Body leaves for Kenya on Monday, 16th April 2012
After they braved the mid-afternoon drizzle to attend the Requiem Mass in honour of George Obor, the sombre-faced mourners sat calmly in the tiny Chapel at Fridhemsplan as the body of Obor reposed in a casket strategically placed at the centre of the Chapel.
The afternoon’s Program proceeded smoothly as if it had been meticulously rehearsed to the last detail. Pastor Britt Marie Goodman conducted the Mass which comprised of prayers interrupted with short interludes of solemn music that blared from a remote-controlled system. To borrow from J.K Rowling, the music could remind a well-organized mind that death is but the next great adventure.
Kenyans, friends, family members, work colleagues, well-wishers and sympathizers alike, all listened attentively as Pastor Britt Marie walked them through the verses of death, sorrow, the final journey, the mortality of the human soul and the inevitability of interment once the journey of life has come to an end to open the gates for a new and unknown adventure in the mysterious world of the dead.
Just like the unique life of George, the Requiem Mass was also unique. There were no speeches, eulogy, songs in praise of the Lord Jesus or collective recitals of any nature. The style of overlapping prayers and songs from a music system was as effective as the sitting arrangement which placed sad-faced mourners only inches from the dark brown casket from where George was resting peacefully.
It was during a music interlude when the combined impact of loss, death and uncertainty of the after-world appeared to grip the mourners in their tomb-like silence. Sometimes, the music was accompanied with lyrics but sometimes, it was just instrumentals. The music appeared to have been well chosen because the lyrics, blazing in the calm air as Obor’s body lay in the middle of the chapel, tended to convey different messages about death, the gap left behind by death, life on earth, belief in God, destination of the soul and a myriad other messages beyond the outline of this composition.
The dead silence was occasionally broken by the cry of a small baby on her minder’s shoulder, the baby totally oblivious of the day’s agenda. For the young one, it was irrelevant that a prayer was in progress; a one minute silence was under observation; or that the tune of a solemn song was being digested by the mourners. It was as if George’s spirit was reminding the mourners that regardless of his departure, life’s cycle had to continue uninterrupted and it did. Then, came one moment that was very difficult to cope with.
Mourners were invited to pay their last respects by passing by the casket and touching it in a symbolic last time contact with George. The casket was sealed and there could be no viewing. At this point, emotions began to run high as mourners struggled to restrain tears from flowing down their cheeks. It was understandable when others lost control and began to weep, prompting emergency supply of shoulders to cry on, serviettes at hand to wipe off or supress tears from ever leaving the eyes.
Whether you liked it or not, it was the moment to come to reality with the hard fact that George had actually completed his journey on this planet, leaving relatives and friends alike with their daily struggles, rat races, battles, competitions, rivalries, successes, failures, disappointments, bitter wars of attrition, hot gossip, envy, rumours, problems and what have you!
Later, the mourners retreated to the coffee room for a chit-chat and to reminisce. Some mourners left immediately after the Mass to attend to other obligations. There were plenty of refreshments including mandazis. Once the reception was over, the mourners dispersed in different directions. We left the Chapel in Odada’s car together with Odero and Adero.
From the Chapel, Obor’s body was driven directly to Arlanda International Airport where it will be stored until Monday morning. The body leaves Stockholm on Monday morning and will be flown by KLM. Obor’s wife and daughter will accompany the body on the same flight and arrive in Nairobi on Monday evening.
The body will then be off-loaded and driven to a funeral home in Nairobi for preservation. The following day, Tuesday, April 17th, the body will be flown to Kisumu and upon landing at Kisumu International Airport, it will be driven to Aga Khan Hospital where it will be preserved. On Friday, April 20th, the body will leave Kisumu by road for South Nyanza for burial on Saturday April 21st 2012.
Speaking to KSB, Mr. Jared Odero, Chairperson of the “George Obor Fund Raising Committee” in Stockholm, thanked everybody who made it possible for Obor’s body to be transported to Kenya. He said that the family was extremely grateful for the solidarity of Kenyans, friends and sympathizers alike following the sudden demise of the late Obor. Odero hoped that Kenyans will continue to show the same level of solidarity in future especially during times of tragedy.
