Kenyans living in the US turned up in large numbers Saturday to raise money to ship home the body of a Kenyan college student who died in Minneapolis more than a week ago.
Patricia Anyango Ouma Miswa was found dead on January 4, 2018 in her hostel room in Mankato, Minnesota, in unclear circumstances, less than a year after leaving Kenya to pursue a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Mankato, in Minnesota.
Preliminary post-mortem has indicated that she died of mild pneumonia.
Late last week, her family in Kenya sent out a passionate appeal to well-wishers to assist in mobilising resources to the send her remains back to Kiti in Nakuru for burial.
Patricia’s younger sister, Anita Miswa, told Nation that her sister had not indicated to either family or friends that she was sick.
She said she had spoken to her sister on New Year’s eve and she didn’t sense any changes with her.
“The news of my sister’s death came as a shock to the whole family because she had not been sick before and was always a very vibrant person who was full of life,” said Anita.
“All we want now is to bring her back home where she belongs. But we as a family alone cannot raise the amount needed for the transportation and burial. We need a total of Sh1.5 million. Already we have received Sh600,000 from friends and well-wishers,” she added.
Answering the call to help, scores of Kenyans braved the bitter afternoon winter chills on Saturday and congregated at the Church of the Nazarene in North Brooklyn Centre, Minnesota, where they raised enough money to transport the body home.
“Yes, Kenyans turned up in large numbers to not only raise the money we needed but also to pay their last respects to their compatriot.
“The money we raised today (Saturday) plus what people have pledged online via GoFundMe should be enough to take care of all expenses associated with the funeral home and shipping of the remains,” said Doreen Selly.
Selly said that preparations were underway to ship Patricia’s body to Kenya this Friday.
Patricia is the founder of the Afro Elle magazine which focuses on women of African heritage, entrepreneurs, leaders and influencers.