Live Wire Photo Essay

Kiambu couple: Here is the life of ill-fated lovers in pictures!

Acid-tempered spares parts dealer Jonathan Mukundi had made up his mind. Both he and estranged wife Philomena Njeri were going to die that Monday night

Trigger Happy: Acid-tempered spares parts dealer Jonathan Mukundi had made up his mind. Both he and estranged wife Philomena Njeri, were going to die that fateful August night on Monday 3rd. He could not live in shame that Njeri-who had yearned to have kids with him, in vain, was impregnated by another dude as she confessed when they met to patch up their domestic squabbles in a restaurant along Kiambu road. But a recent autopsy report indicated she was not pregnant.

  By Shifaa Mwihaki

Feature writer/Essayist

Friends and family say spare parts dealer Jonathan Mukundi and wife Philomena Njeri were star-crossed lovers, ill fated for each other despite open displays of affection and parading their high life on social media. Their rocky love life had seen friends and family try to reconcile them in vain. Mukundi sunk into depression which drove him into alcoholism. But here is their life in pictures that tell a different story of how the wealth people wake to search for is not everything: Life can still be lonely in a crowd of friends, sad in happy parties, dark in bright mansions and that a lot of tears are hidden behind smiling photos on social media…

A dog’s life: Mukundi loved dogs and cars. But Njeri badly yearned for children after her best friend, Mumbi Kibiki died last year leaving a son behind. The death took a toll on her. Njeri feared dying without leaving any children hence the obsession to have kids and which was one cause of their endless domestic tiffs.
Sparkling Cyanide: When Mukundi got into a minor accident on his way to their Kirigiti home (as he often did when high like a kite); he called Njeri to take him to hospital-although the accident was not worth the trouble. It was a murder and suicide trap! As if the first bullet was not enough, he pumped three more bullets, (according to the latest autopsy report) before reserving one for himself, inside their bedroom .
Familiarity breeds contempt: The pandemic forced many couples who spent the day apart to suddenly be together for lengthy periods of time. The Mukundis spent theirs cutting pints. Alcohol has ways of reviving pent up emotions and Njeri often brought up the issue of having children which led to endless quarrels and allegations of infidelity.
Eating life with a big spoon: Njeri, the only girl in her family loved parties bank rolled by Mukundi and which she often paraded on her social media pages. But deep inside, she feared dying without children and being forgotten shortly after burial.
Life’s Deep-End: Njeri loved traveling mostly to Mombasa, Zanzibar and Dubai sampling the finer things life has to offer. It was the life she had desired since her days at Kerugoya Girls High school. But alas! her desire for children on the face of her former school mates hosting baby showers and raising families was more than the good life she was living.
Baby seat: Mukundi loved chewing his miraa and here he had carried enough during a balloon safari to the Masai Mara… though friendly to close pals, Mukundi was said to have an uncontrollable temper.
Distilled dreams: Johnnie Walker was one of the other men in Njeri’s life. Mukundi was often offended by her endless partying and friends and family had advised that they part ways but the incompatible couples were star-crossed lovers!
Salvaged fortunes: Njeri managed Mukundi’s spares parts business in which he was one of the biggest players in Nairobi. But that Njeri could have opened a spare parts shop for the lover, drove Mukundi up the wall…and on to murder and suicide.
Peril at End House: Njeri in Mukundi’s mansion in Kirigiti, Kiambu County and which took seven years to build just the way he wanted it and only the in-house pub was nearing completion.
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