By Faith Nyambeki
Kenya has been robbed another great Ohangla artist months after the demise of Abenny Jachiga. It had been reported multiple times by a section of the media that Lady Maureen had died but her mother, Margaret Akinyi Onyango, rubbished the rumors. It later emerged that it was her vocalist by the name Maureen Nyar Awendo who had passed away. Here is the story of Lady Maureen.
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Lady Maureen’s real name is Maureen Achieng’. She was born on 22, November 1984.
The Wangni Wabiro hitmaker has left behind four children. She found it difficult to reconcile herself to the fact that she could provide for her children while she was hospitalised. She was quoted by a leading publication saying:
“I have been forced to beg so that my children can eat…..”…..
“Begging is a relatively new phenomenon to me; so, I am finding a lot of difficulty in doing so.”
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The 35 year old artist’s husband is not known.
Lady Maureen was labeled by SDE as “The high priestess of Ohangla” and rightly so. Her talent was undeniable as she effortlessly released hit after hit before she fell ill. The artist path was cleared by Princess Jully. She shared how she never missed the Benga artist performances in Kisumu and the veteran musician noticed her. Lady Maureen told SDE that after one of those performances she approached her mentor and asked for advice.
The benga artist took her under her wings and would give her slots to curtain raise in her shows. All this while she was yet to identify her own style until 2006 when she met a group of men performing traditional Luo songs at the Kisumu Social Hall. She told SDE;
“As I listened to them, I realised the style was much more engaging and I instantly knew this was the music I wanted to focus one”
She went on to join the group that was known as Nyamolo Traditional Dancers. Four months later she was out and formed her own outfit Nyar Nga’ato Dancers Troupe. Nyarngato’ stands for someone’s daughter in Dholuo.
Lady Maureen has been very experimental with her music. In 2006 she released her debut CD “Wang’ni Wabiro (This Time We Are Coming). She did another popular song for Gor Mahia but the team never paid her even after numerous promises.
She said of the team:
“They never paid me any money for the song and every time I call the person in charge, he either dilly-dallies or chooses not to pick my calls despite their continued use of my song during their events for their own benefit – something I plan to stop at all costs…”
In 2007 she released Ji Gombo Neni (Many Would like to See You) a song on Raila Odinga that went on to sell over 500,000 copies.
Illness and cause of death
The mother of four was taken ill in 2008 and admitted at the St Francis Community Hospital in Kasarani. She was diagnosed with hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure). According to Mayoclinic.org, hypotension causes dizziness, Blurred or fading vision, Fatigue fainting and can be life threatening. It can be caused by dehydration to serious medical disorders.
Lady Maureen was first admitted at St Francis Hospital in Kasarani on June 9, 2018. Wellwishers chipped in to settle the hospital bill that had reached kes1.2 million.
Early this year she was admitted at Pastor Machage Memorial Hospital in Migori. She told K24 digital that she had been diagnosed with severe stomach infection.
It took the intervention of philanthropic artist Akothee to have her moved to Jaramogi Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Lady Maureen was not in good terms with her mother over a long standing family disagreement. According to Nancy Achieng’, who was taking care of the musician while she was hospitalized, the mother was adamant to allow her daughter to her home over an “unresolved family issue”.
It was her maternal uncle Mr Fredrick Odhiambo who picked her from Jaramogi Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital after her mother refused.
The musician was undergoing home based care prior to her death.
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she was a pioneer woman in deed.will miss your memories.RIP
RIP nyathiwa. Waromo ka ruoth oyie
RIP. Nyamera. Seme magora omawa nyako. Waromo mama .