Tragedy in Wusi Kishamba as a US based scientist passes on

The family needs only 200,000k for transporting the body from JKIA, burial, food and other costs. This is money we can raise if we really want to. It is the last benevolent thing we will ever do for Mama Evence. Help reunite a mother with her dead son. A smile on the face of Evence.

On a cold Sunday Morning of 11th March 2018 at Vidant Hospital in Greenville; North Carolina, Justin Kitogho Mwashighadi, a US -based scientist, breathed his last.

That is not the tragedy.

The real tragedy played out thousands of miles in his ancestral home at a remote misty backwater Ngerenyi village in Wusi-Kishamba, Mwatate.

At 89, Mama Evence Mwashighadi, his mother, believes her first-born son, the strappling bubbly lad who walked out of their home under Moi’s scholarship program in the 80’s to chase his American dream will one day return.

She wakes up at dawn to stand at her dilapidated gate, peering into the narrow winding road waiting for a child she has not heard from in over 38 years.

She knows he will walk out from the mist of her fading memories, stride up to her with a smile.

“Mama, I am back.”

After an eternity of waiting, her final wishes will be granted. But not in the way she prayed for. Kitogho is finally coming home but he will not walk up to her.

Instead, he will be carried by a group of strangers in a coffin. Face up; eyes closed; never to see the beauty of Ngerenyi hills. Dead, cold, still, stiff.

She will get a chance to see his face one last time. Or maybe not. Her eyesight is failing; her eyes rheumy. She might see a blur when squinting down at a face she barely remembers.

But even that wish now hangs in jeopardy.

Her son, this our son of TTC, has been lying at a morgue in a a foreign land for three months. Amongst strangers.

Most of us don’t know him. God knows I don’t. But that doesn’ matter. We need to bring back Kitogho at whatever cost! We are not doing it for him. He doesn’t care; he is beyond that.

It’s for his aged mother and father. She does care. He does. A lot. Both are old, frail, dirt-poor. Both are dying. Evence, partly, amnesic, is expecting a miracle from God she professes to bring her dead son back home to her arms; his final resting place.

She rarely saw him alive; she now wants to bury him; his grave an assurance that in death, her long-lost son is back.

Will her wish come true?

Meanwhile, far off in US, George Njue, living in North Carolina, is mobilizing Kenyans in the state to fundraise to help bring Kitogho back home.

Njue, like all of us, says Kitogho was a stranger to them; a loner, a hermit who never interacted; he has no known social ties and was virtually unknown by Kenyan population in North Carolina.

“We never knew him but he is a Kenyan brother and here, we stand up for each other no matter what. We must take him back home,” vows Njue.

Such spirit! Kenyans are modern-day Israelites. You never leave anyone behind.

The sad bit is Njue is not a relation to the dead man. One is a Kikuyu from Nakuru; the other a Taita from Wusi. They never met in life. They met in death.

Wouldn’t it be easy to walk away, turn their back and let him be buried in unmarked grave in a public cemetery as another undocumented immigrant? But they won’t do that. Even as they hustle, they are putting aside some money for Kitogho.

50$ here; 100$ there. They are not rich people; just hustlers in US, helping a ‘brother’. A stranger yes; but a brother.

They will fundraise and send him home. To Kenya; to Taita; the land of his ancestors. He must be reunited with his family even while dead. They have sh 100,000. They plan to raise an extra 1.2M. For a Taita no one knew about.

To bring him home. To his mother.

While strangers sacrifice meals and personal comforts for Kitogho, his neighbors back home are demanding sh 4,500 as a penalty to take part in the burial ceremony! This is a fine meted to Kitogho for his failure to participate in past village burials! But he is dead. So his 89-years old impoverished mother must pay for crimes of her son yet she has nothing!

Chambers dictionary doesn’t have a word to describe such a cold-hearted callous exploitation. Perhaps one day. But the curse that will befall the purveyors of such devilry will haunt your children till the ninth generation!

As TTC well-wishers, we have raised sh 30,000.

Is this the best we can do for our own who died in US? Is 30K all we can raise as TTC for a man whose only crime was to be ashamed of coming back home because he had become poorer in US?

A man who was glorified at home but in real sense was Uncle Happiness from Oguine’s A Squatter’s Tale? A depressed man who shied away from making friends because he was ashamed of what he had become? A man scared of facing his relatives because they wouldn’t understand how a man can live in the US for so long and be so poor?

But Njues don’t care.

They will fundraise for Kitogho no matter what! Why are we not as TTC community pushing ourselves to bring him back? He is ours, isn’t he? He ought to mean more to us than to everyone’s else, right?

The family needs only 200,000k for transporting the body from JKIA, burial, food and other costs. This is money we can raise if we really want to. It is the last benevolent thing we will ever do for Mama Evence. Help reunite a mother with her dead son. A smile on the face of Evence.

GS has shown exceptional capability in mobilizing other leaders to speak in one voice. This one requires such unity of purpose. Don’t leave family at the mercy of her extortionist neighbors!

If Governor GS, Mwaruma, Mama Haika and Andrew Mwadime can each donate 50k, that is 200K. The rest of us God bits of wood will chip in with the litte we can.It is possible; it is doable.

Kitogho is one of us. In death, he doesn’t care. In life, we should.

For Mama Evence?

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