The nurse who aided the birth of President Uhuru Kenyatta on October 26, 1961 made public for the first time an account of the happenings at a maternity wing only set aside for members of prominent families.
In an interview with Daily Nation’s Kakamega Bureau Chief Benson Amadala, Ms Freda Shibonje who is a retired nurse recalled the events in 1961 as if they happened yesterday.
Ms Shibonje had joined Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi in December 1960 not knowing she’ll attend to Mama Ngina Kenyatta to help bring forth President Kenyatta a few months later at the facility’s VIP wing.
On that fateful day, patients were streaming in and she was able to recognise one. It was Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the wife of Mzee Kenyatta.
She recalls having seen Mzee Kenyatta and his fellow liberation hero Oginga Odinga having a chat outside the ward, few metres away on the corridors.
Ms Shibonje was among the medical staff in the room when Baby Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta was born.
“Whenever I see President Kenyatta on television screens, memories of the day I witnessed his birth come flooding back into my mind. As a mother, I have been praying and hoping that one day I will get the opportunity to meet him and shake his hand,” the retired Nurse told Sunday nation in an interview at her home in Ikonyero, Kakamega County.
Mzee Kenyatta and Jaramogi left unnoticed shortly after the booking of Mama Ngina at the ward. She was Mzee Kenyatta’s third wife and the media had juicy headlines the following morning describing President Uhuru’s birth.
“Jomo Kenyatta’s sixth child, an 8lb 2oz boy, was born to his young third wife, Ngina, at 11.10am yesterday (October 26) in Nairobi’s Aga Khan Hospital. But it was 5.45pm before the busy Mr Kenyatta was able to find time to go to the hospital to see his wife and newborn son.” reported Daily Nation on October 27 1961.