Last week ended on a very sad note for Kimathi comrades. One of our own, Isaac Byron Ochieng passed away on Friday 6th March between 9 – 10 pm. I knew him personally as Izaw. I played football with him in the Eleven Arrows team for more than one year.
I remember straining the calf muscles of one of my legs at an away match in a football pitch near Farmlands one day. I had never experienced such an injury before and I was scared. I was lying on the ground in pain, unable to continue playing when Izaw came up to me and asked what was wrong. When I told him, in a reassuring voice, he replied, “Ah. Ni hapo? Mtu anafanyanga ivi.” He then proceeded to chop my calf with the sides of his palms and after a minute, the pain was gone. I got up and minutes later, I was running all over the pitch. It seemed miraculous at the time.
Such was Izaw’s character: kind and always ready to help. His talent and dedication saw him move to the school football team, where he has been invaluable. It is with shock and sorrow that I learned of his untimely demise.
I then found out that he has been feeling unwell since last year but his visits to the hospital had yielded no answers. Last month, he was admitted to Nairobi Hospital where the cause of his problems for the preceding months was diagnosed as Tuberculosis of the bone marrow. He stayed there until his death. His burial is scheduled to be in Bondo – Siaya County, in about two weeks.
Izaw was a finalist in B. Com. As Kimathi, death has robbed us. We have been most mercilessly robbed of a kind, jovial, dedicated and talented individual. He was a source of inspiration and motivation for the Eleven Arrows team. Even with the odds firmly against us and in the face of almost certain defeat, he would inspire us to give our best, confident that every mountain could be scaled. The loss of such a gem will therefore weigh heavily on all Kimathi comrades who ever interacted with Izaw.
It is regrettable that we were powerless to stop him from leaving us. However, as Kimathi comrades, we now have the opportunity to show our love and support for one of us. Izaw’s family has been left with the heavy burden of clearing his Nairobi Hospital bill, totaling to more than 9 Million shillings.
Obviously, his family will need every bit of support that they can get from every single Kimathi comrade. I am challenged to do my best by the knowledge that with the kind soul Izaw had, he would have given his best not only for me – an acquaintance – but also for any comrade, simply because he or she was from Kimathi.
In regards to this, Izaw’s friends in Kimathi have come together and appointed an adhoc treasurer, Leah Baroness Nyongesa, to whom we can all send our contributions. Her M-Pesa number is 0718745436. We will need every coin so do not hesitate to send whatever you can. The beauty of comradeship is that the individual amounts we contribute will build up to a large amount whose impact will be felt as we give it to Izaw’s family. This is our chance to show how powerful Kimathi comrades can be when united.
A Pay bill number also exists for the purpose of contribution: Account Number 8001313 and Account Name: YOUR NAME.
May you fare well, Izaw.
Special thanks to Karakacha Mathew Brian, 2019 class of B. Com for providing us with some of the information above.
Feel free to write your tribute for Izaw in the comments section at the bottom of this page.