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A Cactus in the Desert

By Ngigi Kamau

I lost count of the many times they referred to her as Mum, everyone who was given an opportunity to address thousands of people gathered for the occasion spoke highly about her, they all called her Mum, some were people serving in high offices, ambassadors, politicians and even her fellow church leaders, others were ordinary Kenyans like me and my fellow journalists invited to provide coverage to the grand book launch while others were former gangsters, victims of various ruthless circumstances and destitute children.

On that hot Sunday afternoon, Reverend Teresia Wairimu Kinyanjui launched her autobiography “Cactus in the Desert” at her Faith Evangelistic Ministry church located in Karen, the book had been put
together after 5 years of planning by Anne Jackson, a published author and sought-after speaker.

The Sunday service has just ended and the huge congregation was having lunch outside the big tent, the programme for the launch was lineup after a yummy lip smacking feast consisting of a hot Pilau Rice served with beef stew.

Chief guest, the Israel ambassador to Kenya Jacob Keidar made his way in some minutes to 2pm, she was followed by other distinguished guest such as Mumius Sugar Company Managing Director Evans Kidero and Gichugu MP Martha Karua, Wairimu and the Gichugu MP were secondary school mates back in the days, I was to learnt that later after reading a 404 page inspirational book about the life of mum.

Comedian Danial Ndambuki popularly known as Churchill was also present, as usual, he let out one of his famous comic side.

The ceremony was short, concise and articulate, the ushers dressed in purple made sure the guest were seated.

And when the moment everyone has been waiting for, it was a spectacular scene to behold, it was a wonderful unveiling of a Cactus in the Desert, life and times of a woman many have known as mom, the
Reverend Teresia Wairimu Kinyanjui.

In her autobiography, Reverend Wairimu, a mother of two, remembers vividly how one event back in 1988 changed her life, back in the days when women preacher were viewed with skepticism, she talks how she had just gone through a traumatizing divorce and rejection, how her son Robert was taken away and told she will never see her again.

Born in November 1957 in a place called Waithaka on the outskirt on Nairobi Reverend Teresia Wairimu was a first daughter to Jane Njeri and Kinuthia Kinyanjui, a son of colonial-era paramount chief Kinyanjui wa Gathirimu.

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