How KCPE candidate’s bright future was dimmed by school tragedy

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 10:00 |
Education CS George Magoha speaks to Precious Talents Top School pupils after they were discharged from the Kenyatta National Hospital, last week. Photo/PD/Bernard Malonza

By Grace Wachira and Irene Githinji

“Dad bye,” 13-year-old Emmna Idambo, a Standard Eight pupil at Precious Talent School  told her father yesterday morning.

Unfortunately, those were to be the two last words that Isaac Idambo would hear from her daughter.

Less than a hour later, the child was dead following the collapse of classroom at the school in Dagoretti South, Nairobi.

“I lifted the rubble myself and found my daughter. I saw how she looked and knew that she had fought for her life,” said a tearful Idambo. 

He said the child was taken to Medhill Hospital on Naivasha Road on a motorbike but was pronounced dead on arrival.

“My daughter was a bright student and we expected her to score more 400 marks in KCPE.

We were hoping that she would join Starehe Girls Centre,” said Idambo, also a bishop of Gate of Holiness, a church that has providing the school with spiritual nourishment.

Idambo was among the seven pupils whose hopes and dreams were cut short by the tragedy that shocked the nation. 

Others who died in the tragedy included 12-year-old Jacqueline Gesare who was in class six and seven-year-old Whitney Wekesa who was in Standard One.

On Sunday, the Idambos attended the school’s prayer day where Emmna was among pupils who entertained guests.

“We had such a great time yesterday (Sunday) praying for them,” he said. 

At the Chiromo Mortuary yesterday where the Emmna’s body was taken, he mother, Judith, wept as she replayed videos of her first-born child which she had taken with her phone during the school’s prayer day.

She perhaps trying to come to terms with the fact that only a few short hours earlier, her child who now lay dead in a mortuary, was a bubbly teenager with big dreams. 

She later told the media how her daughter made tea for the family  on the fateful morning before leaving for school.

“Since she was a candidate, she would leave the house earlier than her siblings. She would be in school by 6.20am as the rest joined her at around 7am,” she recalled.

“At around 6:30am, I found missed calls on my phone. Just as I was about to call back, I heard our boy, our second born, banging at the door calling out for help. 

“He keptsaying mum, shule imebomoka (mother, the school has collapsed),” she said.

Judith inquired about the safety of his sisters, but the shocked boy had no answers. 

“I was in my nightgown and so I hurriedly dressed up and rushed to the school,” she said. 

When she arrived, he worst fears were confirmed: her daughter was among those covered in the rubble.

The Idambos, who live in Ngando area Near Ngong Race Course, asked Kenyans to pray for the families affected by the tragedy. 

“We ask for your prayers. We do not fault the school and this is an accident like any other,” Idambo said.

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