Kenyans in Stockholm continue to mourn the death of Comrade Onyango Sumba who passed away at Kenyatta National Hospital in Kenya. The sad news arrived yesterday and after a breaking news item at KSB, Kenyans who knew Mr. Sumba were plunged into mourning.
The death surprised many Kenyans because although Mr. Sumba was reported to have went into a coma, his condition had improved greatly especially after he started talking. According to Mr. Jack Mulo who continued to update KSB readers about Mr. Sumba’s situation, he was doing well and until Friday last week, he was talking. Suddenly, came the news that he had passed away.
As consultations with the family in Sweden continues on what Kenyans need to do, messages of condolences continue to pour in. Mr. Martin Ngatia, Chairman of the Kenya Red Alliance, said that the death of Mr. Sumba was a great loss to the entire country. He said that Mr. Sumba was a Democrat and revolutionary who never betrayed the struggle.
“Mr. Onyango Sumba was a learned person, an orator and an articulate speaker. He was fit to serve in any government and Kenya has lost a great revolutionary”, Mr. Ngatia told KSB. He said that Sweden was full of frustrations especially with educated people from the third world but that Mr. Sumba continued to struggle on.
Mr. Milton Muigai was too saddened by the departure of Mr. Sumba. “It is a really sad turn of events that it had to end in this way, abandoned at Kenyatta hospital by his “comrades” and their commander in chief. It leaves a sour taste in one’s mouth. Paddy deserved much better, but the hypocrites will now rally with the usual fake “rambirambi”. Kenyans in diaspora and at home should take note, regardless of political affiliations, of how life has become so cheap to the political elite at home”, he said.
“Paddy is gone but will not be forgotten, especially in Stockholm, by all who knew him. His legacy of recognizing the brotherhood of Kenyans regardless of ethnic origin should be held as true and emulated in deeds as we struggle for a better Kenya and a brighter future for all”, Mr. Muigai concluded.
Mr. Joseph Munene aka Man Nzoro said that the loss of Mr. Sumba was sad in deed. “It’s soo sad to hear that Onyango Paddy is gone. I describe him as a real patriot, one whom I agreed and disagreed with on a number of issues, socially and politically, and at the end we laughed and had fun in stocki. I last met Paddy in Nairobi in April 2007 and he was so happy to see me after many years. He wanted to know ville wakenya are fairing in stocki but little did I know that it was to be our last meeting. He will be missed by those who knew him especially here in stocki. Pole sana to his family hapa stocki and back home”, Mr. Nzoro wrote at KSB.
Others who have sent condolences are Dr. Jared Odero, Mr. Laban Mberi, Mr. Patrick Mwangi aka Manto, N. Wandaka, Sospeter Opee, Githuku wa Muirani and Mr. Dick Kamau who is in Kenya.
Speaking to KSB, Mr. Kamau said that the death of Mr. Sumba at Kenyatta National Hospital confirms his fears that he had been abandoned at the hospital by his political contacts. Mr. Kamau said that although Mr. Sumba’s family in Kenya had been beside him all the time and taking good care of him, he said that political contacts who ought to have been paying more attention to Mr. Sumba’s condition had neglected him. Condolences continue to pour in and KSB will update readers with time.
Kenyan Pastor Tillarh and family have entered into deep mourning following the sudden demise of Tillarhs Mother in Kenya last Wednesday after a short illness. The family invites Kenyans, friends and well-wishers to a Prayer meeting on Saturday 16th May 2009 at Emmanuelkyrkan from 17.00 hrs. After the service, food will be served at no price.
In the meantime, there is an Open House at Tillarh’s residence located at Mjölnerbacken 67 3rd Floor at Rissne (Blue Line) where a condolence book has been opened for signing. Further information can be obtained by calling 0731561533 or 0704523798.
KSB sends deep condolences to Pastor Tillarh and family during this shocking and tragic moment of deep sorrow. We hope that the grieving family will gather great courage and strength to go through this difficult and trying period of great sadness and pain following the sudden departure of a loved member of the entire family.
