Enraged man deletes Sarahah after receiving message that he’ll die young
A 28-year-old engineer in Nairobi on Tuesday deleted anonymous messaging app Sarahah after a user insinuated that he should not marry because he would die young and leave a widow behind.
Mr Anthony Maina, who is doing his second year with a liver transplant, was shocked to receive a message from an unknown user who wanted to know if he has surely recovered for him to go ahead with plans to marry a woman he is dating.
“Are you completely cured?” the Sarahah user questioned. “I’m not being mean but I think it’s kinda selfish for you to marry only to leave her as a widow.”
Mr Maina is dating Ruth Muthoni, an IT graduate, who in August 2016 had 67 per cent of her liver removed and transplanted to her elder brother.
Their relationship is between a liver recipient and a liver donor. Mr Maina received 65 per cent of his mother’s liver during an operation in India in June 2016.
(You can read the story of his transplant here.)
The two met in India in the course of their medical procedures. Mr Maina had acted as a guide to Ms Muthoni’s family.
Ms Muthoni’s brother had primary sclerosing colongitis; the same condition Mr Maina had. It hampers the functioning of the liver and eventually leaves the patient needing a transplant for them to survive.
With each of them making remarkable recovery since their respective surgeries, the last thing in their minds was that someone would doubt Mr Maina’s longevity. That is why Mr Maina was taken aback by the Sarahah message.
“When I saw it, the first thing was shock: ‘How can somebody ask such a thing?’” Mr Maina told Nairobi News. “This one looks so discouraging; that someone just sees the negative side of life after transplant.”
Mr Maina recalled that he had been very reluctant to join Sarahah. But on the encouragement of a friend, he signed up.
“The person who was convincing me to join was telling me, ‘Someone might want to ask you a question related to health and has no courage to ask with their identity,’” he said.
A look at the Sarahah posts he has posted previously shows that some Sararah users were interested in his love life.
“When I started this, people just used to send encouraging messages and all that; then others started asking about my relationship with Ruth; about her and how we met in India. I’ve been narrating that. It was quite interesting, and people were interested.
“I actually left it halfway before I narrated the whole story because I saw as if I’m giving so much information and I wasn’t feeling comfortable,” he said.
On receiving the message, he took a few hours to think what to do about it. He then shared it on Facebook.
“I have been thinking about this question; I don’t have an answer yet. What can you say to such a person? I just couldn’t hold it anymore,” he said.
Most of the 173 comments on the post by noon on Wednesday were condemning the sender.
“People can be so ignorant. People die all the time and it’s not dependent on health but God’s mercy and favour,” wrote Mssy Charlotte.
Jayne Mwangi posted: “When I see you I see God, the God who has brought you this far will make you see your great grandchildren.”
Asked how his girlfriend has responded to it, Mr Maina said she is not bothered.
“She understands because her brother had a similar condition as mine. She knows what someone goes through because at least she was with him for his whole period of being sick. And she knows that a person recovers and goes back to life normally,” said Mr Maina.
Recalling that he even received negative messages when he was conducting an online campaign to raise funds for his transplant in India, Mr Maina feared he would receive worse messages and so he decided to delete the app.
“I have uninstalled it because I think that’s not the worst that I can get. A message may come that will leave me mentally disturbed. You always think people are supportive but you find there are people who don’t want to see you succeed; people who are actually praying for you to die. I’d rather not see that,” Mr Maina said.
In June, a doctor who has previously treated Mr Maina told Nairobi News that a year after receiving the transplant from his 50-year-old mother, Mr Maina’s liver had grown by leaps and bounds.
“His entire liver was removed. He’s got a half from his mother which he’s living with and living normally. It has now grown and covered most of the cavity,” said Dr Kenney Ondede, a liver and pancreas surgeon at Kenyatta National Hospital.