Kenya-Stockholmers will remember that on 18th January this year, Mr. Patrick Kimondo, a Kenyan who settled in Sweden in the 60s, passed away in hospital after a long illness. At a Memorial service held for the late Kimondo on 29th January at Emmanuel Church in Stockholm, the family disclosed that Mr. Kimondo will be laid to rest on Thursday 24th February 2011 at Skågkyrkogården in Stockholm. There has been a delay in reporting the news at KSB because of unavoidable circumstances.
The Memorial service was attended by several Kenyans who knew and loved Kimondo. The service was led by Pastor Beatrice Kamau assisted by Mrs. Shiela Mustaq. Addressing the mourners, Pastor Beatrice said that the death of Mr. Kimondo should be a reminder to Kenyans that death is real. “Kimondo is someone we knew very well but now he has left us”, the Pastor told the mourners.
She warned that in the end, everybody will follow Kimondo and appealed to mourners to lead honest lives so that when they eventually depart from this world at their appointed time, they will be part of the lucky few who will inherit the Kingdom of God and enjoy everlasting life in heaven where, the Pastor said, there is no death.
The Memorial service was attended by Kimondo’s son and three daughters. According to the family, the funeral ceremony is open to everybody interested in attending. At the Memorial service, emotions were strong and as the sermon continued, some mourners who were deeply moved, tried to restrain free flow of tears using handkerchiefs.
With grief-stricken and sullen faces, heads bowed and eyes staring at the hard Church floor, mourners who were unable to tame their emotions wiped the corners of their eyes with tissue papers to prevent tears from rolling freely down their cheeks as Kimondo was eulogized. An aura of sadness filled the atmosphere as vivid memories of Kimondo were revived by speaker after speaker. Sometimes, the mourners were brought up on their feet to sing songs of praise before they rested back on their seats to continue listening to Pastor Beatrice.
Mr. David Nyori, a close friend of Kimondo who was instrumental in organizing the Memorial service in conjunction with the family, invited speakers one by one to address the mourners. Among those who spoke were Mzee Peter Mukundi (who is currently one of the senior most elders in Kenya-Stockholm) and Pastor Samson. Mrs. Catherine Kiboi, an attaché at the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm, was among those who attended the service.
At one point, Mrs. Josephine Kirigo joined Pastor Beatrice on stage in singing a special song for Kimondo. The service was well choreographed and typed scripts of solemn Kikuyu lyrics were availed to help mourners sing the songs during the service. Some mourners who could not sing Kikuyu songs simply mumbled the words to give the impression that they were in tune while others who did not want to take risks just kept their mouths shut.
At the end of the service, Kimondo’s son addressed the mourners. He thanked everybody who attended the Memorial. Kimondo’s eldest daughter also spoke briefly. She said that the family was in a state of shock and also thanked those present. She announced that Kimondo’s brother would travel to Sweden for the funeral and mourners contributed whatever they could towards the ticket.
After the service, there was a reception where mourners were treated to coffee, tea, soda, juice and other soft drinks. Mandazis and cakes were available in plenty. The atmosphere at the reception was jolly and mourners engaged in diverse conversations as they whiled away time in the reception hall after the service.
Surprisingly, Ambassador Purity Muhindi attended the Service, prompting Kenya-Stockholm pundits to embark on a search for theories to try and explain her presence.
When James Wuod Maggero passed away in January 2007, the Ambassador had already been posted to Stockholm but she never attended the Memorial service. Likewise, when Philip Owili Ongaro passed away in December 2009, the Ambassador kept away from the Memorial although intelligence indicated that she sent her contribution to the Harambee that was organized before the Memorial. Recently, when Arnold Okaka, left us, Ambassador Purity kept away from the tragedy so why did the Ambassador attend the Kimondo memorial?
According to a theory that quickly gained momentum, the Ambassador attends weekly Church services at Emmanauel Church where the Memorial service was taking place and that it could not have augured well if she missed the event. The theory goes that the Ambassador would like to be seen within Church cirles as “patriotic” and if she had missed the event, it could have been viewed as “unpatriotic”. Whether or not this theory is true is debatable but what is certain is that it was a rare opportunity to meet Ambassador Purity at a Kenyan function in Stockholm.
At the end of the day, Kimondo’s friends who requested for a Memroial service were all happy. Their presence at the Memorial was evidence that they could have been deprived of a major opportunity if the memorial failed to take place. Further information about Kimondo’s funeral can be obtained through Mr. David Nyori.