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An open letter to Esther Arunga and her parents

By Obar Mark | December 25th 2014
Esther Arunga and husband Quincy Timberlake (PHOTO: Courtesy)

NAIROBI: At the moment, it’s not even necessary to start thinking of who is right or wrong in the Esther Arunga’s saga. Maybe, and just maybe, sidestepping facts and fictions about who or what is wrong with anyone is this story can be the first stride towards realizing the much needed restoration and resolution in our sister’s life.

However, there are specific narratives that stand out in this story, and anyone else can learn from them. Going by Esther Arunga’s own testimonies, am convinced that our beloved sister suffered an Identification Crisis as youth. Just to quote her;

“As soon as I finished Form 4, I came to Australia, again on my own. I partied hard, studied hard,” Esther wrote and continued to documents that, “Nowadays, I think that apart from me being extremely naïve, Onyango [Joseph Hellon] was using strong charms on me. I just could not see any evil in him and I humbly accepted to be his spiritual daughter.”

More interestingly, Esther went ahead to make some curious disclosure about her husband, Quincy Timberlake. “My husband has never hidden the fact that he used to be a freemason….Think about it, I have been married to my husband for 4 year. Don’t you think I have observed his conduct this long? He is being held in hospital right now.” 

So how did Esther Arunga find herself in-between the lives of two controversial men, at least according to her? She relatively accused her parents of letting her take the rugged path of life alone – without parental guidance. Somewhat, anyone will agree with Esther that it was not a good idea for her parents to stay away from her right from the age of 12.

Personal life experience

Fleetingly, I’d like to give personal accounts of my past in this story. It’s because Esther and I somehow share a feeling of fear for the unknown, especially, in the absence of parents at a tender age. Having been born in family where my Dad looked for any slightest opportunity to kill his children and their mother, my siblings and I had no option but to run away from home. Growing up at the mercy of the world with no one to provide advice and guidance, just like Esther some of my siblings grew up in an Identification Crisis. They partied hard but did very little work. Some of them got jailed while others got into early marriages.

I grew up with serious trauma and an interminable feeling of rejection as well as rebuff from the world. Paranoia, distrust and fear was all I knew about the world and life. The truth is, at the moment, Esther Arunga [just like me – then] is going through the same things. In this state of life, it’s extremely difficult for one to know and understand what is right or wrong. So often, what appears to be right – is the wrong one, and what appears to be wrong – could be the right one.

In such an inimical state of affairs, blaming one who is undergoing through an Identification Crisis is the worst mistake. On the flipside, it take love, care and most importantly, prayer to the Almighty God for such a person to wake up to reality.

The truth is, anyone who is undergoing through an Identification Crisis tends to look for love more than anything else. This, habitually, makes such a person to be very gullible and unreal.    

Treatment of an Identification Crisis

In my own view, the answer to Esther Arunga’s questions are with God who created her. However, as Kenyans, parents, brothers and sisters, we have a role to play – and the role is love. Firstly, it’s no doubt that an Identification Crisis is not a psychological disease, but it might be a disorder. By defining circumstances surrounding Esther’s life, we will be able not only to understand her but also to prescribe the best medicine for the problems.

The assumption that I make is that in order for any interested person to help Esther in any way, the possible sanctioned approaches must possess an applied body of knowledge and a reliable friendship that she can trust. Does Esther Arunga trust any of her relatives today? Maybe, she only trusts her husband….and that is the way to Esther’s heart. Disowning her husband can only be detrimental because, that is the person she loves most. To convert, change or reform Esther, we need an in-road, and that must be what or who she loves dearly. It doesn’t matter whether as a parent you approve of her husband or not.

According to Esther’s father, Robert Arunga – he stated that, “Esther is our daughter and we still love her.” It’s this love that must be ‘a lot more’ real. It’s love that must sacrifice everything else – just to have one child back.

When I unswervingly started watching television, just less than 6 years ago, Esther Arunga was one of the glowing Anchors I knew about. Her presence in the TV industry - alongside other Journalists inspired me to pursue my dreams of becoming a Journalist and an IT Specialist. Fortunately, I have seen my dreams come to pass, and it can only be my prayer that one who inspired me lives a venerable life. Esther Arunga, we love you very much.     


The Writer is a Journalist with Standard Media Group,

P.O Box 30080, 00100, Nairobi.

E-mail: [email protected]       


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