Over Ksh 970,000 Raised at Keegan’s Harambee on Saturday 7th December
At the Keggan Harambee held on Saturday, 7th December, a total of SEK 73,300 (Ksh 974,920) was raised by Kenyans, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers who congregated in Skarpnäck after responding to calls for a Harambee to help transport the remains of the late Keegan to Kenya for burial. The Keegan Funeral Committee had targeted SEK 80,000 to cover the budget of body transportation cost and three air tickets for Keegan’s two daughters and mother who will accompany the body to Kenya.
It was a great feat achieved by those who were involved and the response reflected Keegan’s life-style of interacting with all Kenyans and friends regardless of their ethnic origin, station in life, race or status in society. Club 1000 played a big role in the final outcome with 23 members contributing SEK 23,000. Another five members who had listed their names could not make it to the function and the total amount raised is expected to shoot once the five pay their pledges.
The event, which was presided over by Githuku wa Muirani as the Master of Ceremony was welcomed with a word of prayer and sermon by Pastor Anthony Muraya who walked the gathering through complex spiritual highways as he drew captivating quotes from a digital bible accessed via an iPhone 5 as the mourners listened attentively. Muraya later invited his listeners to a public or private prayer sessions for those who were interested in joining salvation and spreading the word of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sofia Njoroge’s brief
After the sermon, Sofia Njoroge, a progressive Kenyan who had been visiting Keegan in hospital daily and who broke the news about Keegan’s departure, gave a brief and moving background of circumstances that led to Keegan’s death. In her brief, she said that Keegan died of lung failure after a long period of illness which dates back to 1999 when Keegan’s ailment was diagnosed by Swedish doctors.
Sofia said that Keegan was lucky because he had time to ask for last prayers, warning that death could come through any source (including a road accident) giving the victim no time to prepare. She said that Kenyans must continue to introduce themselves as “Kenyans” or “Africans” as opposed to introducing themselves with their ethnic origins. From Sofia’s perspective, “ethnic introductions” promote tribalism and that this is why Kenyans needed to view themselves as “Kenyans” as a matter of priority.
Sofia criticized people who had been spreading unfounded rumours that Keegan had died of HIV, saying that “death is death” regardless of the cause. She said that Keegan had been opposed to the idea of his condition being made public after some Kenyans started spreading rumours that he was on his death bed soon after they learnt that he had been hospitalized. Sofia also criticized Swedish authorities for failing to put Keegan’s name on the list of lung transplant candidates because he was not white.
Message from Keegan’s mother
After Sofia’s address, Githuku wa Muirani delivered a message from Keegan’s mother who was not in a position to speak following the shock of her son’s death. Muirani said that a day before Keegan passed away, he called his mother who was in Kenya and asked for prayers. Muirani said that Keegan’s mom was very thankful for the solidarity the Kenyan community had shown her and hoped that the spirit would continue. Muirani then introduced Keegan’s two daughters to the gathering.
Others who addressed the mourners were Jeff Ole Ngais, Mackan Macharia and Joseph Munene. In a moving speech, Munene (popularly known as Nzoro) said that Keegan was a winner who had fought his personal battles gallantly. He said that despite the obstacles and constraints that Keegan faced as a result of his condition, he continued to live a normal life without allowing his ailment to see him withdraw from society. “Keegan was a fighter and today, I can stand here and say that he won”, Man Nzoro said amid applause.
In a dramatic pose of speeches from the floor, Makan Macharia led an “Entertainment sessions” where two Kenyans cracked jokes in turns and whoever laughed was penalized to pay with the money going into the main kitty. After several rib-tickling jokes saw the mourners almost chocking their lungs out with laughter, a total of SEK 1100 was raised from the exercise.
After the mourners withdrew from the hall, men and women together with boys and girls who were still standing and willing to continue retreated to Keegan’s residence in Hagsätra for an “After Party” which continued well into the wee hours of the morning. By the time KSB crew detached from the Party and took a taxi back to base camp, the hands of the clock stood at 07.00 am.
Through Chairman Sunday, the Keegan Committee hereby thanks everybody who worked tirelessly to make the Keegan Harambee a big success. According to Steve Kadir, a Committee member, the Committee still needs to raise about SEK 8k to reach the target. Steve told KSB that the “Open House” session continues at Keegan’s residence as the Committee begins work on body freight and air tickets for members of Keegan’s family.
Under the circumstances, all those concerned are informed that apart from the daily “Open House” sessions, there will be a meeting at Keegan’s residence on Friday, December 13th and a final meeting on Saturday, December 14th. The meetings will be to explore details of transport, bookings and other matters. Any Kenyan who is interested is invited to these meetings while Club 1000 is still open for those who are willing to join and help the Committee realize the target.
An evaluation of the Harambee will also be conducted at the meetings while suggestions on the way forward with Harambees will also be explored. The meetings will start at 16.00 Hours and all are welcome.
Keegan’s Funeral Committee in Stockholm