By Faith Nyambeki
News of the death of celebrated benga and ohangla musician came as a shocker to his legion of fans. The ‘Mano Kasinde’ hitmaker was taken ill on June 3 and died eight days later. According to news reports, the musician was admitted at the Aga Khan hospital Kisumu and later at St Elizabeth Hospital Kisumu where he succumbed to pneumonia related complications.
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The artist was born in 1987 in East Kolwa, Chiga Location, Kisumu County. His name was Benard Onyango.
The 33 year old artist leaves behind a widow and two children. His son is in class three and the daughter in class four.
The mellow voiced benga artist musical journey started in 2008. The 21 year old Abenny started out as an instrumentalist. According to the Standard, the artist was mentored by Lady Maureen and the late Jakadenge. He formed his own band that went on to be a success story. Abenny performed at the now defunct Gwara Gwara club in Kondele before moving to Nairobi with his band in search of a bigger stage in 2018.
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A leading daily reported that the artist suffered from pneumonia for a long period but managed to conceal it from his fans. Doctors at the Aga Khan hospital told his family that his kidneys had been affected. Because of cost, the family had him moved to the more affordable St Jairus Hospital. His brother Austin Omondi told a section of the media:
“At Aga Khan, the doctors explained that his kidneys were affected. The family requested to transfer him to an affordable hospital,”
“He was finally admitted at St Jairus Hospital near the Kisumu International Airport, where he died at around 2am on Thursday.”
His song Mano Kasinde has over 1.3 million views and counting on YouTube. Penzi kama yai has garnered over 380,000 views. His other popular songs include Nancy Nyarugenya and Maraga odagi.
Death of dancer
Only last year, the artist’s dancer lost her life as she attempted to rescue her child who had fallen into a sewage system. Vivian Nyathi Abandu, who had returned from a music tour in Mombasa, was swept by the raging waters and died.
The late Jachiga shared this on his social media platform on the death of his dancer:
“Vivian returned to Nairobi after featuring as a dancer in Abenny Jachiga’s line-up in Mombasa last Saturday. She spent Sunday night (April 21, 2019) dancing for Abenny Jachiga at Fine Breeze entertainment joint in Dagoretti. She got to her Kibra home on Monday (April 22, 2019) and rested that day, given she had worked for four consecutive days,” ves in the neighbourhood.
“After the rains on Tuesday (April 23, 2019), Vivian went to pick her children from her sister’s place. On her way back, she carried one child in her arm and held the hand of the other. Unfortunately, the elder child, whose hand was being held, slid and fell into a sewage system. Vivian immediately handed over the baby she was carrying to a woman who was walking beside her, and, thereafter, embarked on rescuing the one who fell into the sewage system. It was at that point that she drowned. Her child also died in the process”
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