‘Frozen in death, gone to another mission’
|Teresa Luseka, mother of the late Martin Miheso speaks by his grave|
SEE ALSO :KCSE candidate kicked to death at schoolThe chartered aircraft was being operated by a civilian pilot, who was the brother of his friend at the Manda Island naval air base, where he also worked. About 600 metres into take-off, the aircraft – a Cessna 310 twin-engine piston – crashed and exploded into flames, killing all on board on the spot except the pilot. KDF says the plane was coming back to Nairobi but people familiar with the operation said the plane was on a surveillance mission. United States marines based at Manda Bay were the first to arrive at the scene with buckets of water to help put out the flames. There was no fire engine within the air base. The pilot was the only one pulled out of the wreckage alive. Miraculously, he was still talking. But the miracle was short lived.
SEE ALSO :Newborns at KNH face risksAt his home in Kakamega County, his mementos and pictures proudly fill the family’ living room. One photo stands prominently on a special table that also has two albums with his photos. Martin’s pictures also hang imposingly from the walls of the family house. His father, Luseka Miheso, who lives at his Shibwe home in Kakamega County, describes him as a “lovely, intelligent young boy”. He says his son had a premonition of his own death. “I can hear the national anthem playing. When I remember those words now, in actual sense, Martin was telling me he had finished his assignment. It was a premonition of his death,” Luseka says of the last conversation he had with his son. Miheso loved the stirring sound of the national anthem played by the military band. It was in that conversation that he told his father that he had “achieved a great deal in his area of work”. He says his son grew up always wanting to be a pilot and loved playing with toy aeroplanes as a child.
SEE ALSO :US donates 12 armoured vehicles to KDFBorn into a family of four children, two boys and two girls, there was always sibling rivalry between Martin and his brother, Peter, who is now training with the British army. “There was even a fight between him and his brother Peter when he was the only one who made it to the Air Force shortlist. Both my sons had applied and Peter thought I had something to do with it but I didn’t,” recalls Luseka. His mother, Teresa Luseka, shares fond memories of his birth. “We brought him home in a blue Volkswagen. Martin was nicknamed ‘my lily’ in his childhood,” she chuckles. Martin began his schooling at Mumias Complex Primary school. He joined Booker Academy in 1994, from where he sat his primary school national examinations. In that year, he was the best candidate in Kakamega district and was ranked in position 45 nationally. Dignified send-off He joined Mang’u High School for his secondary school education and scored a mean grade of B+ in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. He was admitted to the University of Nairobi to do a business course but astonishingly, he turned it down and instead opted to pursue aviation. He joined cadet school in 2007 at the Lanet barracks between 2007 and 2009. His family remains grateful to the military for the dignified send-off after they agreed to fly his remains home. “I am frozen in death, but I walk amongst you. So stay, stay for me there my friends. I am gone to another mission,” a poem eulogising him reads in part. Martin’s family says he died doing what he loved. His cooking skills will also be missed by his family. “We used to tell him that if he wasn’t a pilot, he would have been a chef,” the eulogy reads. On the day he died, Martin had told his family he would bring them red snapper fish from the sea.