From imprisonment in a foreign country, incessant bashing on social media to neglect by close family members and friends, Ohangla musician Maureen Achieng’, popularly known as Lady Maureen, breathed her last Saturday morning, ending months of suffering.
And, as usual, the unending debate and discussion on how friends, government and colleagues should treat artistes and sportsmen better continued even as tributes continued to pour in from the politicians she sang for and praised as well as fans who took selfies with her in her hey days.
The family initially stated that her illness started weeks after she was released from a Tanzanian prison in 2018, where she was jailed together with other 15 band members.
They were charged and held in prison for two weeks for working in Tanzania without permits, a claim Lady Maureen said was aimed at tarnishing her image.
In February, Lady Maureen was stranded at a Kisumu hospital after being discharged.
Ms Nancy Achieng’, who was taking care of the musician in hospital, claimed that the singer’s mother Margaret Akinyi was reluctant to take her in following a family misunderstanding that had existed for years. The mother denied the claim.
Ms Achieng’ offered to take care of Lady Maureen after reading singer Akothe’s Facebook post asking someone to help the ‘Wangni Wabiro’ hit composer.
The songstress passed on at 3am Saturday at her cousin’s home in Uriri, Migori, where she was recuperating after she was discharged from hospital last week. The body has been transferred to Ojele Memorial Hospital in Migori Town as the family plans for burial.
According to Lady Maureen’s cousin Ms Bella Achieng, the musician was discharged from hospital on Monday and she seemed to be out of danger but she developed breathing complications before convulsing, Ms Achieng told the Nation.
The musician had been admitted to Pastor Machage Memorial Hospital on the outskirts of Migori last month, before being transferred to Ojele Memorial where she showed remarkable improvement.
Since the beginning of the year, she has been in and out of various hospitals battling different kinds of ailments. In June, she was diagnosed with severe anaemia and malaria and was rushed to Pastor Machage Hospital for treatment.
According to her mother, the musician had complained of back pain, which she said had destabilised her mobility.
For a long time, she could hardly walk and had to be supported and sometimes use wheelchairs.
In 2018, she underwent a surgery at St Francis hospital in Nairobi where she was diagnosed with hypertension and low blood pressure.
Musicians and well-wishers then marshalled resources to have the musician treated.
Ms Achieng said that initial plans to have the body transferred to St Joseph’s Omboo Mission Hospital were shelved after administrators maintained that the body could only stay at the facility for two days.
The family is trying to avoid what happened during the burial of another Ohangla musician, Mr Benard Onyango, popularly known as Abenny Jachiga. He was laid to rest at 2am following a day of chaos.
The family has also called on the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party to come to their aid and secure a burial place for their daughter.
According to Maureen’s father Mr Joanne’s Odero, the family is struggling to raise funds to secure a burial site for their daughter.
“Her death has occurred at a time when we are experiencing a serious cash crunch and going by the Luo community traditions, it is a taboo to have her remains interred at the father’s compound, forcing us to look for an alternative burial site,” said Mr Odero.
He added the Kogalo hit-maker would possibly be laid to rest outside their home should the family fail to secure a burial site.
Mrs Akinyi told the Nation that the death of her 38-year-old daughter had left them desolate after spending the family’s resources on treatment during her three-year ailment.
“Lady Maureen did her best for the ODM party, including Mr Odinga and several senior politicians. She was also a staunch supporter of Gor Mahia FC. It is on this note that we plead with the party and other well-wishers to come to our rescue,” Mrs Akinyi said at her home in Kopanga village, Migori County.
Her younger brother, Brian Otieno, who is a budding reggae musician, said Maureen mentored her before she fell ill with a promise to help him release his first album.
“My elder sister was my greatest source of inspiration but it’s sad that she left at a time when she had a lot of plans in store for me,” said Mr Otieno.
Apart from Jachiga and Lady Maureen, the Luo Music fraternity also lost Benga Musician Erick Odit, also known as Omondi Long Lilo, who was buried a week after Jachiga was laid to rest.
Following her demise, ODM leader Raila Odinga led a host of politicians, including governor Anyang Nyong’o (Kisumu), Okoth Obado (Migori) and Senators James Orengo (Siaya), Ochilo Ayacko (Migori) and woman representative Pamela Odhiambo in sending condolence messages to the family. Their tributes have, however, been criticised by many who feel they did not do enough to help the songbird.
Singer speaks after attacking lover at WCB signee Zuchu’s star-studded concert
56 minutes ago
On 18 July, there was fanfare at the Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam as WCB signee Zuchu held a thanksgiving concert months after her debut EP, I Am Zuchu. The event dubbed ‘Ahsante Nashukuru’ mainly featured performances by artistes from the WCB stable and attracted the whos-who in the Tanzanian entertainment and political scenes.
However, singer Gigy Money who also performed made the headlines for the wrong reasons after getting into a scuffle with her lover during the much-publicised concert.
