Media personality Jeff Koinange and his wife, Sonia, bravely shared a deeply personal and emotional journey about their struggle with infertility.
During one episode of the Engage Talk Show, Jeff recounted a pivotal moment that left an indelible mark on his life. It was a momentous day when he had the privilege of meeting the iconic Nelson Mandela at a press conference. Jeff was awestruck when Mandela, after a quick recognition, disclosed that Jeff’s grandfather had been a chief.
However, what truly resonated with the audience was Jeff’s heartfelt revelation that followed.
“Hold on to that Mandela moment,” Jeff urged, with a touch of humor. “At that time, my wife and I were facing our most significant challenge – the challenge of conceiving a child. I don’t know if the ‘baby-making machine’ was malfunctioning,” Jeff joked.
Jeff went on to recount the arduous path they walked on their journey to parenthood, which involved exploring various fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF). Their visits to friends’ homes, where happy children played, served as constant reminders of their own struggle.
Amid their hardship, a friend offered a glimmer of hope by suggesting a clinic in Barcelona, Spain, as a potential solution. Taking a leap of faith, Jeff and Sonia chose to explore this clinic, and it ultimately became their saving grace.
“Our precious child was born on July 31, 2007,” Jeff recalled, his face radiating with joy. “A friend introduced us to a clinic in Barcelona, Spain, and we took a chance, and it worked.”
Even the late Nelson Mandela, in his characteristic friendly and curious manner, would inquire about Jeff’s progress towards fatherhood. Jeff shared, “He would playfully ask me, ‘Have you given me a grandson yet?’ I would reply, ‘Mr. President, we’re trying.'”
Jeff couldn’t help but laugh at Mandela’s characteristically sympathetic response, where he offered to lend a hand, saying, “This man served 27 years in prison, and he wants to help me?”
Seven months after this lighthearted encounter, their story took a heartwarming turn.
When Jeff finally mustered the courage to inform Nelson Mandela’s office about the good news, he couldn’t contain his elation. “I called his office and asked them to let Madiba know that we finally had a son, who was now eight months old, and that we were returning to Nairobi. Could they arrange for us to meet, so Madiba could bless him?”
The meeting that followed, after Jeff’s request was granted, was nothing short of extraordinary.
Nelson Mandela warmly kissed Jeff’s child on the cheek, creating a unique bond between the two.
“If you don’t believe me, I can show you a photo of it. It’s truly unbelievable,” Jeff shared with a heart full of gratitude.