A Fight Well Fought [opinion]

FRIENDS and relatives yesterday flooded the social media to pay tribute to radio and television personality Chi-Chi, real name Nancy Muinjo, who died of cancer in the morning.

She died just a few days after celebrating her 29th birthday on Saturday.

Most people described her as a bubbly, fun-loving and charismatic young woman who lived life to the fullest, without reservations but always full of hope.

Chi-Chi became the brave face of the fight against the disease in her early 20s when she started battling breast cancer and for six years, Chi-Chi never allowed herself to be bogged down by the disease.

In 2013, she told The Namibian that the cancer was now in stage two and had spread to the spinal cord and damaged the vertebra.

A few weeks ago, Chi-Chi could not make it for an interview with The Namibian because she had just undergone chemotherapy. She later settled for another day, saying she wanted her story to help other young women.

“This will be a good thing because I am hoping that my story will help people out there. I am not feeling so g today but you are welcome to come tomorrow,” a soft spoken Chi-Chi said.

Unfortunately, that day never came because the cancer was in stage four, keeping her in hospital most of the time.

Her mother, Menesia Muinjo, who was by her side everyday also said Chi-Chi has been incredibly g and still working.

“I wish she could slow down but then it will not be her. She is in hospital but she is doing assignments from school and work. She is very brave and looking forward to the interview with The Namibian,” the mother said.

Despite her ongoing battle, Chi-Chi quickly proved to those around her that she would continue living life to the fullest.

She worked on various projects aimed at raising awareness on the disease and recently teamed up with Sanlam Namibia and NBC to create a TV show that is aimed at spreading awareness on cancer through telling stories of survivors.

Chi-Chi was also recently revealed as the brand ambassador for Sanlam’s project “There’s a CAN in CANCER with Chi-Chi” through which the TV show was created.

In various YouTube videos she posted about her time in hospital and at her home, Chi-Chi showed great hope for life. She talks about the book titled Lucky.

She says, in one of the videos, “I cry sometimes at night alone”. In another she is in hospital and talking about the month of May and what it means to her.

Omniously, Chi-Chi says maybe she will make it through May or not but whichever way, she was happy that at least she had seen a new month.

Even in hospital, she was busy working on her laptop preparing what she called minutes for work although she could not make it to the NAMAs where she was supposed to handover the best duo award.

Dillish Mathews remembers Chi-Chi as a fun-loving person who encouraged friends to follow their dreams.

“She was full of life, always laughing and had the loudest laugh. She was always willing to help and always believed in others’ dreams. I know that she was young and it’s really sad she left us but we can’t question life”, she said.

The two, alongside other musicians and friends worked together in 2013 to compile and produce a song aimed at fighting breast cancer and raising awareness on issues affecting young women.

Immigration minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, whom Chi-Chi worked for, was evidently shaken by the loss.

“I’m not saying that I’m shocked but I have committed myself to supporting her through the difficult times and although cancer is terminal, I had not prepared myself for this. I am saddened,” she said. “Nancy was such a delightful person, full of energy.

She carried that illness with courage and gave me such an inspiration that even at my age I could learn something from her. What I inherited from her is hope.”

Youth activist Job Amupanda who met Chi-Chi during her time as a youth leader at the University of Namibia was equally saddened at her death.

“Her death must serve to enlighten and strengthen us as youth and revolutionaries. Her courage and fighting spirit must inspire us. Her work ethic, educational achievements, kind soul and spirit must captivate us,” he said while continuing to describe her as someone who was always smiling, never angry.

Other friends and media colleagues took to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to pay tribute to Chi-Chi. Chi-Chi’s uncle Fluksman Samuehls told The Namibian that funeral and memorial arrangements will be finalised in the next few days.

“She fought a very good fight. She was a very pleasant, gifted and innovative public speaker, we are very saddened by this,” he said.

Source : The Namibian