KILIMANJARO

Born in Maondo village in Kakamega in 1948, Jafetha Sofia Anyona lost her parents in infancy and was taken in by her maternal grandmother. As she grew up and developed curiosity for the world around her, Jafetha saw her grandmother revered as a traditional doctor and herbalist. Flocks of people came to her house with diverse complaints ranging from fertility issues, stomach ailments among others. The flowering of Jafetha’s uniqueness began as she observed,
understood and learnt her grandmother’s herbal treatment. The skills she gained would be implemented in her later life.

Upon her grandmother’s demise, Jafetha took the secret gifts of healing she inherited and turned it into her vocation. It took a while before she could peak but due to her persistence, she rose as a traditional healer to a point of charging her fellow villagers Ksh. 500 for both consultation and treatment. In 1980, as her trade was thriving, she fell in love with one of her patients and soon enough they got married. Jafetha’s husband used to work as a gardener in various households
and with his little income coupled with Jafetha’s earnings, they managed to raise their young family.

As their ménage expanded, Jafetha’s husband unexpectedly became susceptible to the humiliating pleasure of alcohol abuse. He stopped working and blew all his savings in liquor stores. Forced to face up to the challenge of raising her children, Jafetha took an extra vocation and became a farmer planting subsistence crops and transporting the produce to the marketplace. The little revenue she gained ended up in her children’s bellies. As the years went by, Jafetha
noticed herself succumbing to the tribulations of age. Walking long distances to the marketplace became a heavy burden and she no longer had the strength to farm. Ultimately, she stopped working.

Her husband, despite his physical condition deteriorating as well, continues to fumble out to cut grass in exchange of gaining Ksh. 50 a day, which ultimately goes into the pocket of the local moonshiner. Jafetha on the other hand has developed a lifestyle antithetical to her husband’s. She has given the remainder of her vitality to the church where she devoutly spends every Friday and Sunday worshipping and aiding in church functions such as collecting funds to help those less fortunate
than herself.