‘Heartbroken’ Larry Madowo mourns grandmother
Celebrated Kenyan journalist Larry Madowo mourning the loss of his grandmothers weeks after he buried his uncle.
Madowo, an international correspondent at the American channel Cable News Network (CNN), had previously shared that his 96-year-old grandmother was unwell.
In a moving article about his family’s struggles with Covid-19, Madowo who previously worked at NTV in Kenya explained that every time he sees a call from home, his heart sinks.
“I always fear that they’re ringing to say that my grandmother has died. She has been on a ventilator for four weeks and my anxiety is near breaking point. The dreaded call could come at any time: Covid-19. Again.”
Through his social media platforms, the CNN journalist expressed his fondness and love for her.
My grandmother, the family matriarch, our heartbeat, my comedy partner, the dearly loved Francesca Madowo has joined the ancestors.
I am numb. My heart has been ripped from my chest. Light has gone out of my life. Nind gi kwe, min Omollo pic.twitter.com/hatgF6MRyY
— Larry Madowo (@LarryMadowo) August 27, 2021
In July, Madowo revealed how he also lost his uncle to Covid-19 and how his heart sank every time he received a call from home, where his grandmother was on a ventilator.
“Even at 96,” he wrote, “my Kenyan grandmother was among hundreds of millions in the developing world who was not vaccinated until recently because rich nations have hoarded most of the available shots.”
He noted that even in places like Rwanda, where stringent social distancing and masking regulations have been enforced, lockdowns and curfews continue to be a fact of life “because only vaccines provide true protection.”
“I had just finished filming at a crammed ICU treating critical Covid-19 patients in Uganda’s capital of Kampala last month when I learned that my uncle Justus had himself died of the virus across the border in Kenya. I was heartbroken and angry.”
He was not vaccinated because Kenya didn’t — and still does not — have enough shots even for a senior like him.
Justus was buried within 48 hours as the Kenyan government requires. He was the third family member who had died in the pandemic that I didn’t get a chance to mourn properly or see laid to rest.