Sunday July 13 2014

Horror of mourning from a distance

By Jan Ajwang

I feel very horrible, shocked and devastated, by the passing of a close friend, Wandera Robert Omwembe. It is worse that I cannot be there to commiserate with his family and friends. It is horrible to mourn from afar and in isolation because, everything else around seems to going on in schedule and you have to fall in place even when your mind is lost elsewhere.

Omwembe was an engineer with great credentials, but most of us viewed him as friend, a brother, a man with a great sense of humour. With his busy schedule, he never gave up on any chance to preach to people about Jesus Christ. The urgency, in which he did all this, was very unique only to him and we sometimes often got amused because there was always humour to it. He was very down- to-earth and that is what drew many to him.

On social media while the rest of us were complaining about the world, even on days when everyone was up in arms about something wrong in the country, there he was posting scriptures, as if to remind us, that there was more to life. Just days ago, he posted apologising that he had been away, but he was back… to post the scriptures, I suppose.

He lived for this conviction, he believed his job was a calling too and he recently told me in a chat, the God picks people and puts them in places for a purpose so I’m sure he left his mark. Only recently while I met him here with another friend, he was very encouraging as he spoke passionately about work, family with great humour.

Yet we left in deep thought about what he had said. He also brought some items sent from home yet in a funny way he said that the next time since he barely carried anything he would pack all the ‘posho’, beans, odii and matooke so that I don’t get homesick. He told me to be on the ready as he could return soon! There was no way I could ever see tragedy coming, for a young man, with a great family, who loved God and had a passion for serving his country. Instead he took another route to a better place. He is irreplaceable.

My condolences to the friends and family.