Distressing last moments of actor Papa Shirandula
As Kenyans mourn the iconic fallen actor and comedian Charles Bukeko, popularly known as Papa Shirandula, details of his last moments alive could be described as distressing.
Family spokesman Ronald Wanyama yesterday told People Daily that Bukeko, 58, had been sick for a couple of days before succumbing to Covid-19 on Saturday morning at the Karen Hospital in Nairobi.
“He was out of Nairobi for work and returned on Sunday. On Monday, he started complaining that he was not feeling well, maybe because he was in a colder environment when he was out of Nairobi.
“So, he went to Karen Hospital for treatment, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia and prescribed for some medication for the same and released for home management,” said Wanyama.
According to Wanyama, the situation started getting out of hand four days later, as the actor’s health failed to show any signs of improvement.
“On Friday night, he started complaining again that he was feeling really bad. So, the plan was to get him to hospital the following morning.
“By Saturday morning, the situation had worsened and his wife was forced to rush him back to Karen Hospital, where he died on arrival.
He did not even have an opportunity to see the doctor,” said Wanyama. Charles Bukeko was reknown for his starring role as a watchman in a local TV sitcom, Papa Shirandula.
Born in Mumias, Kakamega County to Cosmas Wafula and Valeria Makokha, he joined the acting industry straight from Upper Hill Secondary School in Nairobi, where he had developed a love for football.
In 1998, he met Dr Ochieng’ Odera, who became his first ever director before moving onto Phoenix Theatre where he ran into thespian Ian Mbugua.
Mbugua introduced him to James Falkland, who trained him for three years on the basics of theatre performances. But his breakthrough came with his feature in the form of Citizen TV’s Papa Shirandula show in 2010.
He is survived by wife Beatrice Ebbie Andega, and children Tony, Charlie and Wendy. He will be laid to rest today in Namisi Village, Busia County.