Mrs Josephine Kirigo Mberi has lost her brother in Kenya. Relatives, friends, sympathizers and well wishers are all invited to a Prayer Meeting at the residence of the Mberis at Spannarpsgränd 11 in Österberga tomorrow Sunday May 3 from 16.00 hrs.
Josephine will leave for Kenya on Monday evening to attend her brother’s funeral. The brother passed away after a short illness. Info: 0704771098.
KSB sends deep condolences to the Mberis during this time of deep shock and sorrow. We hope that the entire family will have strength and courage to go through this difficult moment following the loss of a close relative who was loved by all who knew him.
Greetings all in these unhappy circumstances; Bantu, as you know, is gone across the big river. I really wish we didn’t have his crossing, standing as a
preamble to this message. Bantu? I hope the few lines I share here might connect to our larger collective memory of this man who will continue to be an enigma even to those of us who knew him for many years. I offer only a snippet of Bantu’s narrative as the man and his ideas struck me over 18 years.
I do not mean to inveigle myself in Bantu’s story, but the methods of folklorists indicate to me that I can only tell parts of that narrative that I got to know by dint of being associated with him over the years. And perhaps if we understood better that all our stories are but iterations of others, past and present, in a struggle for making happen a better world then perhaps we might appreciate more the connections rather than the differences between us. After all, regardless of the proliferation of opinions and feelings about him, let us remember that Bantu was human, like all of us.
Our first meeting– in 1990– and what has now turned out to be our final encounter occured in spaces that ordinarily would appear rigidly, irreconcilably divorced, yet in retrospect it seems that it is our habitation of similar spaces that ultimately enables me to see what I can of Bantu Mwaura. It is thus just as well that we met and parted as we did. We met as undergraduate students at Kenyatta University’s literature department and our final meeting occurred in a more relaxed environment over Kenya’s national cuisine–Tusker and Choma–which seems to have been a valedictory of sorts, at Roysambu Inn on Thika Road the first week of September 2008; I revert shortly to the significance of these spaces.
I recall vividly our first week as freshers at KU when there was a minor march to the administration block over some minor grievance (attested to by the fact that the university was not closed). Bantu was one of the first students to be made a non-resident; the irony is that even if he was not on campus at the material time of these events, the administration kicked him out of the university halls of residence anyway, just to make an example out of the man. Of course it was easy to victimise him because with his dreadlocks; he stood out.
Later if we, his colleagues in literature classes, probed him about this matter, he would simply retort that “it just shows the irrationality of the system…judging people simply by their looks.” He ignored but never forgot this particular matter–how can one eschew memory in the process of social analysis?–and moved on to distinguish himself as being one of the more passionate students in our class; ever fond of quoting Steven Biko among other Black consciousness writers, well, we transformed our Bantu into Biko in a neat onomastic process that belied the social ugliness that Bantu so-passionately believed needed to, and could, be changed. You never could tear away Franz Fanon and Paulo Freire out of the man’s hands.Yet Bantu didn’t just read these writers; while their work supplied value as analytical prisms, he was acutely aware of the context within which he worked.
Social consciousness, self-awareness and analysis–and the politics that inhibit their achievement–are things that Bantu-Biko paid keen attention to; personal grievances by “the system” merely strengthened his resolve. There never was any doubt in Bantu’s mind throughout our time as undergraduate students and in later years that the divisions that society sets up amongst the citizenry have a clear political purpose; it is not incidental that ‘regular’ folk in Kenya kill each other for their “eating chiefs” (apologies to Taban Lo Liyong). It strikes me as relevant that I had the good fortune of having gone to school with both Bantu and Ntai Wa Nkuraru, another fiercely passionate social reformer, who was my year mate at KU university; he died “mysteriously” in his late 30s in London in 1999. He too taught us something about belief in and commitment to social justice.
