Revisiting heart-wrenching story of how three Kenyan celebs killed mother of three and pauperised her bright sons

Revisiting heart-wrenching story of how three Kenyan celebs killed mother of three and pauperised her bright sons


Sometime in 2009, three young celebrities arrested the attention and curiosity of Kenyans when they unveiled a religious sect with a weird name: The Finger of God. Even weirder was the name of a political party they called PlaCenta or Platinum Centraliser and Unionist Party.

This was happening at a pivotal time in Kenya when televangelism was in full bloom when every Tom, Dick and Harry was keen to preface his name with the titles like Bishop, Pastor, Evangelist, Deacon, Man of God, et cetra. These titles were synonymous with flamboyance at the time. Sin was an enterprise that rewarded handsomely and had the currency equivalence of a bar of gold. Politics cast one in power and luxuriance.

Consequently, Quincy Timberlake, Joseph Hellon and Esther Arunga became the talk of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city. They were the envy of many a youth and looked set for bigger things in the thriving communities of Christians and politicians. Church and politics have never been strange bedfellows. They have symbiotic relationship and cohabit – even if illicitly and the result parallels the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah.

More than a decade on, it is evident PlaCenta Party had the foundations of a cult and was an expressway to hell. The life of three innocent children and the painful death of their mother attests to this.

Here is how! The story of a steamy love relationship and subsequent marriage between former broadcast journalist and barrister Esther Arunga and one Quincy Timberlake hit the headlines in one of the biggest ways at the time. That was 2009. No one went beyond the façade of elegance to uncover the criminal bent of the three main stars actors – Timberlake, Esther and Hellon. It was Hell on Earth as we will later discover. Or opulence!

Esther, brought up as a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) faithful was reportedly running away from her parents and kin who allegedly wanted to marry her off to an old man. Her dream man was Timberlake – a married man with three children – who had swept her off her feet. Esther had a promising career in broadcast journalism at the Kenya Television Network (KTN), where she had carved out a reputation as a newscaster and talk-show host. She was idolised by young women.

You also probably know that Timberlake had been married to Rose Mweni Gideon from 1990s or thereabout. They lived together in Komarock estate on the outskirts of Nairobi, with their three sons: Trivor, Quincy and Cassidy. Timberlake had the mien and profile of Man of God – outwardly.

Rose was a housewife, born and brought up in Athi River in neighbouring Machakos County. Then around 2009, Esther Arunga happened on the scene and life took a dramatic turn for the worse.

Rose was interviewed by several media houses thereafter. The interviews were prompted by the notoriety of the actors-in-chief in what had rich ingredients of tragedy. She explained how she learned of her husband’s relationship with Esther via social media before mainstream media took over the story that was changing by the minute.

She told of how after the news broke out, Timberlake arrived home one day, packed his belongings and left without uttering a word, never to be seen or heard of again until the news of the cultic killing of their son broke out in Australia. The Australian courts determined the murder as cultic and Timberlake was sentenced to life in jail. Esther was handed reprieve for her role in the killing of her son.

Fast forward! Timberlake and Esther migrated to Australia. While there, they were arrested and charged for the murder of their son in 2014. One got the impression the PlaCenta Party was now haemorrhaging. While Esther was freed, Timberlake was not. The fruit of her placenta had been sacrificed on the altar of satanism.

Back home, it was obvious that the relationship or elopement of Timberlake and Esther took a toll on Rose in a big way. She developed health issues, drifted into depression and never recovered. She was a housewife who had suddenly been left with the unforeseen burden of fending for her three sons in a criminally fast-paced urban life.

She tried her best – for some time. However, she gave up the fight in March last year and was buried at her parents’ rural home in Makueni County on April 8. Her mother, who would once in a while come to her aid when things had gone extreme south, had died a year earlier in 2021, which exposed Rose further to the vagaries of a harsh social and economic surrounding.

Rose and Timberlake brought to the world three very bright sons. Very gifted, but they have no one to look up to, save for occasional Good Samaritans. Trivor, the first born struggled through school when the mother was alive. After her death, Trivor has been hopping from one menial job to another to fend for his siblings.

Quincy the second born had been admitted to Chavakali Boys High School, some 450 kilometres west of Nairobi, their home, with the support of the mother and friends. He completed Form Four last year and scored a straight grade A in national examinations. That was phenomenal! Imagine sitting an examination just days after buying his mother’s, but had the nerve and poise to do very well.

Now he hopes to join university and enrol for a good course – may be law or medicine. His problem – I am told – is school fees arrears of Ksh12,500 ($75), which makes it difficult for him to receive his university admission letter.

And even if he joins university, college fees would be the next big challenge.

Cassidy the last born is presently in Form Four at Green Oak Centre in Nairobi. He is a day-scholar. The young lad has been the worst affected by the parents’ break up and its aftermath.

He first joined to Chania High School in Thika – one of the best institutions in central Kenya – having passed primary school examination with very high marks. Like Quincy, he was initially supported by his mother and a few friends. But it soon dawned on them that they could not afford to keep him in the school. He was in class for just a few weeks in Form One (9th Grade) before fees arrears forced him to abandon school.

His mother’s friends enrolled him at lowly Mavoko High School in Machakos County in Form Two (10th Grade). Here, he spent two terms in school before he developed stress-related health issues and dropped out. He is now at Green Oak, where he is forced to combine Form Three (11th Grade) and Form Four (12th Grade) work. The idea was conceived to save him from a relapse into depression.

He is registered for Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations which start in November – three months from the time of writing this article. He has school fees balance of Ksh33,000 ($270), which might bar him from sitting the examinations.

The three boys live together in one room in a sprawling inner city in Nairobi. They are housed there by a well-wisher after they were kicked out of their house over rent arrears. It is obvious they need support – shelter, subsistence, clothing, anti-trauma therapy, security, education and surrogacy.

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  • A Tell report / By Wahome Thuku, a Kenyan journalist and criminal lawyer
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