For 13-year-old Nancy, this extremism took the life of her parents,
and sought her life as well. Her survival is truly miraculous….
01/21/2022 Kenya (International
Christian Concern) – Residents of the serene village of Kamloma in
Western Kenya were thrown into a panic on Wednesday, December 7th, when a loud explosion emerged from the home of Petro, Mary, and Nancy Onyango. Alarm soon turned into horror as neighbors realized the origin of the
blast. Charles Obala, Petro’s brother, narrated the events that
“We heard a loud explosion coming from my brother’s homestead.
Suddenly, Nancy appeared with blood all over her body. We took her
inside the house and rushed to check what had happened. I was the first
to arrive and found my brother and his wife already dead and another
body lying a distance from them.”
The other body, Charles soon realized, was that of John Odhiambo. Locally known as ‘Pope,’ Odhiambo was alleged to have returned from
Somalia where he claimed to be working for a construction company. Petro
and Mary were his neighbors, and they knew each other well. Nancy Onyango, the only child of Petro and Mary, recalled the events of that night.
“We had taken supper and sat outside our house to get fresh air before going to bed. John Odhiambo walked into our homestead and sat opposite us. I was sitting between my father and mother, but I was closer to
my mother. He sat about three meters from us and what I can remember is
that he verbally greeted us and laughed… Then the bomb went off.”
Odhiambo had detonated an IED, intending to kill himself along with the entire Onyango family.
“It happened so quickly that I did not notice that my father and mother had died,” said Nancy. “I regained consciousness at the hospital. That’s all that I know.”
While Nancy survived the explosion, she sustained various injuries, including the loss of three of her right-hand fingers.
“I was shocked to find out that I had lost three of my fingers. I
also had deep cuts on my chest and back, and my ear was chopped a
little. I stayed in the hospital for two weeks. I did not celebrate
Christmas with my parents. I also missed meeting with my young friends
at church. This was very painful. Why did John kill my parents?”
Charles, Nancy’s uncle, speculated about the reason for the attack.
“Petro was a great evangelist in this village. They always had
friendly discussions on religion whenever John resurfaced from where we
do not know. He used to challenge John on why he converted to Islam
after being raised as a Christian. Sometimes he would be disgruntled by
the conversations, but he never showed any intention of hurting anyone.
He never threatened anyone in our family.”
The police declared the suicide-bomb a terror attack, similar to the
al-Shabaab style attacks more commonly seen in Eastern Kenya. Sadly, the
assault exemplifies a growing trend of extremism in Kenya’s west.