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‘I have failed you immensely…’ Emotional tribute from Njambi Koikai’s dad

Daniel Koikai, the father of the late Mary Njambi, popularly known as Fayah Mummah Jahmby Koikai, has paid a heartfelt tribute to his first-born daughter following her death.

Njambi a popular media personality and endometriosis advocate, passed away on June 3 after a long battle with the disease.

She will be buried at Lang’ata Cemetery on Friday, June 14.

In the eulogy, seen by Nairobi News, Koikai expressed deep regret for not being there for Njambi when she needed him most.

He recounted their journey and acknowledged the many times he was absent from her life.

“Dear Njambi, my daughter,” he began,

“The time has come for me to atone for my acts of omission and commission on your final journey from this world. It has been one of the most difficult episodes of my life, especially for your close family, your mother, sisters, aunts, uncles, media colleagues and friends in and outside the country.

He praised Njambi’s influence, citing her large social media following as a testament to her influential personality.

Njambi’s sudden death, Koikai said, had cut short a bright and promising career.

She had recently entered the political arena, running for a parliamentary seat for Dagoretti South in the 2022 elections, where she finished fourth.

Koikai recalled meeting Njambi’s mother, Stella Wambui Kanogo, and their early days together.

“Stella and I were living in Riruta Satellite when we started our friendship and you were conceived in 1985. She gave birth to you on 24 January 1986. The first time I saw you, you were about four months old,” he said.

Their relationship had its ups and downs, marked by periods of separation due to Koikai’s work abroad.

They reunited when Njambi was in high school, and Koikai supported her education after that.

“You were at Ngara Girls then and you came in school uniform. When I saw you, I saw myself and we talked at length about your education,” he recalls.

Njambi excelled academically, attending several prestigious schools and graduating from Daystar University with a degree in mass communication.

“On your graduation day, we took a very nice photo that I will always treasure,” Koikai recalled.

Njambi Koikai
The late Njambi Koikai with her father Daniel Koikai during her graduation. PHOTO | POOL

He continued to support her through postgraduate studies and various other endeavours.

Reflecting on their relationship, Koikai acknowledged their turbulent times, which included long periods of no communication.

“When times were good, we would go shopping and have lunch at some of the restaurants in town, and you really enjoyed those encounters. I really miss the good times we shared together,” he wrote.

He recalled a poignant message Njambi sent him on 2 June 2024, just one day before she died, which highlighted their attempts to reconnect.

“I take comfort in the message you sent me on Sunday 2 June 2024 after I visited you, in which you said the following: “Hello Dad, I hope you have arrived home safely. So I’ll be needing the orange juice
Red Berry from Del Monte and some fresh orange and tree tomato juice. The doctors are here so I have to go and we will talk tomorrow. It was great to see you and reconnect,” she had written.

Koikai confessed his shortcomings as a father and expressed deep regret for not being there during her battle with endometriosis.

“I left the burden to your mother. The instances where I failed you in many ways to stand by you as you fought endometriosis, I regret immensely. It is too late for regrets. I can only live with the reality that I failed you when you needed me most, and I’m not proud of my behaviour at all,” he said.

Despite the challenges, Koikai admired Njambi’s resilience and achievements.

“You have been a shining beacon for many, and your legacy must continue. I will endeavour to play my part in keeping your legacy alive,” he vowed.

He ended his tribute with a heartfelt message:

“At your bedside in the hospital with your mother the night you left us, you told me that we were the same blood and that you were glad I had come. We have been reunited and I hope that one day we will be reunited again. May the Almighty God rest your soul in eternal peace, Njambi.”

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