My earliest memories and indeed fondest memories of my beloved niece was when I was in standard three and we lived at the staff quarters of the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya. Though I was younger than her I pride myself through family connections to be her Auntie.
My mum was particularly fond of Lucy; determined that my sister and I could grow up and do the best that we could with our lives identified Lucy as one of our mentors. During the holidays she could come and share tit bits with us. Though I barely understood the complexity of what she said (Saringi as we fondly called her being in class 8 and I in standard 3) yet she struck a chord in my heart that if I did my best I could one day go to a good high school like her Precious Blood Secondary School, Riruta and indeed that became a driving force in my life.
An alumni of JKUAT, BSc. Agricultural Engineering, class of 1996, I was comforted when I did not make it to my first choice of university, the University of Nairobi and was called to JKUAT, I figured that if Saringi went to “Juja Boys” then it could not be that bad.
Over the years I followed snippets of her life and admired her just like I did as a little girl. Though she had really grown in her career at the Kenya Tea Development Agency, rising through the ranks to Head of Sales and Business Development at the time of her demise she never missed to contribute to family events and was humble and cordial both to the high and the mighty, the low and the meek in the family alike. I need to be more like her.
Suffice to say, a proud moment when we shared one unit at the postgraduate level at the School of Business University of Nairobi. I kind of felt like I ‘had arrived’. Well my childhood mentor went to be with the Lord on the afternoon of 8th April 2021 after completing her race on earth. It has been a while since I cried like I did the morning after she died.
We lay her to rest today.
But above all, I am thankful for someone that is my flesh and blood whose life story I can look up to and be the best that I can be for the rest of my life. Bright, brilliant, beautiful, a fashionista, a mother of one brilliant son – I would have wished for more time with you Saringi to learn and emulate you but the dear Lord said that all you have done in this world is enough.
Rest in Grace my Beloved. I will never forget those early years. I will never ever forget you. I love you Saringi. You have left a lovely blue print that I will follow. Until we meet again.
© Kwambie Nyambane, April 2021