Emunah Wanjiko

‘A Mother’s Hug Lasts Longer After She Let Go’

It is with regret PVAO were told that sadly, Emunah Wanjiko passed away last week in Nairobi, Kenya, surrounded by her close family who were with her at the hospital day and night following her stroke.
The funeral of Florence Wanjiku Ngugi (Emmunah) Emunah was an inspiration to all that knew her. She was known fondly as Mama Emunah.
In 2011 she met with various rabbis including rabbi Shlomo Riskin who subsequently officially converted her to Judaism a few years later when she visited the Putti Community in Uganda. During that visit , rabbi Riskin Riskin, and rabbis Ari Greenspan and  Ari Zivotofsky, all travelled from Israel to officiate. Emunah  had studied in a yeshiva in Israel and took her new found religion extremly seriously.

It is not the length of life, but the depth of life

The Late Florence Wanjiku Ngugi (Emmunah) Was born on 24th July, 1949. Daughter of the Late Julius Ngugi Ndugi and Damaris Wambui Ngugi. Sister to Winfred Wangu, Jennifer Njeri, Steven Muiruri, the Late Michael Mwangi, the Catherine Muthoni and the late Janet Wanja. Mother to Martha Wambui, Rickson Ngugi, Winfred Wangu and Lucky Ndugi.

Grandmother to Naomi Wanjiku, Ruth Muthoni, George Chege among others. Great Grandmother to Leah, Shillomit and Hirel.

Having completed her Secretarial Studies, she started working in Nairobi with Ministry of Public Works (1967-1977), worked with Cotton Lint and Marketing Board of Kenya (1967-1977), worked with International Development Research Centre – IDRC (187 to 1990) and finally entered into private practice in 1991.

Her quest for Judaism begun in 1990, and was later accepted by the Nairobi Hebrew Congregation in 1995. As a Kenya Jew, she inspired her family and friends from all walks of life globally, by virtue of creating suitable environment tonsure perpetuation justice, love, care, compassion and kindness. Her walk in Judaism enabled her to transform lives of the less privileged members of her community access quality education through the assistance of benefactors she had established cordial rapport with.

In August 2012, Wanjiku survived a stroke that left her with partial paralysis in her left side. This medical condition did not dampen her zeal to serve; she religiously kept her routine. Her health drastically deteriorated on 1st September 2017. She admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital on 2nd September 2017. She drew her last breathe on Saturday 9th September 2017 while in Hospital.

‘A mother’s hug lasts longer after she let go’

From the eulogy written by Rabbi Greenspan, it is clear what a wonderful inspirational lady she was.
Emunah was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Nairobi. As a mark of respect, thirteen Members of the Ugandan KKSY/Putti orthodox Jewish Community attended.

 

My dearest Emunah. From the moment I met you in a class that I taught in the synagogue in Nairobi, I knew you were special. I can still see you sitting in the front row raising your hand to answer every question I posed. Your devotion to Judaism despite all of the hardships, was extra ordinary. Despite facing bigotry, unfortunately even at the hands of some of our brothers, your devotion to Hashem was apparent. I remember how you came to Israel to have your eye surgery. I had told you to bring a small token gift for the doctors. We were waiting for you for more than an hour and when you finally arrived, you had huge wooden giraffes and a slew of other items. You explained that customs wanted to charge you a lot of money and you just kept arguing with them until they finally gave up!. That tenacity was part of your amazing personality that affected so many people around you. You stayed with us for 3 months and I saw your devout ways. You would learn every day and visit the kotel almost daily. In fact you wanted to come a week early because you had never experienced sukkoth in Israel.
 
You are a beacon of hope for all of us as well as an example of a leader. Your tenacity achieved wonders.   We were enriched by knowing you. It is hard to say goodbye, but we ask forgiveness if in any way we were discourteous to you and ask you be a “maylitz yosher” a person who will intercede in heaven on our behalf and behalf of the enentire Jewish people. 
 
May your memory be a blessing for all of us.
 
Ari

Anyone wishing to donate towards her Headstone, should please contact PVAO. Stone setting date is yet to be arranged.