Home Entertainment Story Behind Viral Obituary That Left Kenyans Scratching Their Heads

Story Behind Viral Obituary That Left Kenyans Scratching Their Heads

Story Behind Viral Obituary That Left Kenyans Scratching Their Heads
Last week, an obituary posted on a local daily went viral on Kenyan social media, eliciting mixed reactions and leaving readers with more questions than answers.

“Mueni has now been united with her beloved father, Anthony, and her partner in crime, Peter, and they can now get up to their typical mischief,” Ms Elizabeth Ngotho’s obituary read in part.

At the time, no one had the foggiest idea that the obituary, reportedly authored by Mueni’s last born sibling, would pop the lid on a family feud, fueled in the last two decades by fight over a multi-million family estate.

Mueni was buried at her family home in Machakos on Saturday, days after the obituary went viral.

According to the Daily Nation, her funeral, which was attended by curious strangers and a handful of family members, was sombre, and quiet, like all funerals, but unlike most, was over as soon as it began.

Save for the printed eulogy, the speeches were short, with a lone family member only rising briefly, to thank those in attendance for their support.

“We are not sure if the departed will go to heaven, but let us pray for her soul,” the priest was quoted as saying.

When all was said and done, the family retreated to the graveyard, where Mueni was interred  beside beside her late dad and her brother Peter.

Who was Mueni?

Mueni who died at 46, having battled an undisclosed illness for years, was a high flying hotelier, with stints at the Panafric and Sarova Hotels.

She was educated in the best schools, notably, the Hillcrest secondary school, the University of Manchester- where she studied architecture- and the Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland.

She would also enroll at the Le Cordon Bleau Culinary School in London before joining the Universities of Prince Edward Island, and the University of Sydney in Canada and Australia respectively.

Controversial Eulogy

The Daily Nation reported that the controversial obituary, that flew in the face of ‘speaking ill of the dead, had been authored by Mueni’s last born brother.

The young man, whose sobriety was in question, would defend himself by claiming that, in the play of words, he had only intended to sound closer to his sister with a little humour.

Rifts in the family began to appear in 1997, as per the reports, when Peter Ngotho, Mueni’s brother and confidant, died by suicide.

He had reportedly been sent abroad to study a business course in order to help his father run their vast family estate.

Instead, he is said to have followed his love; music and art, much to the chagrin of his father, who had attended the graduation.

In the animosity that followed, Peter,aggrieved that his father would not buy him a play station, committed suicide.

Issues escalated, pitting family against family; Mueni and her late dad and brother Peter had taken one side, while the rest of the siblings stuck with their mum.

And then, the family patriarch would die 10 years later, in 2007, leaving the administration of the family estate in the hands of his dear daughter Mueni, sparking off a feud over the family wealth.

The multi-million estate which was controlled by Mueni has pending cases at the Machakos Environment and Lands Court and the Millimani Law Courts in Nairobi and is said to have been the crux of the family fallout that spilled to the media via the controversial obituary.

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