It is barely a month since I wrote a tribute to my friend, In Loving Memory of Abisai Angombe and now the loss of another one. A girlfriend, a former schoolmate, a classmate, a roommate and a fellow journalist-Sarah Wambui Kabiru (27)
Life can never be this sad!! Shedding tears won´t solve my heartache so I have finally chosen to celebrate Sarah´s presence in my life. We first met at Daystar University as “freshers” in August 2002 at the famous PAC court. Within the first few days we realized we both came from Coast and that gave us an immediate bond. “Coastarians” Daystar students will later brand us while others branded us the girls with flawless Swahili. We will then sit to talk about everything and a number of times we sat outside “Patience Hostel” for a girls talk.
Slyvia and Julliet were her closest friends and oh, she resembled Julliet. We hosted a show at the University´s Shine FM together with Oliver Ommotto speaking pure Swahili while the rest of the students were so engrossed in speaking Sheng and English, you know Daystarians!! Through our own initiative, we managed to get our first Internship in 2004 at the media department at the Kenya Institute of Education (K.I.E) in Ngara which saw us become roommates for 3 months at a hostel in Parklands, Nairobi.
June, 2006 at the graduation square in Daystar we graduated and she remained in Nairobi while I headed to work in Mombasa. We were always in constant touch and when she got employed at NTV she sent me a text and I called her to say “Ok girlfriend, I am officially jealous. Be assured I will be watching news and please excel, make the rest of us proud.” She did her best as Swahili News reporter at NTV. All the time she came to Mombasa, she will often send me a text and tell me, “I am listening to your show, I am at home with mum, I will come to your offices when you are almost done with your show.” She will then come and wait for me at Baraka FM’s reception until I was done and we headed to town together.
Being the only daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Kabiru and the only sister to Gitahi, (Sarah´s brother) I remember telling her, “Howcome your parents were so unfair to you guys, just the two of you, you really do not know what it feels to have sisters and brothers.” I joked and she will protect her mum.
“You know mum has a back problem, carrying two babies was enough for her. She is a brave woman, she gave birth to me without anyone’s help on a Christmas day, all alone and she did all the necessary things while she instructed my dad on what to do.” She told me not once, but several times.
The small family of four later got used to me as a common face as I always popped by their house in Mikindani Estate in Mombasa. My heart goes out to her mum, that petit beautiful teacher, I wonder how she received the sad news on the death of her only daughter. She looked so young but she will always remind me of how fast age was catching up with her.
“When you ladies have grown this far, you can be assured your mothers are aging up pretty fast. We will now sit down and watch you grow,” she will tell us.
In 2009 Sarah loses her job during restructuring at NTV and as a good friend, I remember our coffee date at a restaurant in Nairobi as we talked about it. She put on a brave face, “It is not the end of life Patience, I have to get a job, which I believe I will.” Then, she had plans of owning a PR & Events company with her few friends. She finally informed me of her new job as a media consultant at ANAFE and just recently a new contract with ICRAF. We always joked over who should get married first in our click of girlfriends and we were finally happy when she decided to be among the first to break the jam joining Julliet and Brenda. When I read this online edition on Sarah’s death, I cried.
Married to a fellow journalist, whom I just referred to as Dola, all I saw in them was love. I will visit them at their home in Uhuru Estate in Buruburu before they moved to Umoja Estate and the two will escort me to the bus stop holding each other by the waist.
To hear the same man has turned against Sarah and murdered her, is beyond my imagination that has left me tortured and shaken. When the rest of the world is out condemning Dola, as a friend I choose not to say a word, until the truth has been established. I will be the last if need be, to raise my judgement on him, because I don´t believe this could have happened! Whatever happened to Sarah to deserve a murder send-off, only God knows!
Sarah´s Baby Boy
I remember when Sarah was almost due with her first baby, I visited her, still at Uhuru and I remember taking her for an evening walk. “Let´s go to a nearby hospital, this is where I go for my clinic and this is where I will come to deliver my baby, so when I send you a text to tell you that I am off to the hospital, you know where I am,” she said!
One week later, “ Bouncing baby boy, CS but I am fine” read a text from her. Excited about her son, three days later, on a Saturday afternoon, Brenda Onyino, her husband and I go through the supermarket and shop for the new baby before we drove to her place still at Uhuru. Upon arrival, Dola welcomes us. “Finally, the baby is here with us, we are indeed very excited. Come in.” Said a smiley Dola. Now, the small boy, Nate, is all grown up, almost two years of age, without a mother, Gosh!!!
Yesterday, Brenda calls me from Kenya and immediately my heart freaks out. Rarely do Kenyans call me during the day. So what is it this time round? I decide to ignore the call but I lose my concentration so I call Brenda immediately after class. Our conversation goes like….
(Hey, how are you? Seen your missed call, you can talk to me now! Great, we are on holiday in Kenya, have you heard the news? What news? Sarah is dead? Sarah who?? Sarah Wambui! It has been on the 1pm news. She is alleged to have been killed by her husband.)
“What? Alleged Dola killed Sarah? How and why on earth did he do that? ” I asked as I hung up on Brenda. Unbelievable! I immediately access the all forms of media, only to find all Kenyan friends with messages of condolences on Sarah´s Facebook wall. My last Facebook inbox conversation with her, just last weekend.
(Sarah Wambui Kabiru April 29 at 7:22am Report
Hi galfriend! Haha, amekuwa mkubwa kweli na bado….that I think is enough motivation for you to get one, kwanza a pointee….I will support you emotionally,usijali.) She updates me on her grown up son and and says that I should be gearing up for a pointee baby. (Half-cast between a black and a white) That support will never come my way!
I should have said goodbye
Girlfriend, if only I knew hours later you will no longer be there, I should have said goodbye. Your mysterious death Sarah, makes my heart ache with bitterness. Your brave face with that humble personality, coupled with a great charm, what happened to you dear friend? Why the claims? Why that man you so loved, that you bore him a handsome son, Nate, could he have done anything to you? What happened Dola, is it really you? If so, why didn’t you think of your son? Sarah, I might have been far away, but you should have told me all was not well, maybe I should have said something to Dola or even prayed for you! I feel I have let you down and I am so sad!!
I remember the last photos of you and Dola attending a wedding with you on a sari dress when you were so pregnant and insisted I needed a copy. The three that you gave me are in my album in Kenya. I will keep them as my memories with you.
All I am asking is, Sarah how would you have wanted me to deal with your loss? So soon you are out of my life, Sarah. I’m sure we can all agree that it is not the time to wallow in misery and be sad. One thing that usually causes pain to a lot of people is the manner in which someone is taken away from us, and this is the same way that makes me sad with bitterness.
I am consoled, whatever pain you felt during that time, you are not feeling it anymore. You are now at rest and your spirit is at rest and I should make peace with this. I have to deal with this and so are the rest of us. My first step into healing, I will try to deal with the fact that Sarah you are gone, and I will never see you again. Accepting and letting go are two processes that I cannot isolate from each other.
I won’t try to resist to cry and I won´t dwell in this grief. For all who are mourning the loss of Sarah, family, relatives and friends, the media fraternity in Kenya, colleagues, former students at Moi Forces Academy (MFA) and Daystar University, I am truly and honestly sorry for your loss. I understand what you feel and I am with you in this, I will pray for you. Please do attend her send-off and represent me.
For the family, as you come to terms with the hard moment, my encouragement to you, “You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived her life well. You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back, or you can open your eyes and see that for sure she is gone. Your heart can be empty because you can´t see her, or you can be full of the love and time you shared with her.” Farewell thee dear friend, so soon you are out of sight.
Rest in Peace dear Sarah!!!!