A tribute to Janet Kanini Ikua

Janet Kanini Ikua.jpg

When my father dropped me at Precious Blood Riruta on my first day in Form 1 in 1993, I did not know that my life would be interwoven with your life. From the House- Ruwenzori, from the room and the decker bed. Who would have known that I would have shared the same room and bed space for 3 years!

Janet Kanini Ikua then known as Muiva, was a charming room mate and decker mate. I think she was created on the day when smiles were being dished and a light spirit was being released. I remember Janet mostly through singing and humming her way through the day- at least most of the days. It was just refreshing to watch her. As a Form One, there is a lot of fear and trepidation as you face an unknown future with totally new people. I remember I was constantly afraid, timid and not sure of myself, but Janet my roommate together with the other roommates ensured that I settled in well.

I could not make my bed properly and she would tuck the bed for me, the PB style with the mitered corners. I came from games and somehow was not able to clean my feet well and my crisp clean sheets were soiled with red earth soil and she empathized with my stress. I would forget to get my water for bathing and sometimes I would find it graciously fetched for me. Life as a Form One was more bearable and enjoyable, she would wake me up if i tended to oversleep and just fun and a joy to be around with.

Janet was an interesting person. She possessed serenity and mischief in equal measure. She could gaze out of our room window for long on Sunday afternoons when a compulsory nap was mandated by the school. I wondered what she thought about but being a sweet soul, I am sure she mused about family-especially her family.

Janet was talented in the Arts, yes she was a bright girl academically, all rounded socially but Music and Drama were her love loves. She was the school dancer! My roommate was the school Drama and Music Festivals Lead dancer. During those long days of practice, she would be exhausted and worn out and so I chose to minister to her and fetch water and ensure she was not bothered by things i could do, even washing clothes. Janet was kind, it was a joy to serve her.

When Janet left PB in 1995, I was sad, I lost a friend…our phrase was “If we do not meet on earth, make sure we meet in heaven”. For me Janet kept in touch even though the difficulty then was lack of such social media as we have today. A few months after she left, she wrote me a long 5- page letter. I do not remember much of what she wrote, all I know is that she updated me on what she was up to especially the acting and being well. I was thrilled that she considered me significant to pen such a letter to.

After that her rise was meteoric, on TV and more TV and more TV, her marriage, her father’s demise, her children and so I just told people my decker-mate is Janet. That is how I kept tabs with her. Then- Janet disappeared and when she re- emereged it was the Deep Venous Thrombosis Diagnosis.

Of course it has been a difficult journey. Janet has suffered in the body, her soul has been in anguish but I am happy to report that I met Janet about a year ago. I bumped into her at a dental x-ray clinic on Old Mutual Building. It was a short 10 minute meeting, I introduced her to my husband, did a little chit chat and exchanged contacts.

That was the last time. I saw her. Then the drama that has unfolded in the last few months unfolded. Janet finished her race in the Lord. There is no greater joy for me to know that Janet will meet me when I arrive in heaven.Janet the beautiful soul on earth not in the presence of our saviour. the one who carried her through the pain of Chemo, held her hand in the throes of fear. Halleluyah! What a saviour!

Janet leaves behind a husband and two beautiful children, her mother and her sisters together with their families. The story of Janet must be written for all to read. To inspire those suffering, to shine the Light of Jesus in the darkest days. May the family and friends be comforted to know that their loved one has run her race and finished it-well. God who has been with them continues to be a friend and a helper in time of need. I will think about you for a long long time.

In the meantime, Fare Thee Well Janne, you are at the best place any of us can be- Resting from your labours.

May the Name of the Lord Jesus Be Praised

Your Friend

Caroline Chimoyi- Kasaya