Kimani honored at his funeral in Point Fortin
Laurel V Williams
Wearing t-shirts bearing the likeness of two-year-old Kimani Emmanuel Francis, also known as Mani, dozens of mourners bid farewell in his hometown of Point Fortin on Friday.
The small coffin bearing his body was taken to the Bethel Pentecostal Tabernacle in Morris Street around 2 p.m. on Friday. The congregation then sang the hymn Jesus Loves Little Children.
The top of the closed casket was decorated with images of the toddler and characters from the popular children’s YouTube channel, Cocomelon.
Church member Ajamu Kibwe wrote a poem titled Kimani in honor of the toddler.
“Kimani, Kimani come to me. It’s time to leave this family. Kimani, Kimani follow my voice. Don’t stop at any house. Kimani, Kimani no one will know. mentioned.
“Kimani, Kimani, your job is done. Just for you, I made a crown.
Kimani would have turned three on September 23. He lived with his mother, Kimberly Charles, 22, and other relatives at Tenth Street Extension in the village of Techier. Her father, Emmanuel Francis, lives in Guapo.
On May 9, the toddler walked away from the family home, barefoot and wearing only a disposable diaper.
Her disappearance led to a massive search that included members of the Protective Services and civilians, including Point Fortin Deputy Kennedy Richards Jr, Mayor Saleema Thomas and Techier/Guapo Councilman Lyndon Harris.
The next day, his body was found in the Guapo River.
An autopsy at St James’s Forensic Science Center revealed that his death was due to asphyxiation consistent with drowning. On Monday, the family underwent a second autopsy in private. Newsday has learned that they are awaiting the results.
Police are also investigating possible negligence in the death and have interviewed several people.
Via the poem, Kibwe hit out at people who cast blame, adding that they disregard the pain of parents. He also praised “everyone who came”, adding that in time to come they would receive their gain.
Bishop Emroy Sampson and Evangelist Christon Nicholas officiated.
In his sermon, Nicholas said society seems to focus on women and often neglects men.
“Our young boys cry like young girls. We have to focus on our young men.”
He said that many young men were killing each other. Nicholas added that many have also rejected the moral principles of the church. He said when people stray from Christ it leads to chaos.
He warned that there is an enemy after young men.
“Behind all this is the devil at work. He seeks to kill, steal and destroy our young men. If we don’t try to help them, the nation will continue to crumble. That’s why we need Jesus is important. He is the only person who can stand before Satan and defeat him,” Nicholas said.
The evangelist said the “enemy” knows that young men have great abilities, and that’s why he targets them.
During the funeral, Kimani’s parents sat next to each other. As it ended and the body was taken out of the church, her mother broke down in tears and relatives comforted her.
Kimani’s body was taken to Brighton Cato Cemetery in the village of Gonzales, on the outskirts of the borough.
Investigations are ongoing.