Before the last born daughter to Keroche Breweries owners Joseph and Tabitha Karanja, Tecra Muigai, passed on, she lived with her boyfriend Omar Lali in Shella on Lamu Island.
But just who was Omar Lali?
Omar Lali is a 50-year-old man who earns a living by carrying luggage for tourists who visit Lamu Island. Lali is also a boat operator. He specializes in taking tourists to unique and luxurious spots such as Kiwayu.
He was born and raised in Kizingitini, Lamu East and later moved in with his relatives in Lamu Archipelago.
His long grey beard and his mastery of English, German, French and Dutch are what make him stand out.
Before meeting Tecra, Lali is reported to have married a German lady with whom they sired a baby girl. It is also alleged that Lali had children with an Italian and Dutch lady whom he befriended when they visited Lamu as tourists.
“Lali anajulikana hata ana watoto ulaya. Shida yake ni kulewa kupindukia (Lali is known to have befriended tourists he even has children with. His problem is overindulgence in alcohol,” one of Lali’s cousins, Mohamed Ali Mohamed, told People Daily.
How Lali and Tecra met
Lali and Tecra’s paths first crossed in 2017 in one of the tourist boat rides. But they became friends in their second encounter at Peponi Hotel. According to Mohammed, Lali came to Tecra’s rescue after he found her detained at Peponi Hotel over a Sh10,000 bill.
“He had gone to Peponi Hotel to drop luggage belonging to some tourists when he found a lady (Tecra) in commotion with the owner over a bill. Lali bailed her out after realising she was the same tourist she had dropped at the hotel days before,” Mohammed says adding that Lali footed the bill.
Mohammed further reveals that he was introduced to Tecra two years ago at Shella in Lali’s boat on their way to Kiwayu.
“When her stay in Lamu ended, she returned to Naivasha with a promise of coming back and after two weeks, she was back. That was in 2017,” Mohammed recollects.
After that, Tecra became a regular to Lamu where she stayed for months.
Introduction to parents
According to Mohammed, Tecra introduced Lali to her parents but they were allegedly not happy with her choice.
“She had gone with Lali for introduction to her parents. They rejected him but the girl stood her ground. Tecra vowed she could not separate with Lali and promised to stand by him despite the rejection,” Mohammed revealed.
Lali introduced Tecra as his wife to his mother Aisha Lali. In 2018, Tecra accompanied Lali to a wedding in his home village – Kizingitini. She wore a long white dress and a veil.
Before Tecra’s demise, the couple would spend a lot of their time at the Diamond Hotel in Shella or Peponi Hotel. They loved basking in the sand and relaxing at the seafront at night.
Lali will be in police custody for the next 21 days to pave way for investigations into his deceased girlfriend’s death.