In later years we went our separate ways–Bantu headed to Leeds University and on to America. What kept us connected was our interest in non-canonical forms of popular creative expression; thus we discovered another shared interest–the politics of bar room theater, and it was a happy coincidence that in our different fashions, we both got to work with the late Wahome Mutahi. I immediately saw what would draw Bantu and Mutahi together–a deep concern with questions of social justice and exposing the structures and logic that undergird social inequities in post-colonial Kenya.
The passion of Bantu combined with Mutahi’s humorous critique of power enable one to see many of the things that could be remedied about Kenya (and perhaps other lands as well) but which we choose not to! The commitment to the popular arts by these two artists also showed us something else: that the search for knowledge of society might also be pursued in/through non-canonical spaces/creative practices. Thus I believe the Kenyan arts/performance scene is the richer for Bantu’s input, a fact that is well-demonstrated by the array of articles that he and his team put together in Twaweza Communications’ maiden issue of Jahazi, a culture and arts journal for which he was initially editor-in-chief.
It’s hard to believe that Bantu ever laughed, but he did, and I know a huge story might be made of his tendency, when he smiled, to tug at his goatee, but even then there is something to be learnt from his rare-smiling habits. We all had our arguments with Bantu about all manner of literary topics; he was certainly not easy to corral in these disputes, but if you did hem in this man who would footnote his rhetoric by quoting so many books your ears and head spun–he is certainly the only one I knew in Kenya who quoted Kole Omotoso and pronounced the second name correctly!–and if he did see your point, then Bantu conceded the fact in one of the most genial smiles that I have only rarely seen particularly amongst academics.
See, Bantu was not just all argument; he was complex human being with an even more complex personality that perhaps society saw too harshly, or chose to not see at all, because what he said disturbed us. Definitely he was disturbed by us and our cynical habits! This was the sort of politics that we chatted about over our last meal that uncharacteristically cool late afternoon last September.
From the academy where our connection begun with a search for knowledge in canonical literary forms to the bar where Bantu and I (and many other Kenyans) debate(d) emergent forms of knowledge and popular forms of knowing, one can only hope that even if our collective conscience appears numb perhaps we might remember Bantu’s passion for causes he believed in. It was not for nothing that as undergraduates we compared him to the incorruptible teacher in Ayi Kwei Armah’s The Beautyful ones are not yet Born.
Ohio State University
Center For Folklore Studies
Sent via email
Details about a Kenyan who passed away mysteriously in an Apartment in Stockholm are just beginning to emerge. Since the news broke out last week that a Kenyan had passed away in Stockholm, KSB has been on the trail to follow the story to establish what may have happened.
According to details gathered so far, the late Kenyan is called David Acquinas Kashitoshito and he arrived in Sweden two years ago to pursue a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He was 30 years old and, at the time of his death, he was living in an apartment block in Täby, a few km from Stockholm city.
KSB has learnt that Acquinas was not living alone in the apartment but had teamed up with other students from Kenya who were all pursuing their Masters degrees at KTH (The Kings College). It has emerged that numerous Kenyan students are studying at KTH with latest five students having joined the Institution in September this year.
It is not possible to say exactly what killed Kashitoshito because investigations are still continuing after which the Swedish authorities will release an autopsy report. But through a trail of information which KSB has been able to gather, the last moments of Kashitoshito have roughly been pieced together.
Kashitoshito attended a birthday Party of a Kenyan child in Vällingby last Tuesday where he slept over. Before then, he was at the residence of a Kenyan who received a baby recently and he was there as part of the crowd which had called to say hi to the baby. “He was one of the people who carried the baby and he looked very happy”, a source told KSB.
On Wednesday (the following day), Kashitoshito went to town with a Kenyan contact. Throughout Wednesday during day time, the trail of Kashitoshito fades away but that same night, KSB has gathered that he was in his apartment where he was working on a Project on his laptop.
A fellow student at KTH was one of his companions and the two stayed together until past 2.00 hrs ie the early hours of Thursday morning. The friend was leaving for school very early in the morning so he left Kashitoshito in his room to continue working on his Project. That same Thursday morning, the friend left for school, assuming that Kashitoshito was still asleep. He never woke him up because he did not want to disturb him.
