A 14740 Tumba, Sweden. Our<br />

special guest was Reverend<br />

Ruth Wamuyu, a well-known<br />

singer from Kenya. Rev. Ruth<br />

Wamuyu is the overseer of<br />

Victors Assembly Chapel (VAC)<br />

in Kenya. For more information<br />

about RWSI, or if you would<br />

love to sponsor what we are<br />

doing, kindly contact us using<br />

the following details:<br />

Rumbling Watersound<br />

International - Instagram, FB,<br />

Twitter, and YouTube.<br />

WhatsApp Tel. Nr.<br />

+46707705310<br />

Email: Vaniscoenm@hotmail.<br />

com<br />

65<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 65


Author of<br />


Antony Muiruiri is a man with a<br />

difference. Today he trends the<br />

airwaves as a self-made podcaster<br />

and bestselling author. Antony was<br />

born in Thika, Kenya, and currently<br />

lives in Athens, Greece, where he<br />

has been based for just over 17<br />

years. His occupation is Motivational<br />

Speaking, but he is also emerging<br />

as an acclaimed podcaster with his<br />

new talk show, ‘Now Tell Us.’ Here is<br />

Antony’s trip down memory lane as<br />

he narrated to <strong>Karibu</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>.<br />

I was born in a village in central<br />

Kenya. A place where you had to run<br />

five kilometres in the morning to<br />

school, five kilometres back home<br />

for a lunch break, five kilometres<br />

back to school and five kilometres<br />

home in the evening all this barefoot.<br />

Only to get back home and go to<br />

the shamba to gather food for the<br />

goats or fetch water and firewood.<br />

On days that we were not going<br />

to school, we had to work in the<br />

shamba digging, planting, weeding,<br />

tending or harvesting depending<br />

on the season. Otherwise, you could<br />

also be allocated the duty of herding<br />

the cows. You had to work even from<br />

an early age being a part of running<br />

the home and bringing food to the<br />

table. Despite all this, where people<br />

could be lacking in resources and<br />

working harder every single day, we<br />

had a close-knit community where<br />

everyone was there for each other<br />

supporting one another in every area<br />

of life. Harmony among neighbours<br />

was evident and the instilling of good<br />

morals in children was a societybased<br />

affair. I talk more about this in<br />

my book “Be Good For Good.”<br />

School life was fun. Getting that relief<br />

from great responsibilities just to<br />

sit and listen plus being with other<br />

children who enjoyed freedom for<br />

the short playtime we got to have<br />

during the break, was great. For<br />

me, that was the perspective. What<br />

is meant for the home remains at<br />

home, and what is meant for school<br />

remains there. Being brought up in a<br />

nurturing environment is a big plus.<br />

For that I thank God. I also thank the<br />

ones that He gave me to guide me<br />

along the way. My parents, siblings<br />

and other relatives. As much as that<br />

is important though, it all comes<br />

down to someone’s own choices<br />

and actions. Nothing comes easy.<br />

It takes individual commitment,<br />

persistence and resilience to see<br />

one progress and grow in life. I’ve<br />

had my own challenges that I had to<br />

overcome and keep going towards<br />

my goals. With God’s Grace being<br />

sufficient, someone’s efforts bring<br />

accomplishment. That has been my<br />

journey. There is someone who said<br />

that it doesn’t matter what you will<br />

leave for your children, what really<br />

matters is what you leave inside<br />

them. The ideas you expose them<br />

to, the principles and virtues you<br />

instil in them. I look back and I am<br />

thankful for the awareness that could<br />

have been created earlier on in my<br />

life. The fact that it doesn’t matter<br />

what happens to you. What matters<br />

most is what is happening inside of<br />

you that will eventually affect your<br />

66<br />

66<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong>

A Trip Down Memory Lane<br />

external circumstances. This is now<br />

what drives my passion for reaching<br />

out to our young generation. To give<br />

back to society what was handed to<br />

me in my younger years. That seed of<br />

greatness is planted in the thoughts<br />

of fertile young minds. Sometimes in<br />

dark times of their lives, in order for<br />

them to bloom into a bright future.<br />

I appreciate every experience I had<br />

along the way. The hard times I had<br />

back then helped me identify the<br />

privileges of everyday life that we are<br />

blessed to be enjoying today. Every<br />

single experience has contributed<br />

to who I am today. As young men,<br />

we used to be disciplined and<br />

punished. The world has since<br />

changed altogether and society<br />

has criminalised punishment as a<br />

way of discipline. The Bible however<br />

has never changed. It states that<br />

“Whoever spares the rod hates<br />

their children, but the one who<br />

loves their children is careful to<br />

discipline them.” - Proverbs 13:24<br />

NIV. Of course, this is a debatable<br />

matter. Cases of indiscipline are<br />

unique to individuals. Choices for<br />

correcting wayward behaviour<br />

are available to every parent<br />

depending on the magnitude of the<br />

wrong and possible consequences<br />

to both the youngster and the<br />

parent/guardian. I’ve witnessed<br />

parents who have been at a point<br />

of choosing between themselves<br />

answering in a court of law for<br />

supposedly child abuse or waiting<br />

to see their child behind prison<br />

doors for lawlessness. We also grew<br />

up hearing stories of wife-beating.<br />

Some of us even experienced it in<br />

our neighbourhoods or homesteads.<br />

Then later on we heard of men’s<br />

mutilation on a great scale. In my<br />

honest opinion, the term gender<br />

violence is a stereotype. It should be<br />

human violence. I condemn any act<br />

of violence against a fellow human<br />

being of whatever form.<br />

I am happy where I live today. My<br />

greatest joy comes in knowing that<br />

a fellow human being is living a<br />

healthy life in all aspects and lives to<br />

his or her full potential. To this effect,<br />

I choose to be a positive influence on<br />

all whom I come into contact with.<br />

Being a motivational speaker and<br />

preacher gives me an opportunity<br />

to influence individuals and groups<br />

into the right way of thinking.<br />

This eventually leads to the right<br />

interactions and actions. Everything<br />

starts with your thoughts. What you<br />

feed your mind on has the potential<br />

to shape your entire life and destiny.<br />

I desire to be that driving force of<br />

right thinking and doing not only<br />

in my immediate neighbourhood<br />

but internationally. On practical<br />

grounds, I am in the leadership of<br />

the Kenyan Community in Greece<br />

as General Secretary. As leaders, we<br />

undertake the responsibility to see<br />

that members of the community live<br />

in harmony with one another and<br />

help one another where need be<br />

in different areas of life - spiritually,<br />

physically, financially etc.<br />

Contact: https://www.<br />

anthonymuiruri.com/<br />

67<br />

6TH KINGS EDITION | JUNE <strong>2023</strong> 67



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For more information<br />

please contact:<br />

Lydia Tett Olet<br />

Tel: +44 74 1494 4464<br />

‘‘<br />

Email: l.olet@preciseprotect.co.uk<br />

Website: www.preciseprotect.co.uk<br />

UK ONLY<br />

“Buying insurance cannot change your life but it<br />

can prevent your lifestyle from being changed.”<br />

~ Jack Ma ~

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