Charles Njonjo death came as a shocker to many.
A man of his stature would ordinarily be mourned for a week or two as his body lies in one of the city’s coveted funeral homes as his burial arrangements continue.
But it was different for him; no time for leaders and friends to visit his family home and sign the condolences book, no time for newspaper eulogies before his burial and nothing like a committee to prepare for his burial.
In addition, despite being worth a fortune, Njonjo’s final journey was nothing close to those of prominent people we have seen being chauffeured in limousine hearses being taken to a church for a requiem mass before being taken for burial at the family’s designated place.
Worse off, no chance for body viewing for a section of Kenyans who wished to do so.
And as Kenyans were left judging that his death was handled not in an African way, Njonjo was after all a lover of all things British.
It was his wish that his final journey is concluded as quickly as possible.
He never wanted fanfares, a committee to plan his burial; he just wanted to be cremated as quickly as possible after he dies.
“Charles Njonjo was clear about what he wanted not only in life but also in death as well. Part of those instructions was to perform a cremation after his death. He never wanted funeral-related fanfare
“He just wanted to be cremated almost immediately, after death. So we have fulfilled his wish,” Njonjo’s son-in-law Carey Ngini said after his cremation at Kariakor Hindu Crematorium.
The last time he spoke on his death was in 2015 in a TV interview where he also gave a snippet of his wishes in death.
He was candid that his funeral would be as simple as possible with not many ups and downs.
“Death is something you can face, why fear it? I don’t engage in that kind of thought and I don’t want anyone to raise money when I die (or) friends meeting at the Cathedral. I don’t want any collection of money,” he said.
Njonjo died aged 101 and he is survived by a wife Margaret Bryson and three children; Wairimu Njonjo, Nimu Njonjo and Josiah Njonjo.