Light Dimmed And A Crack Left in My Heart
on 2nd Sep 2020
Light Dimmed And A Crack Left in My Heart
Name of Victim: Enock Anemba
Age: 28 years
Story Told By Jane Hamisi
There is a crack in our wall. An opening almost the size of our door. This crack is as big as the one in our hearts two years after the disappearance of our son.
The iron sheets roofing of our small house rot like my leg, which was amputated after a fall when I received news of his capture on Monday, the 23rd of April 2018. Night falls and it reminds us of the darkness we live in not knowing whether he is alive or dead, in prison or his body dumped somewhere unknown.
Enock Anemba is our son, our second born and the light of our family. He is the best son a mother can ever have. I still have pains in my chest and another one that cuts right at my abdomen when I do not see him around- whenever I remember I have not seen my son for two years and that I may never see him again.
Enock was born in 1992 in Pumwani while my husband and I were living in Huruma. Our firstborn is a daughter and we wished to have a son as a second child. It was a blessing when I gave birth to him. I saw a light on him.
He went to Mathare North primary school. He passed his exams with flying colours and was sponsored to Eastleigh high school where he also excelled. We could not afford to take him to higher education because my husband had been laid off.
During the 2007/8 post-election violence, there was a lot of chaos, fighting and havoc in Huruma. So, we left the area to our current dwelling in Mathare. Enock fled separately but there was news from his friends that he was living around Ngara. That gave us hope that we would see him again, unlike now.
It was during his stay in Pangani that he was helped by a kind woman who sponsored his driving classes. He was a hardworking young man. He fought tooth and nail to ensure that he would have a better life, not only for him but for his family as well. After learning how to drive, he gathered his finances, bought a motorcycle, and began ferrying customers as a means of survival.
We had not seen him for four years but when he came back, he gave us news of his engagement to a girl he had met while in exile. He wished to marry her. He also wished to educate his elder sister’s son Regan, his siblings and take care of us, his parents. Our light had come back.
In 2018, just before his disappearance, Enock promised to take us to the village. One day he came home and told us, “mom, dad I know you are growing old. It is no longer prudent for you to keep living in the city. The city is full of smoke, danger, and uncertainty. That is why I am going to build a house for you in the village where you can rest and farm, where your grandchildren can come visit and see you.”
Unfortunately, that would never be, because, on the 23rd of April 2018, we got news from his wife that Enock had been missing for five days. We did not know what to do. We started looking around hospitals and mortuaries. My husband went to Kenyatta hospital and City Mortuary but did not find him.
One morning, during the second week of his disappearance, my husband got a call from a private number. The caller said he was the police, but he did not give us much information. The only thing he said was that Enock had been arrested. He did not say to what charges he was facing or where he had been taken.
So, my husband took the steps. Without any knowledge, he went to Pangani police station, Buruburu, Makadara and other stations around Nairobi Area. But no one gave him any information. Everywhere he went, he was told to go back the next day. He had to give out bribes to police officers and mortuary attendants just to access information about his son. The results of which bore no fruits.
Still, we continued the search for our son. Any place where we would hear bodies had been found, we would go but we have never seen our Enock Anemba.
Now our resources have run out and it is difficult to go from place to place. Sometimes hope flees us. Sometimes we get angry at the injustices that poor people face. Most times, I just look at the door and wish to see my son coming through again.
Whenever I leave the house, the children ask me, “Mama, are you going to bring our brother back home?” And that cuts through my soul and my heart breaks into two.
When I remember Enock Anemba, my son, I see the light that we no longer have. He took our lives as his responsibility. Whenever he would hear that his family was suffering, he would move mountains to ensure that our pain was alleviated. Whenever he met his father in town, he would always give him some money or food to take back home. He educated his nephew because he knew that would be the only way that he could grow up to be a responsible man.
Sometimes I think I am going crazy. My husband and I are old. Sometimes I look at him and I see that he too is losing his mind.
We have not paid rent for three months. We do not know if we will have a place to call home tomorrow. Eating the next meal comes with luck. We have four children and two grandchildren to take care of. We cannot go to the village without finding our son.
If Enock Anemba were here, we would not suffer like this. If Enock were here we would have light and hope in our family. But now, all we do is stare into the darkness, into the crack in our walls, feel the pain in our hearts as we wait, not knowing if we will ever see our son again.
All I want is to know for sure where my Enock is. I want to know if my son is in prison if he is alive or dead- If I will get a chance to see him again. If he is dead, I want to take his body home and bury him. For now, I am just living in darkness with a crack in my heart.