That same Thursday, there was a Kenyan whom Kashitoshito knew and who was travelling to Kenya. The traveler had made arrangements with Kashitotshito who had purchased some items which he wanted to send to family members back in Kenya. However, on the material day, Kashitotshito did not turn up at the airport as had been expected by friends although his absence was not a big deal because the thinking among friends was that something might have tied him up. It is during this period that friends believe that Kashitoshito was already lying dead on his bed.
“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHARD”
Suspicions began to grow when a friend in the same apartment began to wonder why Kashitoshito was not taking his phone which kept on ringing. That was deep into the night or on Friday at around 4.00 hrs in the morning. Convinced that something was amiss, the friend went to Kashitoshito’s room to find out what the problem could be.
When he tried to wake him up, he seemed not to have been responding so he began to shake him even more vigorously but still, there was no response. At this point, the friend decided to call the apartment owner who arrived in a few minutes. After further attempts to wake Kashitoshito up failed, those who were there began to panic.
In the meantime, one of the friends called a Kenyan family which had hosted a birthday Party which Kashitoshito attended last Tuesday to inform them that the Kenyan was not responding to attempts to wake him up. On hearing the news, the family rushed to the apartment immediately and to their shock, Kashitoshito could not rise up. Deep anxiety began to take over.
After understanding the nature of the situation, the house owner suggested that they call an ambulance which arrived in a few minutes but after the ambulance crew examined Kashitoshito, they said that it looked like he was dead.
It was at this point when the Ambulance team called police to come and begin investigations into the case. As per the Swedish law, the Ambulance crew could not touch Kashitoshito further once they confirmed that he was lifeless because then, the case had to advance into an investigation that could only be conducted by the police.
The police did arrive and after they finished their investigation at the scene, the body was transported to a nearby mortuary where it is awaiting for an autopsy to establish the cause of death. A member of the Kenyan family who was at the scene and who was reached by KSB said that “it was the saddest moment” in her life as she could not believe that Kashitoshito, whom she had been together with only two days earlier, appear to have died.
The reality that Kashitoshito was dead began to sink into the consciousness of those who knew him and as news about his death began to spread, grief engulfed the student’s fraternity at KTH and all those who knew him.
Kenyans who know him have told KSB that he was a very happy person, energetic, healthy and very religious. He looked a promising young man who had great ambitions which have now been cut short by the hands of death. On his table was a note with an inscription of Psalm 23 which says “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”.
Kenyans, friends and well-wishers will meet on Friday, November 7th at Björnbodavägen 57 at Vällingby from 16.00 hrs to discuss how to raise funds for the transportation of Kashitoshio’s body to Kenya for burial. Further information can be obtained by calling: 0730228649.
KSB sends deep condolences to the family of the departed. We hope that they will have the courage to go through this very difficult moment of great shock and sorrow.
A Kenyan lady who held a fund raising last Saturday did not fake her brother’s death as has been alleged by some Kenyans who have called KSB. According to these Kenyans, the lady duped Kenyans that her brother died in Kenya so that she could raise funds to travel to Kenya to make ma pepe for her Kenyan boyfriend. This is not true.
According to investigations by KSB, the lady travelled to Kenya yesterday Thursday October 23rd and is scheduled to attend her brother’s burial tomorrow Saturday 25th October. Stories that the Kenyan may have duped Wakenya that her brother died are not true.
KSB has talked to Mrs. Florence Asum, a close relative of the lady, who has been horrified by stories doing the rounds that the lady may have duped Kenyans. Florence told KSB that anybody in doubt should call her for further information. The lady lost her elder brother out of illness.
It has been necessary to publish this information to clear the air in relation to the bereavement. In the past, cases where Kenyans are alleged to have taken fellow countrymen for a ride claiming that their close relatives had died have surfaced.
Florence agreed with KSB that it is necessary to put the record straight and shame all those Kenyans who are spoiling the names of their fellow countrymen even at times of grief and great shock.
Elizabeth Wairuri, a Kenya resident in Stockholm, has lost her dad in Kenya. Kenyans, friends and well wishers are invited to an “Open House” at Skarpbrunnavägen 37 BV at Hallunda. Info: Daniel Mwaura at 0736694039.
