Dr Fredrick Muoki Wambua was a towering academic giant in his Ketululu village, Machakos County.
At a tearful funeral at his father’s farm in Ketululu on Friday, relatives and neighbours said they expected him to be a role model to the young generation.
That was not to be. The young doctor died by suicide, citing frustrations of not getting employment and mounting debts.
“We shall always weep for the son we loved so much but yet we could not keep,” Dr Muoki’s parents Pater Wambua and Juliana Wayua said in a joint statement.
The funeral brought the sleepy village to a standstill.
A lone stone house that sits on Mzee Wambua’s homestead underscores the gap that his son has left.
Dr Muoki was not married and had not built a house in the countryside as some of his agemates in the village had done.
“But since we cannot question God, we accept his will,” an uncle said at the funeral punctuated by sobbing.
As his relatives and neighbours struggled to come to terms with the death, friends and professional colleagues re-lived the fond memories they shared with the young man they described as outgoing.
“Muoki was the brightest in class from Form One to Form Four and was generous with his knowledge. We benefited from his generosity, especially in mathematics and physics,” said Antony Wambua, who was with Dr Muoki at Tala High School.
The fifth born in a family of seven enrolled at Tala High School after emerging as the best in the entire Machakos region in the 2004 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination.
The Catholic Church funded his secondary school education through an arrangement that saw his father serve as a groundsman at a local school.
The young man defied his humble background and emerged as the best at Tala High School in 2007.
He studied Medicine and Surgery at Moi University.
This humble background is believed to have contributed to Dr Muoki’s generosity, which manifested further during his internship at Kangundo Sub-county Hospital.