Emotions run high as Moi Girls fire victim and kin are buried
Emotions ran high on Friday as the remains of Whitney Kerubo, victim of the Moi Girls School, Nairobi fire, and her grandfather Patrick Nyangweso were interred at their home in Nyamburuga village in Nyamira County.
The twin burial ceremony brought together hundreds of friends, relatives and mourners who came out to pay their final respect to the two.
Born in 1932, Mzee Nyangweso died at Christamarianne hospital last Thursday where he had been rushed after falling sick on learning that his granddaughter was one of those who had perished in the Moi Girls tragedy in Nairobi about three weeks ago.
Relatives say he had been sickly but was shocked after learning that Kerubo, who was his first granddaughter to be named after his late wife, had died.
Few speeches were allowed during the joint ceremony conducted by Catholic and Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Kerubo was an SDA follower while her grandfather was a staunch Catholic.
On Thursday, Kerubo’s cortege left Chiromo Mortuary in Nairobi before joining that of her grandfather at the Christamarienne hospital in Kisii town.
Both bodies were later transported to their rural home in Nyamira ahead of Friday’s funeral.
The late Kerubo was born on June 17, 2003 and was the third born in the family of Albert Kingoina Nyangweso and Stellah Nyaboke Kingoina.
In his emotional tribute, Mr Kingoina said, “My dear daughter Whitney, I name you Kerubo, the late name of my mother Kerubo. You took behaviours of my late mother who was kind, loving and God fearing, now that you are both gone never to see you again, my soul is in pain to understand why this had to happen to you.”
He went on: “When we were having meals, you asked me ‘Dad, are you satisfied?’ You also used to polish my shoes. I will miss you my daughter but all is well with my soul, let your soul rest in the hands of our God.”
Her mother Stellah described her daughter as one of pure heart, gentle with sensitivity for the world around her.
She said she had been robbed of a daughter who was going to uplift and take care of her in old age.
“Whitney with her kindness made those around her comfortable. There is no easy way to say goodbye but I have released you to stay with angels,” she added.
Others who perished in the incident that police described as an arson attack include Esther Neema, Nancy Wamuthuri Thuku, Hanna Jeyso Timado, Hawa Aziz, Mary Njengo Mokaya, Alakiir Malong, Natalie Asiko and Marcia Okello.
The nine, who were sleeping in the ill-fated Kabarnet dormitory that housed all the school’s 338 Form One students, were burnt beyond recognition.
Kerubo’s kin say they are traumatised especially because it was difficult to identify her even through DNA.
Her uncle Ezekiel Bosire Oweno said it was painful that they have had to put two of their loved ones in two separate graves on the same day.
“These are matters which we are yet to comprehend. My father just became silent on receiving the news and it is sad that he will never get to talk again,” said Mr Bosire.
SDA and Catholic preachers urged parents to do all good things to their children when alive. They urged children not to neglect their parents but to support them when still alive.
“Let us show each other love,” they said.