24 February, 2012

Fare Well My Valentines

Valentines Day, February 14, a day of exaggerated chemical romance, excruciating pain for those who feel love is but a myth and a sales boom for the florist, the hotel industry and the chocolate business. To me, its a day like no other! Woke up to make a brand, to sell my Public Relations knowledge and have fun while at it. I woke up with great ambition for making it happen at the #MarriageBuilt2Last book launch for our dear client Jennifer Karina . I like the drama and the effort that comes along with the pressure of Valentines day, so for a single soul like me, it was free entertainment.:-)

So while roses were graceful given to the loves of their lives, while kisses were exchanged between couples, texts of plagiarised content from renown poets were sent, mine was a different story. Somewhere in Lenana, in a certain 'kijiji' children were in distress, in pain, in doubt of God's existence...in total disarray of emotions. Agnes Muthakye Kabiru, a great inspiration to many, but little is known of her, succumbed to skin cancer on February 13, 2012.

You may be wondering, "who is she?" Well, she may not have made the newspaper headlines, featured on prime news, but she sure did touch heaven with her courage, her faith and her strength to live on one more day every day. She is the main character of the film In My genes , a film that highlights the feeling of being "white" in a "black" society; the plights of people living with albinism.
Agnes sharing her experience during launch of In My Genes
Agnes battled skin cancer particularly Basal Cell Carcinoma since 1994, and it was not until she met Lupita of In My Genes that she knew that she had cancer. This was in 2006. A blind woman with albinism, whose strength none can compare. Whose faith in God awes even Christians. A woman who made a living out of  meticulously weaving kiondos of different colours. A blind woman who overcome all odds and was a mummy to 7 children and a wife to one Mr. Kabiru. A woman who served in her local church faithfully and one who every Sunday had a testimony and a thanksgiving unto the Lord despite her circumstances.

Agnes and her daughter Monica during the launch of Africa Cancer Foundation

The irony of love my friends, the irony of life. While we laughed or faked the existence of valentines, the late Agnes' family lost their valentine, their mummy, their bread winner and for a while hope in tomorrow. I may not have known this woman personally, but from her family and friends, a great dent has been left in their road of life. We cannot ignore the existence of cancer or people suffering with albinism, we cannot sit and watch our albino brothers and sisters succumb to skin cancer, we cant keep waiting for someone else to always reach out. This is our christian duty to. this is love in action. Skin cancer is preventable.

My people perish due to lack of knowledge. Be informed about skin cancer and albinism, spread the love, hope to our brothers and sisters and to their family. For me this is true, selfless love. 

1 Corinthians 13 if we speak in tongues of men and angels and have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

RIP Agnes Muthakye. My valentine,you have opened my life to a new chapter, gladdened my spirit with your life's story and taught me that we do not always need a new sermon, sometimes its time for practicals of knowledge gained.
RIP Dear!

What next? time for action. contact Albinism Society of Kenya and 7th Sense Communications on how we can help out our sisters and brothers. I believe even donating sunscreen, or doing your own awareness through personal interactions and social media will surely go a long way.

People first, then money, then things- Suze Orman

Be blessed and spread the love, wherever you can! As long as you can breathe.

Photos Courtesy of AfricaCancerFoundation and In My Genes.