Political leaders from Luo-Nyanza face backlash over Jachiga’s burial

Sunday, June 14th, 2020 18:52 |
A section of luo artists sIng a solidarity song during a press briefing in Nairobi where they protested the manner in which one of their own Abenny Jachiga was buried. Photo/PD/BERNARD MALONZA

George Kebaso @Morarak

The controversial death and burial of Ohangla musician, Bernard Onyango aka Abenny Jachiga has elicited radical feelings among artists from the Lake region.

Yesterday, a group of Ohangla musicians came together to condemn the manner in which his death and burial has been handled, but turned their anger on the political leadership from the region.

Speaking to journalists at Shujaa Mall in Embakasi East, the irate musicians expressed disillusionment with the leaders whom they claimed to have supported on a number of occasions during political campaigns.

"The death of our hero, Abenny Jachiga has taught us a lot about our leaders.

We have learnt that we are despised. We are wondering why the leaders we have supported all through could not come to our help in the hour of distress," they said in turns as they took to the microphones to speak.

Joseph Onyango Ochieng' aka Onyi Tibim; Eric Onyango Otieno aka Kilofi Mc'Adwol, Milly Fedha and Silveck Ouma among others warned that, from now on, before any artist is engaged by politicians, they have to give their consent.

"Going forward, any politician wishing to have musicians from the lake region take to the stage in their functions, they have to be consulted first," Onyi Tibim stated.

Fedha, a sister to another renowned Ohangla artist, Musa Juma said it is a shame that such a popular musician as Jachiga could be buried like a 'chicken' in the wee hours without leaders from the region intervening.

"We are appalled by the way he was buried at night. Why could an artist be buried at night like a criminal? We are asking that we be respected and recognised in our works," she said.

The radical stand by the artists leaves politicians from the Luo-Nyanza region including ODM leader, Raila Odinga in a quagmire since they are used to Ohangla tunes by these same artistes as curtain raisers for their political events.

In fact they may not enjoy the luxury of political songs composed by their Luo artists after they allegedly kept aloof in the controversial burial of Jachiga on Friday.

They took a radical stand saying they will never allow to be taken for a ride, in supporting political agendas, which after its architects succeed to get to office they shun them.

Silas Odhiambo Okeyo with a stage name of Director Okeyo said that he made frantic efforts to the leaders to help, in stopping the burial of their colleague, at least for seven days so that they can have an opportunity to pay their last respects, but it went unheard.

Their leader, Jecton Amburo aka Wuod Ajigo said he spoke to four senior political leaders but failed to give tangible support.

"We have known our enemies, and a time will come when we will name and shame them publicly," he said.

The artists also petitioned President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure the money he announced for the artisans reaches them claiming that they haven't seen even a coin.

He was buried at his Chiga home, Kisumu county, but not before locals had blocked his planned burial on Friday.

 “He was buried under tight security with police who were in plain clothes and some bouncers at 2:30am,” sections of the local media reported.

The late Onyango, known for his provocative Ohangla love songs, died at St. Jairus Hospital on Thursday last week. He was admitted on June 10 at 6pm. He had travelled to Nairobi on June 3.

The cause of his death remained unclear although some relatives said he suffered a bout of pneumonia and cough before he succumbed.

Health officials have since launched investigations and had taken samples from the body for tests to establish the cause of death.

Onyango is said to have traveled back to his home in Chiga, Kisumu East Sub-County in Kisumu County, on June 6 when he was first admitted at a local hospital and later transferred to St Elizabeth Hospital in Chiga the following day.

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