Nairobi’s “prettiest thug” Claire Njoki Kibia was laid to rest on Thursday in an unorthodox ceremony at her family’s home in Kambirwa, Murang’a county.
The ceremony was a tense affair which was only attended by few of her friends and family members.
The presence of plain clothes police officers only helped to heighten tension during the sombre ceremony.
Conversations among the mourners was in hushed tones with only one tent pitched in the compound with less than 50 plastic chairs available. No one took photographs with family members seemingly cautious of the media’s presence.
“Most of her friends were scared that they would be arrested if they showed up for the burial. They only visited the City Mortuary (in Nairobi) in the morning,” said a friend.
Among the few speakers at the brief ceremony was area assistant chief and the deceased’s grandmother.
There were also no written funeral/eulogy programme or tributes at suspected gangster’s burial and the presiding clergymen did not introduce her mother or her siblings.
The 17-year-old was shot dead last week in Nairobi after failing to surrender to police officers trailing the gang she was a member.
The Nation further established that the deceased’s uncle died a few years ago under similar circumstances and was buried in the same homestead.
One of Njoki’s former classmate said the teenager dropped out of school in 2013 after the principal punished her for an offence.
She quit school in 2013 a few months after she had joined Form One at Gikindu Secondary School in Murang’a county.
“The principal punished five girls but while the rest agreed to do the punishment, she refused,” recalled the classmate who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Ms Njoki had also slapped a prefect in the same school. After dropping out of school, she moved to Nairobi to live with her mother in Kayole, Nairobi.
At the time of her death, the teenager had moved out of her mother’s house and was living with her boyfriend, also a suspected gangster.
Neighbours, who spoke to the Nation, said the deceased often visited her grandmother in Kambirwa village. The grandmother in a vote of thanks speech, termed Njoki’s death was “untimely, sad and unfortunate”.
“It was very painful to learn of her death but God has the answers. We thank all those people who have comforted us,” she said, noting that they did not choose to be in that situation and it could happen to anyone.