The mother of slain student Ivy Wangechi over the weekend moved the country to tears when she bravely faced the press to defend her daughter’s honor against false reports about her firstborn child.
Speaking on Sunday at their Thika Makongeni Phase 10 home, Winfred Waithera teared up as she appealed to bloggers to stop spreading false misrepresentations about Ivy Wangechi.
“It is with a lot of regret that I have learnt of an Ivy that only exists in the world of social media. That must be another Ivy, not my daughter.
“I want to make it clear that the Ivy the bloggers are talking about and trying to portray in a bad light in social media is not the same one we knew. The Ivy we knew was God-fearing, disciplined and one who did not depend on or have sponsors,” said the grieving mum.
The pain stricken mum further stated that her trainee doctor daughter was not infected with HIV/AIDS and any contrary claim was a rumour.
“We are still in shock and cannot believe that Ivy is gone forever. It is so hard to imagine that we will never see her again. It is so painful for us as parents and family,” added Waithera.
Following her address to the press, media personality Ciku Muiruri has related to her pain as a mother and penned an open letter.
The author wrote the letter on her socials, drawing hundreds of comments and reactions from other Kenyans.
Read the open letter below.
OPEN LETTER TO WINFRED WAITHERA (IVY WANGECHI’S MUM).
In this Holy Week, your daughter will be laid to rest. You have had to endure her being killed, twice. First, by the seemingly senseless slaying and the second time by bloggers and even radio presenters – Specifically Didge on Homeboyz radio – Who made jokes about her death and alluded to her deserving what she got. And Jalango who wrote a lengthy post on Instagram about women not accepting gifts from men without being ready to deal with the consequences.
You have had to endure lies being spread about the apple of your eye. Everything from infecting this disturbed young man (that she never even dated) with HIV, to her being a money-grabbing slut. Yes, they have killed your angel twice. Today, there are reports of a 24-year-old woman in Nyaribo that has been stabbed and killed by her alleged ex-boyfriend. Another man who stabbed his wife 17 times in Mathira has given himself up to police. Hot on the heels of another stabbing in Pwani University where yet another girl fights for her life. Naomi Chepkemboi’s crime was to send back money to a man whose attention she did not want. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Mama Wangechi, I’m a mum too. I too have a young, beautiful daughter. She is graduating from University in July, her life ahead of her. I can relate to the horror of what you must be going through. So I will try and hold your hand with my words, with the hope that they will give you just a small piece of comfort. This weekend, I saw a post questioning why God killed innocent Egyptian kids over Passover and saved the ‘right’ kids from death. The meme is sarcastic and alludes to God willing evil by punishing innocent children. I’m sure such thoughts may have crossed your mind. Why Ivy? Why a doctor? Why a God fearing girl? Why a girl so beautiful? Why a life so blessed?
People die in churches worshipping. They die in floods, they die from crazed gunmen. And yes, from an axe wielding mad man. God’s choice to no longer will a person to live, is not to will evil. We must ALL die. But it’s never senseless. He gave up His only son to die. We will bury Him this Friday. And look what His death did for the world. Remember when Jesus cured a blind man in the Gospel of John? The disciples wondered whose sin had caused the man’s blindness, his own or his parents. “Neither,” Jesus answered. “Rather, he was made blind that the works of God might be revealed in him.”
Those kids in Egypt were also chosen – that the works of God might be revealed in their deaths. We all have a role in this life, whether it is clear to us or not. So did Ivy. Yes, she needed to be a doctor. God fearing. Beautiful. A wonderful soul with a life so blessed. She needed to be all these things so that we can now SEE the girl in Pwani. So we can SEE the woman in Nyeri. These headlines are not new. But Ivy struck a chord in us all so deep, that we now SEE the other women.
It may not seem like it now, but be sure your daughter did not die in vain. Because of her, we now SEE that mental health issues are REAL and must be taken more seriously. Because of her violence against women and blaming the victim will NOT be tolerated. Didge is serving a suspension from his job because of it. Jalang’o saw the error of his ways and deleted his post. Because of Ivy, we know that not everything you read on the Internet is true. Anyone can do it. Even you. Start a blog right now. Write anything you want. It will be on the Internet. That does not make what you write true. Because of your daughter people will begin to question what they read. They will look at the source. They will wait for a credible media house with the proper facts before they murder another person again with their words. Like they did to your daughter.
Yes, as you lay your precious Ivy to rest, know that it was not in vain. Hundreds of other girls will live because she died. Thanks mum for your amazing daughter. She was chosen that the works of God might be revealed through her. #RIPIVYWANGECHI
Get well soon to the women fighting for their lives. We SEE you.
***To help contribute to Ivy’s funeral expenses, the family have set up a pay bill number 855050 under ‘Ivy Wangechi send-off’.