READ ALSO: I was bewitched by a friend – Gigy Money
Peaceful arrival, later chaos
Moments earlier, Gigy and her Nigerian man were seen arriving arm in arm at the event whose highlight featured Zuchu receiving a brand new car from WCB head honcho Diamond Platnumz. Donning matching outfits, the couple was spotted on the red carpet as the paparazzi scrambled to capture the moment. However, all hell breaks loose later and viral videos depict the visibly angered Nigerian arguing with a bouncer at the entrance. After a tense confrontation, Gigy’s man is seen being led by the screaming bouncer towards the exit. Shortly after, a similarly irritated Gigy emerges and follows the pair.
“Gigy! Wewe Gigy wewe!” a woman in the background is heard dissuading the singer from pursuing them but the singer pays no heed and heads for the pair.
“You want to beat me?” the boyfriend is heard asking an approaching Gigy as the bouncer acts as a barrier between them. The bouncer manages to steer the incensed man towards the exit as Gigy follows behind, hurling obscenities.
At some point, a barefoot Gigy turns into a sprint before throwing one of her shoes which hits the man who then responds with an insult. Another bouncer finally intervenes and the two are separated. Gigy then asks for her vehicle so she can head home before warning the press against sharing videos of the incident.
Though the cause of their tiff is still unknown Gigy later made reference to the shocking incident in a social media post, hinting that alcohol had a part to play in the fracas. In another post, Gigy shared a photo alongside her estranged lover writing: “My mad man looked handsome before his demons arose and mine arose too.”
‘Running over Ali Kiba’
Gigy is not new controversy and recently said she’d run over her ex, singer Ali Kiba for breaking her heart.
“I will knock all of them down, I mean I will kill them. In fact, I will flatten them like chapatis. The first person I will knock down and kill is Ali Kiba. Actually, I don’t need a weak car, I need a Fuso so that when I knock him down I will be sure he doesn’t survive,” Gigy told Ayo TV.
Dating Kiba brothers
Gigy had in the past admitted to dating both Ali Kiba and his younger brother, Abdu Kiba. She solely laid the blame on Chekecha singer for pursuing her despite knowing that she’d been with his younger brother. Abdu expressed being heartbroken after learning the two had a fling, prompting him to marry.
“I was very hurt on hearing that Ali was dating Gigy Money because I dated her first before she became famous. But it’s alleged that Ali didn’t know. It hurt me for a while till when I married,” said Abdu.
Defunct Nairobi County Council Nurses Go On Strike, Citing Discrimination By The Government
Why Jahmby Kokai is happy her TV anchor dream never came true
37 minutes ago
Popular media personality Jahmby Koikai narrated how her first attempt at auditioning as a TV host backfired and she was sent home on the first day of the audition. Reliving her prime days, Jahmby narrated how she was determined to follow her dream of becoming a news anchor after completing her degree.
“There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro FM. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it.
“Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu?” she posed.
According to the endometriosis survivor, she went ahead to audition for the position despite the warning and was the first contestant to be sent packing.
“So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said some of us have to go home.
“My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news,” she narrated.
Later, Jahmby auditioned for another TV opportunity only to miss out as well.
“Then came another opportunity over 10 years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. I didn’t get the job.”
However, due to endometriosis, Jahmby was forced to put her dreams on hold and concentrate on getting better. According to her, it is as though God had better plans for her and is grateful to not have gotten the jobs.
“I battled severe endometriosis in silence for over 19 years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilized all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant.”
There was a reality show that was running on one major TV channel here in Kenya, searching for the next top news anchor. I’ve always had the knack for news. At the time, I was working at Metro Fm. Walked to my boss and asked him if he was ok with me participating in this competition. He agreed to it. Auditions were at Film Studios. The queue stretched all the way to the showground. I was at the back kabisa. Imagine 300 people before you. Then we got the briefing paper and it indicated, ‘no persons with experience in a media house allowed to participate in this audition’. Mimi Jahmby Koikai, nirudi home after watu 300 kukuwa mbele yangu? Nikasema zi. So I stayed in line until I got to the audition room. The judges were a few people I was in campus with. I felt a wave of despair. Like I’m here auditioning, yet my classmates will be judging me? I did my thing and I was considered. We got into the house and we were assigned to different groups. I was the group leader and we won the challenge. Later that evening, we were driven back to Film Studios for a briefing. The presenter of the show said, some of us have to go home. My name was called out first amongst other great people. We were dropped home. I cried. It felt like I’d lost such a great opportunity. My mom and late grandma were so sad cos they loved to watch me do the news. Then came another opportunity over 10years ago, I saw a TV ad and decided to apply for the news anchor position. As you see in this pic, I got my hair done at Ralph’s Hair Salon, new suit etc. I didn’t get the job. After KBC, I never got to anchor the news again. I’m grateful I did not get the job even though I felt dejected at the time. I battled severe Endometriosis in silence for over 19years. I think of how engaging the newsroom is and I’m grateful I wasn’t in that space. I’d have utilised all my sick-leaves and off-days and just declared redundant. There are many people like me who are bound by chronic illness and cannot do the things they love. I share your pain. But there’s hope. I’m grateful to God for His reminder that He will restore to you all the years that the locusts have eaten. Also Jer 29:11