In 2012, Mama Jane Anyango was one of the hundreds of victims of flooding following the overflow of River Nyando into the villages of Magina.
Ms Anyango happened to have been one of the victims interviewed by journalists who were covering the incident.
She however stood out following her hilarious sound bites which explained how she had been affected by the floods.
Soon, the sound bite was all over, being used as ringtones and ring back tunes by mobile service providers.
The sound bites would propel her to win an advertisement deal, and an ambassadorial job with Kisumu County Government.
But now, Ms Anyango, commonly referred to as ‘Mama Sirikali Saidia’ is crying out for government’s help once again.
Seeking for justice
This time round, she is crying for what she calls justice denied.
She now claims that she ought to have earned from the use of her voice by mobile service providers, and from her ambassadorial job.
“When I asked about any document specifying my roles as Floods Ambassador as was directed by the county government, I was told my work involved going to chief barazas, funerals and any other place where there are gatherings, and preaching to them on disaster preparedness and mitigation,” she said.
When Lake Region Bulletin caught up with her at her Kokul village home in Magina, Nyando Sub County, Anyango appeared frail and disturbed.
“I am not taking it lying low anymore,” she begun.
And when we inquired what was the matter, she revealed that she is all out to ensure that she gets justice for her voice being used by the mobile service providers, and her work as Floods Ambassador.
The pain of wrongful accusations
What pinches her most if the victimization she has had to endure from villagers following rumours that the voice note earned her millions of shillings.
“People who know me called me to congratulate me for the huge step,” she said.
She claimed that friends and relatives tormented her, by seeking for loans from her, arguing that she was camouflaging in poverty to hide her wealthy status.
Anyango told Lake Region Bulletin that the little money she got from the advertisement help her to reconstruct a semi-permanent house after she lost her house to floods.
She is unable to take her children to school, and some have had to drop out of school and get married.
“They used my voice to make money, and they have to give me a share,” she said, adding that she was already discussing with a lawyer on the best way to approach the matter.
Her 70-year-old husband, Richard Adika has had to bear ridicule from his fellow elders.
“Sometimes I am with my peers having chats, then some just come up with allegations that my bank account is swollen with money and that I am shining despite my old age,” said Adika.
Then where do they get their bread?
Mr Adika says he depends on the vegetables he farms with his wife, and sell at Ahero market.
“If there is a way this issue can be sorted out, we would be glad. But it pains when people think you are loaded with cash, yet you have nothing, and some peddle rumours how you have squandered some non-existent money,” he said.
The couple is once again singing the ‘sirikali saidia’ verse, but promises to move to court if that is what it will take to get justice.
“Defense CS Eugine Wamalwa (then CS Water and Irrigation) was present when then Governor (Jack Ranguma) declared that I be Floods Ambassador. I would wish to follow up with them so that I know what all that meant,” said Anyango.