Remembering Lucy Kibaki
There’s an air of sadness spreading across Kenya today as the news of the passing of former First Lady, Lucy Kibaki this morning in Bupa Cromwell Hospital in London sinks in.
One of a handful of times I got to see her up close was at the Constitution Promulgation Ceremony at Uhuru Park Nairobi on 27th August 2010.
Unlike today, there was a lot of cheer with all the hopes and aspirations Kenyans had placed on a new constitution.
Throughout the ceremony, Lucy Kibaki took a back seat as all eyes were set on Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila Odinga, Mwai Kibaki her husband and the new constitution.
After oaths of office were taken by the leaders, entertainment followed. Emmy Kosgei came on stage singing Taunet Nelel. That is when we all noticed Lucy.
Unable to contain her excitement, she got off her seat and started dancing. Fellow dignitaries gave her the odd side glance wondering what she was up to. She didn’t care. She continued dancing, matching every move Emmy and her fellow musicians made with equal vigor.
I saw a mother celebrating what her people had achieved in an unreserved and what others might have considered undignified kind of way. She didn’t care what others thought of her. She was excited and without a microphone to express herself, she stood up when other dignitaries were seated and danced away.
The crowd noticed and started cheering her on, with many standing to taunet nelel along.
That is the image I will forever have of Lucy Kibaki: a First Lady who expressed herself without caring what we thought of her.
Lucy, thank you for being you. It is my hope that you are dancing with the King of Kings.
Rest in Peace.