Tonya Barnwell struggled with just one question, why? Why did the father of her child have to die in such a cruel fashion?
She struggled to deal with the news that Odinga Wickham, the man who first noticed her in church while they were yet teens, was no more.
Wickham was shot four times, including twice to the chest, during the unrest at the Camp Street Prison on Sunday and died while undergoing treatment at the Georgetown Hospital.
“He love his family, and he always going out working hard to make things reach, depends on what, not stealing, an honest job, honest work…but I doh know, why him?” the distraught woman related.
The two of them had planned to get married next year, after being together for over 10 years. Wickham was a man who showed keen interest in their daughter, LaTonya, who is just about to celebrate her fourth birthday.
Today, her mother tried to imitate the funny faces Wickham would make with his daughter, but it was not the same.
Wickham was from the village of Ann’s Grove on the East Coast of Demerara. His mother, Annetta Wickham, described the kind of person he was.
“He works and when he work, he looks after his daughta, spend some time with himself, maybe partying, have fun by himself, play dominoes, real hang out” the woman said as she recalled the fun side of her now dead son.
Mrs Wikcham last saw her son a week ago, and she can hardly imagine what it will be like to have him return home, this time just his body, none of the energy that she was accustomed to.
She told News Room that “I spoke to him after the Common Entrance results, I spoke with him and he congrat his brother and told him that he was gonna come up this week to bring his brother gift.”