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Rest in peace, Kenyan Villager

When I give talks about blogging in the developing world, I’m always careful to remind people that the phenomenon is largely limited to large cities and “elite” populations – people who have the money, time and knowledge to connect to the Internet.

But this isn’t always true. For most of this year, Kachumbari has been writing a blog called “Kenyan Villager” from his home in rural central Kenya, the village of Nyahururu. His first post, on January 13, 2006 began:

I have just put away my farm tools so that I can tell you how my day has been. It has been a long tiring day, like many other days before, and many more to come.

Today, I didnt go to work, or rather, I didnt secure any job in town. So I went back home – to dig in the dusty piece of land (shamba) that my father left to me when he passed on in the year 2001. I hope to plant some vegetables in the next two weeks or so…

And for several months, he provided a perspective we rarely see in the African blogosphere – a vilage perspective.

I just found out from Ndesanjo that Kachumbari was killed in a car accident several weeks ago. His cousin Samuel offered an obituary and explanation of his death on the blog – Kachumbari had travelled to Nairobi to buy goods for a store he was setting up in Nyahururu, and went to visit a friend who lives in the downtown. He was hit by a hit and run driver and died while enroute to Kenyatta hospital.

In a haunting, but fortunate, irony, Kachumbari had been involved in a road accident a few months earlier and had taken out an insurance policy, so his wife and two children are not left destitute. There’s been an outpouring of support from the Kenyan and African blogging community on the site – I hope Samuel will let us know if it would be appropriate to raise a fund for Kachumbari’s family.

Thanks for sharing a corner of your world with us for a little while, Kachumbari. Rest in peace.