Jessie Chiume: Dedicated Tanzanian nurse in diaspora

13Mar 2016
Correspondent Timothy Kahoho
Guardian On Sunday
Jessie Chiume: Dedicated Tanzanian nurse in diaspora

A HIGHLY respectable Tanzanian expatriate in the United States of America (USA), Jessie Mgeni Chiume, was recently flown back home for burial at Kinondoni Cemetery in Dar es Salaam.

Jessie Mgeni Chiume

Jessie’s death is said to have occurred on February 24, 2016 at Mount Vernon in New York City, USA, but her unexpected demise shocked many mourners during a memorial service at the Lutheran Cathedral along Sokoine Drive on March 5, 2016.

According to her profile presented by Nathan Chiume, she was born at Queensway Nursing Home Hospital in Oysterbay suburb of Dar es Salaam on January 30, 1961, by her parents, Kanyama Chiume and Edas Ngoza Simbeye, thereby growing up and attaining best educational qualification to the extent of securing employment at the North Central Bronx Hospital of the New York State.

She accordingly struggled by starting to attend kindergarten and then primary education at Oysterbay Primary School for Standards I and II.

She then moved to Saint Francis Boarding School in Mbeya for Standards III and IV, and thereafter finished primary education at Zanaki Primary School in Dar es Salaam.

She afterwards proceeded with her Ordinary Level at Zanaki Secondary School and Advanced Level at Nganza High School in Mwanza.

She afterwards joined Bugando Hospital Nursing School in Mwanza where she graduated with a Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery in 1981. After that, she returned to Dar es Salaam where she started her career as a nurse at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) up to 1983, when she went to New York for further studies.

Upon reaching there, she first underwent a semester at Chattanooga, Tennessee, before joining Lehman College of the City University of New York in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Dietetics, Food and Nutrition). She graduated in 1989.

It was upon obtaining this professional qualification that she became a Registered Nurse Certified (RN-C), specializing in Nutrition, Maternal and Newborn Health. She was actually recognized as Nurse of the Year by North Central Bronx Hospital in 1996.

Furthermore, Jessie continued to pursue higher professional qualifications at the University of Phoenix where she attained a Masters in Nursing (MSN) in 2009.

Nevertheless, she still worked at New York State Hospital as Head of Nurses on both day and night shifts, hence earning high respect for her diligence, kind heart and her way of helping people, whether adults or newborns.

On the fateful day she woke up in the morning. She then got out of her residence at Mount Vernon in New York. Upon crossing the road heading to hospital, a car knocked her and died on the spot.

News of her death shocked fellow Tanzanians in the diaspora, particularly her heartbroken husband, Christian Lutinwa; her mothers, Edas and Nathalia, her brothers, Michael, Tasokwa, William and Nathanael; her sisters Lilian, Sonia and Miriam, her several close relatives and many friends.

However, before her coffin was flown home for funeral, there was memorial service conducted at Flynn Memorial Home in New York on March 2, 2016, officiated by Rev. Perucy Butiku and attended by Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, as well as over 50 Tanzanians living in New York City.

Similarly, when her coffin arrived in Dar es Salaam for burial, a memorial service was conducted on March 5, 2016, at Lutheran Cathedral, officiated by Rev. Prudence Chuwa and attended by a thousand mourners, including Ambassador Mulamula; Permanent Representative of Tanzania to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland, Ambassador Modest Mero; Clerk to the National Assembly Thomas Kashilila; Member of Parliament for Bunda Esther Bulaya; MP for Kawe Halima Mdee, as well as her close relatives from Malawi, Joseph Chiume and Mary Chiume.

After the memorial service her coffin was escorted to Kinondoni Cemetery, where she was laid to eternal rest on March 5, 2016.

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