In a recent development, the mother of Robert Gituhu, the 28-year-old man who tragically set himself on fire in the heart of Mombasa last week, has shared some insight into her son’s circumstances.
The grieving mother revealed to web journalists who visited her residence that her son had been grappling with bipolar disorder.
According to the distressed mother, she disclosed that Robert had been under medical care at the time of their last conversation, shortly before he abruptly left their home, leaving behind his mobile phone.
Subsequently, she recounted how they promptly reported his disappearance to the local authorities, setting off a search for him.
Tragically, their search took a grim turn when they discovered that Robert had indeed set himself on fire and was subsequently admitted to a hospital for treatment.
Narrating the events leading up to the unfortunate incident, she stated,
I was informed that he had left the house carrying a bag. Knowing he had left his phone behind and given his mental state, I immediately contacted the police.
This was on a Sunday. Our search continued through Monday, and despite our efforts on Tuesday, he remained elusive…”
The mother’s account took a more somber note as she described her experience upon receiving a distressing video on WhatsApp. She recounted,
On Thursday, though fatigued from the search, I managed to leave the house. While on the road, I received a video message.
Opening it, I was confronted with a deeply disturbing sight—my son’s anguished face.
Overwhelmed, I couldn’t bring myself to play the accompanying audio. I cried out, and the car came to a halt.
Witnessing someone offering my son a match to ignite himself, oblivious to his underlying struggles, was truly heart-wrenching.”
Notably, considering her son’s mental condition, the mother expressed her dismay at the public response to the incident.
She highlighted the inappropriateness of applauding such an act, given his psychological challenges.
Nevertheless, she expressed an extraordinary act of forgiveness, extending her pardon to the individual who had provided the match.
I have chosen to forgive the person who handed him the match, and I am determined to raise awareness about this affliction. He would have turned 28 next month,” she remarked.
In a revealing statement, the mother disclosed that despite his achievements—a master’s degree earned after graduating from Eldoret College—Robert’s aspirations had been put on hold due to the complexities of managing bipolar disorder.
Conversations on mental health following this tragic incident.