In her own words: Njambi 'Jahmby' Koikai's 25-year battle with endometriosis

• On 31st May, Njambi appealed for blood donation after being hospitalized at Nairobi hospital

The late Njambi 'Jahmby' Koikai
Image: Instagram

MC, media personality, and reggae enthusiast Mary Njambi Koikai aka Jahmby Koikai is dead. The Faya Mama who was also a former political aspirant had battled with endometriosis from the time she was 13.

Endometriosis is a condition whereby the tissue that makes up the uterine lining (the lining of the womb) is present in other organs inside your body. It can lead to painful periods and sometimes infertility.

Njambi opened up about she got a misdiagnosis in 2015, saying, "I was told that I was too skinny and that is why I had a lung collapse," she said.

The same year, her grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She also lost her TV job after missing a show as she had been battling the disease.

"I lost a reggae job on TV. What happened, on this one day, I was so sick to even go to the studio to record for the show. I called my colleague and told her I was not well. It was the first time I was missing and I was supposed to interview someone and so, I failed to show up," she said.

Most Kenyans came to learn of her diagnosis when she appealed for financial help to go for treatment. A concert was organised to raise funds as well as an M-Pesa account for well-wishers to send their donations.

She flew to Atlanta in 2018 for treatment where she revealed that she had undergone about 15 surgeries. She spent two years receiving treatment

In 2019, she opened up about misdiagnosis as the main challenge endometriosis warriors are faced with.

"Biggest challenge remains misdiagnosis and with this comes botched surgeries, wrong medication, etc. This makes the disease worse that by the time you're seeing a skilled endometriosis specialist, they first have to deal with all the damage caused due to misdiagnosis and then deal with the disease. It's horrific the damage most of us have gone through."

She came back to Kenya in January 2020.

In 2021, she unsuccessfully ran for the Dagoretti MP seat as an independent candidate with healthcare being the top of her campaign.

She said that space of pain gave her more time to recoup her life's purpose and she made a commitment to God and herself that when she survived she would go back and serve the community she was born and raised in.

"Getting into elective politics has not been easy but it's a defining moment for young people like me. It's five days to the election and I cannot believe we've made it this far. This is a monumental election for us to be the change we want to see in our communities. From provision of water to healthcare, youth unemployment to legislation and formulation of proper policies."

Fast forward to May 20th, 2024, she urged President Ruto to invest more in healthcare during his visit to the US.

"Atlanta, Georgia is a dream city for every young girl and woman who has ever battled this horrific disease called Endometriosis. Therein lies a centre dedicated to restoring the lives of young girls and women who are crippled by this disease. The @centerforendocareEndometriosis is tissue similar to the lining of the uterus growing on other organs. In simple terms, ni wakati tunapopata hedhi, ama periods, we shed the lining of the uterus. Unfortunately, with Endometriosis that lining grows on other parts of the body.In my case that lining grew on my lungs, causing my lungs to collapse every month and countless number of surgeries. It took me 17 years to get a diagnosis," she wrote

On 31st May, Njambi appealed for blood donation after being hospitalized at Nairobi Hospital.

"Hi fam, I'm currently admitted at the pioneer ward  Nairobi hospital and I kindly need Blood O positive. Kindly asking for blood donors for Mary Njambi Koikai," she wrote on Instagram stories

She breathed her last on Monday 3rd June 2024.

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