There were tense moments on Thursday as slain female gangster Claire Njoki Kibia was laid to rest in Kambirwa Village in Murang'a.
Only a few members of the dreaded Kayole’s Gaza gang attended the burial of the teenage girl, who was gunned down alongside her four accomplices in Kayole, Nairobi, last week.
Their presence and that of plain-clothes police officers increased the already building anxiety at the woman’s homestead.
Hours after the burial, police raided Njoki’s house and arrested three men who they claimed were criminals.
Conversations among the mourners were rare and carefully picked, with the majority opting to interact with only those they were familiar with.
Those who had the guts to speak did it in hushed tones, often looking over their shoulders.
Only one tent was pitched in the compound, with less than 50 plastic chairs available.
No one took photographs as the family was cautious of media presence.
Attendance of the burial was also low, with just a few friends from Nairobi, close relatives and neighbours present.
“Most of her friends were scared that they would be arrested if they showed up for the burial,” said a friend of the deceased.
“They only visited the City Mortuary (in Nairobi) in the morning.”
The ceremony was also brief, with few people willing to speak, among them the area assistant chief and Njoki’s grandmother.
Also, there was no printed funeral programme and no family member gave tributes of their memories of Njoki.
Local preachers presiding over the funeral did not introduce her mother or her siblings.
The Nation further established that the deceased’s uncle died a few years ago under similar circumstances and was buried in the same homestead.
One of Njoki’s former classmates said the teenager dropped out of school in 2013 after the principal punished her for indiscipline.
She quit school in 2013 a few months after she had joined Form One at Gikindu Secondary School in Murang'a.
“The principal punished five girls but while the rest agreed to do the punishment, she refused,” recalled the classmate, who refused to be named for security reasons.
Njoki had also slapped a prefect in the same school.
After dropping out of school, she moved to Kayole, Nairobi, to live with her mother.
At the time of her death, the teenager had moved out of her mother's house and was living with her boyfriend, also a notorious gangster.
Neighbours who spoke to the Nation said the girl often visited her grandmother in Kambirwa Village.
The grandmother, in a vote of thanks, said Njoki’s death was “untimely, sad and unfortunate”.
“It was very painful to learn of her death but God has the answers. We thank all those people who have comforted us,” she said, noting that they did not choose to be in that situation and it could happen to anyone.
Njoki is suspected to have been a member of a gang that was under police watch.
She has since been christened “Nairobi’s prettiest thug” due to her looks.
The 17-year-old was shot dead last week in Kayole after failing to surrender to police officers who were trailing them.
Her uncle said: “She was a young girl who deserved to be in school. Whatever happened we do not know but God knows.”
Area Assistant Chief Veronica Gitau asked the youth to make the right choices and have the right friends around them.