In Memoriam: Remembering Kenyans in Diaspora We Lost In 2017


Living in Diaspora creates memorable moments and establishes strong bonds between hitherto strangers from the same country who are domiciled a world away from home in the spirit of pursuing education, eking out a living, or simply chasing personal dreams.  At the same time, the longevity of life cannot be guaranteed. In the course of the Diaspora journey, there are those who take a final bow, enroute.

African Warrior Magazine remembers some of the Kenyans in Diaspora who passed on in 2017. We are cognizant that this list is not exhaustive, and is based on those announcements that our carried on this platform.

To the families of those who lost their loved ones, we add our little faith to yours, in the knowledge that God has the answers for everything. We pray that you find strength and grace to accept His will.

  1. Calestous Juma. 

The late Juma was a professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He also served as Faculty Chair of the Mason Fellows Program.

Prof. Juma will be remembered for his call on Agricultural revolution in Africa

2. Dr Eunice Songa

Dr. Songa collapsed in front of her car, while she was just about to enter in it, during a sunny afternoon, in a busy road in the heart of Westlands, Nairobi. A place full of banks, shops, people. Full of everything, but without even a single ambulance, not one in standby in the area, not one that could be called by the public that started surrounding her.

Read Her story as captured by African Warrior Magazine here

3. Susan Njeri Kariuki

Susan Njeri Kariuki, the founder of Karisan Media based in Dallas, Texas and an outspoken Diasporan passed away in August 2017 after a short illness. Ms. Kariuki passed on after going into Acute Respiratory distress. She was also battling pneumonia relate complications.

In an interview with African Warrior Magazine, Susan had this to say:

“The beautiful thing about the being in Diaspora is the agonizing realization that what was not taught to you by your mother, will be being taught to you right here. Fifteen years – plus and what do I make of my life? Not any results thus far that match up to my own standards of achievement and growth; hence my decision to relocate back home.”

4. Gift Kamau Mumbi

Gift Mumbi Kamau was a  third-year student at the Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, Missouri. Prior to the announcement of her death, she had been reported missing.

5. Benjamin Nzavi. 

29 year old Kenyan born Benjamin Nzavi and his 11-year-old daughter drowned in Lake Whitney, Texas. Their bodies would be found days later near a drop-off on the bottom of the lake, just feet from one another.

6. Griffin “Babu” Gutwa

The medical college freshman died on December 22nd, aboard a flight as he was returning to Minnesota for winter break from Southern California, where he was attending the University of San Diego. But the planned holiday reunion with his parents took an unexpected, tragic turn after the aspiring doctor had a drink of warm water on the flight and leaned his head against a window before falling asleep.

Read entire story here.

7. Mike Mulwa

Mike Mulwa was going about his business at a store he owned in Birmingham, Alabama when he was accosted by robbers. According to police report, there was a holdup that ended with Mike being shot dead.

Mike was cherished by all those his life touched. And even those who did not know him joined the rest of the community in mourning a dedicated family man.

8. Loise Wangũ Chegge 

Loise passed away following a battle with cancer. She was a faithful and kind wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend who gave of herself to those she met. She was generous, warm and hospitable, opening her heart and her home to everyone.
Loise was a founding and active member of Kanitha ya Utugi wa Magegania, now known as Church of Amazing Grace International in Santa Ana, California. As an ordained elder in the church, Loise mentored and was a spiritual mother to many young women, teaching them to serve and honor the Lord.