By Prudence Minayo
Njambi Koikai is a Kenyan media personality and the reggae poster ‘girl’. She has often been referred as the Queen of reggae due to her passion for this genre of music. Most people in the industry refer to her by her stage name Faya Mama. She is a fierce lady who has inspired many not only through her shows but also her strength and determination to fight endometriosis.
Njambi has often shared her story both on television and through her social media pages. A story that touched the hearts of many and also brought awareness about endometriosis.
Endometriosis made it difficult for her to pursue academics. This and the fact that at the time she did not know what she wanted for her life turned her into a rogue teenager. She was expelled from four schools but it was in her last school that she found a mentor Mrs. Meynink who encouraged her. Njambi failed her O-levels and had to re-sit the exams and it was the same in her A-level.
Faya Mama attended the United States International University (USIU) where she pursued a degree in International Relations. Finishing the degree was not easy as it took her eight years. She had to struggle to complete it amidst a lot of health complications and at one point gave it up to pursue her career.
Njambi’s mother and grandmother are the two parents that raised her. They stood by her and helped her and her sister navigate through life. The grandmother passed away on 18th March 2016. At one point, she hailed her mother for being so strong and always there for her.
“ I think my mother is the strongest woman on earth. Her mother has pancreatic cancer stage 4 while I was in hospital undergoing surgeries for a condition we knew nothing about. She’s had to take care of us and herself,” she shared through her social media page.
The strong lady further added that she would fight and remain strong for her mum and sister because she wants the best for them.
The talented warrior has been in the showbiz industry for quite some time. She garnered fame while hosting reggae shows in the pioneer urban radio Metro FM and also QFM which was under the Nation Media group. Apart from this, she has organized and performed in a couple of reggae shows. Earthzone is the name of the band she started with a number of people. The versatile band performed conscious music and even held a concert a while back to try and raise money for her late grandmother who at the time had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Koikai has previously organized and held gigs around the country through her Street Empire Entertainment company. Her job with QFM ended about 4 years ago when the station fired her without warning.
“ We were fired because the company was not making money. That is what we were told anyway. No one saw it coming. I was coming from a gig…..went to the office and got the letter,” she told The Standard four years ago.
Njambi made a comeback in February 2020 performing at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC). The reggae queen revealed she was performing with one and a half set of lungs, with the entire half of one of her lungs totally collapsed. She led the crowd in performing a number of reggae hit songs.
Endometriosis is a condition that affects a lot of women worldwide. It is a condition that leads to very painful cramps during menstruation and can even cause infertility among many. For many years, a lot of Kenyans lived in darkness about this situation but thanks to the power of social and mainstream media, more people are getting enlightened. It is through the stories of those who have the conditions that many get to learn about it and one such story that brought so much awareness is Njambi Koikai’s.
The joyful media personality revealed that she had been suffering from the condition for a very long time. The condition interfered with a lot of things in her life including education. She once revealed how she was expelled from four schools thanks to this condition.
“ I can tell you, Endometriosis and Adenomyosis had to do with all my struggles in high school and all the explosions and Uni. This disease robbed me of my younger years. Affected my social life and certainly my studies. It created a shell out of a once bubbly, energetic, ambitious little girl,” she shared with her fans.
Thanks to the condition, she has undergone more than ten surgeries and had to fight to remain strong.