Kenya: Former homeless man saved by childhood friend dies

It was early October last year when 32-year-old Wanja Mwaura heard someone shout out her name on her way to  a market near Nairobi.

She looked up and was surprised to see a tall man with bulging eyes, an emaciated frame, dirtied black overalls and an equally stained thick woollen hat, sitting on the side of the road. She did not recognise him.

But when Patrick “Hinga” Wanjiru, 34, introduced himself, Wanja says she found herself in shock. Standing before her was a friend she had known since she was seven years old.

“Patrick, or Hinga as we called him, and I had met at primary school in 1992,” said Wanja, who is a nurse from Kiambu County

“Hinga used to be a great soccer player all throughout school. We nicknamed him ‘Pele’.”

She captured on camera Hinga’s rehabilitation from the abyss of drug abuse and shared his transformation step by step online.

Yesterday, Hinga passed on.

“With deep sorrow, I want to inform you that Hinga has rested,” wrote Wanja on Facebook.

“He passed on this morning (Sunday, March 17). I do not have the strength to say much right now. Rest in peace, my friend.”