Motto Anna’s upbringing in the Turkana region of Lodwar was defined by goat herding under the lurid sun. Abandoned by both her parents at the age of ten, she lived under the ubiquitous care of her grandparents and the firm guidance of her older brother who traversed the vast land of Kenya pursuing income and adventure.
During one of his travels, Anna’s older brother was embraced with the news of his parents’ stay in Kakamega town. Suppressing any combative attitude towards them, he was willing to mend and alter this broken relationship and desired his younger sister to do the same. At 20, Anna made the voyage from Lodwar to Kakamega to see her parents for the first time in a decade. Despite their reprehensible abandonment, Anna was willing to form a oneness of love with them. Introduced to her half siblings, Anna became overwhelmed by the necessary component of family. But just as she began tasting the sweetness of parental love and care, her father answered the inevitable call of death and shortly afterwards her mother passed away as well.
Left to mourn and muse over their deaths, Anna became close with one of her new found sisters. Together they combined their emotional efforts to stop each other from going over the precipice of a nervous breakdown. As the years passed, Anna felt a hollow gap in her heart, a yearning for another soul to complete the missing piece of her life’s puzzle. Filled with this sense of incompleteness, Anna became intuitively drawn to a fellow Turkana, a younger man, 22 years her junior. Transparently relaying her feelings for him, the man surrendered his soul to this bold passionate woman. “It’s like he took me out of the grave and gave me new life,” she muttered.
Both born into christianity, they were influenced by the islamic environment surrounding them. After going through a journey of spiritual discovery and mutual reflection, Anna and her husband converted to Islam. Now 74, Anna strives to make it to the mosque every Friday. “I go with a motorcycle, but I instruct the cyclist to go slow because of my age,” she said with a chuckle.