Mother who named triplets after Arsenal stars paints grim picture of future awaiting them

Arsenal supporter Emma Nasuru with the family of the mother who delivered triplets and named them after Gunners stars. Photo: Emma Nasuru

FOOTBALL Mother who named triplets after Arsenal stars paints grim picture of future awaiting them

Joel Omotto 13:03 - 02.03.2024

A Kenyan mother who delivered triplets and named them after Arsenal players Gabriel Martinelli, Jesus and Magalhaes has given a worrying update about the future awaiting her newborns.

A Kenyan mother who delivered triplets and named them after Arsenal players Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus, and Gabriel Magalhaes faces an uphill task to raise them.

This is because besides the three newborns, she also has four other children, while she lives in abject poverty.

Epakan Ekaale, who comes from Loreng'esinyen village of Letea Ward in Turkana West, has still not left the Mission Hospital in Kakuma where she delivered her three children but the journey back home appears to be tough one.

Ekaale lives with her mother and her three other children, plus her sister’s child, whom she has been taking care of since she died, in a small traditional hut.

The hut, akin to the Maasai Manyatta, is a small circular structure made of sticks and grass and this is where she will be taking her triplets to share with the other four children plus her mother.

It is not a place fit for human living, leave alone children, but because of poverty and the nature of her relationship with the children’s father, she has no choice.

The mother of Epakan Ekaale, who delivered triplets, and her other children at their home in Turkana. PHOTO: Emma Nasuru

“The husband lives with the first wife. She lives with her mother because in our culture, if dowry has not been paid, you are not treated as a wife,” Emma Nasuru, who has been spearheading an initiative by Arsenal fans to help the mother told Pulse Sports.

“Her father also died so she lives with the mother. She is the breadwinner and ekes a living from burning and selling charcoal.

“However, since she became pregnant, she could not work, she had been sickly throughout her pregnancy due to the weight of carrying three children.”

The Turkana home of Epakan Ekaale, who delivered triplets and named them after Arsenal players. Photo: Emma Nasuru.

Due to poverty, Ekaale could not afford regular clinic visits during her pregnancy and only did it when the delivery date approached.

It is when scans revealed she was expecting triplets, throwing her into further distress.

“The biggest problem is maintaining those children until, they grow up. They need baby formula because breast milk is not enough, diapers, clothing and she also has to eat well,” added Nasuru, who was called by the hospital to assist Ekaale when she delivered.

It is why Nasuru decided to call upon her fellow Arsenal supporters in Turkana West to pull resources together and help Ekaale.

They raised some money and bought a number of items among them baby formula, laundry detergent, bathing soap, diapers and clothing which were delivered to the new mum by the supporters.

“The day she delivered, doctors called me because they were wondering how she would be helped. I looked at them and decided to quickly find a way to assist because the children were hungry and crying throughout,” she said.

Arsenal fans in Turkana with Epakan Ekaale who delivered triplets and named them after three Gunners stars. Photo: Duncan Adi Rapcheez.

“After we helped her, she asked us to name the children. She said the people who have helped her have earned the right to name the children. Then we settled on the three Gabriels; Martinelli, Jesus, and Magalhaes.”

Ekaale has so far not received any help from the father of her children not just because of their unique relationship but also due to the fact that he is a pastoralist.

“No one knows where he is since he is a livestock herder who moves from one place to another in search of pasture,” said Nasuru.

“He has not also seen the other children for a long time because of this. Things would have been a little different if they had formalised their union because she would have a have a house in the man’s home even if they are many wives.”

With Ekaale being the sole breadwinner, her new bundle of joy will not allow her to work immediately and that is why she needs help.

So far, Kenyans have come through for her, via the Arsenal supporters, but much more will be needed for her three Gabriels going forward.

“As fans, we cannot play so we have to use the fanbase to help the community. So far by Thursday evening, we had raised Ksh20,000 from Kenyans but we need more,” said Nasuru.

This is just one of the many charitable causes that the Arsenal fans in Turkana conduct in the county and to help the mother of the triplets, Nasuru continues leading the initiative with contributions sent to her number +254 716303878 since Ekaale does not have a mobile phone.

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