Kenya Plane Crash: ‘Our last supper’

Paula (left) and his dad Pastor Sakaraia Mataka onboard a plane. Picture: Facebook

THE friends of a teenage boy who died with his father in a plane crash in Kenya said they termed their last meal together in 2016 as their last supper.

And yesterday, when Jonetani Naitaka and Benjamin Baselala received the news that their friend Paula Mataka and his dad, Pastor Sakaraia Mataka, were among those passengers that died, they were in deep shock and despair.

The two could not control their emotions as they slowly articulated the last moments they had with Paula before he returned to Kenya with his family.

Jone and Benjamin said they even planned to hide or destroy Paula’s passport because they wanted him to stay back in Fiji.

This was in 2016 when Paula’s family came to Fiji to attend the Christian Mission Fellowship International annual conference.

“Paula wanted to have McDonald’s and so every time he comes to Fiji, he would tell me and Benjamin that he wanted to eat McDonald’s,” Naitaka said.

“His family spent about two months in Fiji after the conference and we would visit different places in town and just have fun.

“I remember in 2016 we even went with Paula’s family to Nadi to farewell them and we had no idea that it was going to be our last goodbye.”

The 17-year-old said his mum picked him up from school at midday to bring him home so she could relay the sad news to him.

Benjamin said he spoke with Paula last month and they were planning to attend Queen Victoria School together next year.

“He said he was going to surprise me later in the year and he was even telling me that he wanted to eat McDonald’s when he comes to Fiji.

“We termed our last meal together in 2016 as the last supper because it was one of the best memorable meals we had together because we joked and laughed a lot about the good times we had during his stay.”

Benjamin said Paula even once told him that he wished for his body to be wrapped in the Fiji flag when he died and be buried in Fiji.

Paula’s mother, Serafina Mataka, confirmed last night that she had identified the body of her son and husband at the funeral home in Nairobi.

According to Kenya’s media outlet Standard Digital, the wreckage of the plane was found in the Aberdare forest after two days of aerial and ground search.

The report stated that all the passengers in the 5Y-CAC aircraft perished in the crash.