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Lil Gathoni Mwaura, sister to Waihiga Mwaura, died on mother's birthday, eulogy says

Lil Gathoni Mwaura died aged 32. [Courtesy of family]

Lil Gathoni Mwaura, the sister of Citizen Television news anchor Waihiga Mwaura, was intelligent, generous and kind, tributes shared at her funeral service on Thursday, April 21 revealed.

Gathoni died aged 32 on April 14, 2022, a day her mother Lady Justice Anna Ngibuini Mwaure was supposed to celebrate her birthday.

First two, from left: Lil Gathoni Mwaura’s parents David Mwaure Waihiga and Lady Justice Anna Ngibuini during their daughter's funeral service at CITAM Valley Road on April 21, 2022. [Brian Okoth, Standard]

Anne Githuku, who read out Gathoni’s eulogy at the CITAM Valley Road Church in Nairobi, said Gathoni succumbed to a personal illness at 4am.

“On Thursday, April 14, 2022 – on her mother’s birthday – Gathoni was in a [Nairobi] medical facility, and recovering well from a personal illness. At around 4am, she collapsed and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was administered on her by the medical practitioners on site. While being rushed to another hospital, she rested,” said Ms Githuku.

The eulogy also revealed that Gathoni was living with bipolar disorder.

“Gathoni worked towards her dreams and desires despite the fact that for years, she had suffered bipolar mental disorder, and she constantly was under treatment. She openly talked about her struggles with mental health, and despite her own pain, she reached out to others to help them,” said Ms Githuku while reading out Gathoni’s eulogy.

Anne Githuku reading Lil Gathoni Mwaura's euology at CITAM Valley Road on April 21, 2022. [Brian Okoth, Standard]

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

Gathoni was a well-educated person, who had two Master’s degrees from universities in the United Kingdom (UK).

She was a holder of a Master of Science (Applied Child Psychology) Degree from the Nottingham Trent University, and a Master’s in Education Degree from the University of Derby.

In Kenya, she pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication Degree (Public Relations and Print Media) from Daystar University.

Gathoni, popularly known among her friends as Gath, was an alumnus of Rusinga Group of Schools and the St. Christopher's International School, Nairobi.

“She was intelligent, she was witty, she was generous, she was all so beautiful. A woman of many talents that we will forever miss. Our last born, our princess, the light and joy of our lives,” said Ms Githuku.

Gathoni pursued several professions in the communications, arts, music, child psychology and education sectors.

She was a professional international mediator after being awarded a Dispute and Conflict Resolution International Certificate.

Gathoni has worked for the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Balozi Productions Limited Kenya, the Nairobi Performing Arts Studio, among others. In the UK, she spent most of her life in Nottingham City in central England’s midlands region.

In Nottingham, she worked as a senior sales advisor.

“Gathoni’s work-life embodied her passion for creativity, service, teaching, psychology and her deep love for children,” said Ms Githuku.

Gathoni is survived by her father Senior Advocate David Mwaure Waihiga, mother Lady Justice Anna Ngibuini Mwaure and siblings Waihiga Mwaura and Ngibuini Mwaura. She was also a foster sister to Andrew Ndambuki, Lillian Ndambuki, Waihiga Muturi and Lillian Kibagendi Waihiga.

Journalist Waihiga Mwaura and his wife, gospel musician Joyce Omondi, at the funeral service of Lil Gathoni Mwaura on April 21, 2022 . [Brian Okoth, Standard]

“Gathoni left behind hundreds of children whose lives she touched and minds she impacted, and a multitude of family and friends all over the world whom she loved deeply and loved her even more,” said Ms Githuku.