KSB sends deep condolences to Elizabeth’s family during this tragic moment. The death of a loved one is always a painful event and we hope that the family will gather the moral strength to go through this tragic moment.
Emanuel is a 26 year old Tanzanian national who has been the youth leader at St Klara Church where Pastor Beatrice Kamau is based. At St Klara, there is a Swahili congregation where Swahili speakers especially from East Africa normally meet for worship. Since he came from Tanzania about a year ago, Emanuel has been a member of this Swahili congregation where he was well liked.
On Wednesday this week, Emanuel went swimming at the shores of a lake in Södertälje. He was together with his girlfriend and another colleague.
According to information gathered by KSB, Emanuel first jumped into the water, surfaced and swam a little before coming back to shore. He then took a second dive and all went well. He swam and later got out of the water. When he dived into the water for a third time, tragedy struck.
His friends noticed that he had taken an unusually long time to come out of water (about four minutes). They raised the alarm and some two Swedish boys who were around came to the rescue. They jumped into the water to try and look for him but they failed to locate him. At this point, the Ambulance and other rescue squads had been alerted.
Members of the first rescue team to arrive at the scene jumped into the water but did not find him. This was a specialist diving unit with special equipment. Soon, a helicopter crew arrived and joined the search. Eventually, Emanuel was found. It emerged that Emanuel appear to have been swept away by the waves which moved him from the original point where he entered the water making it difficult for rescue operations to trace him.
When he was found, he was still alive and there were several attempts to revive him. Emanuel was flown to hospital as medics tried to revive him on the way. At the hospital, attempts to save his life continued. He was put on a respirator but unfortunately, nothing could be done further to save his life because he was already brain dead.
An “Open House” has been called at Ottersongvägen 7 in Södertälje where friends, sympathizers and well wishers will begin to raise funds for the transportation of Emanuel’s body to Tanzania for burial.
Emanuel was the only boy child in his family which must be going through a very difficult moment. KSB sends deep condolences to Emanuel’s family during this time of great shock and sorrow. We hope that the family will have the strength to go through this difficult moment.
A Kenyan lady has passed away at an Old people’s nursing home where she has been residing for several years.
According to a source, the old lady has been ailing although her poor health was associated with her advanced age. Very little is known about her because she has been living an isolated life away from the Kenyan community.
A Kenyan who knows her told KSB that the lady’s inability to interact with Kenyans before she was admitted at the nursing home was due to her inability to touch base with her age-mates who are also isolated in Stockholm.
It is not known whether she will be buried in Kenya or in Sweden and funeral arrangements are taking place behind a closely knit family circuit.
The Orange Democratic Movement Scandinavia (ODM-S) sends condolences to the family of Hon William Ruto following the death of his father, Mr. Daniel Kipruto Cheruiyot on Saturday March 29th 2008. Mr. Cheruiyot, who was 78, died at his Kamagut home in Uasin Gishu District.
The Party hopes that Ruto and family will have the courage to go through the tragedy of losing a close member. May the soul of Ruto’s father rest in peace.
Mr. Martin Ngatia
Yusf Mzee, a Kenyan resident in Uppsala, has lost his sister in Kenya following a long sickness. The sister, whose name is Fatuma Cheruto Yusuf, passed away last Friday and has already been buried in accordance with Islamic traditions.
Speaking to KSB, Mzee said that there will be a remembrance session of her sister after 40 days according to the Islamic teaching.
KSB sends deep condolences to the family of Mzee during this time of shock and sorrow. Just like Carren who has lost her mother, KSB hopes that Mzee’s family will be able to go through this difficult time and that the family will find the support it needs to go through the process.
Carren Anyango, cousin to Carolin Ayodo and Margaret Ayodo, has lost her mother in Kenya. Kenyans friends and well wishers are invited to an “Open House” at Carren’s House at Harbrevägen 41 in Skogås on Saturday 22nd March 2008 from 17.00 hrs. The house is just five minutes walk from the Station.
Take train to Västerhanninge then alight at Skogås. Take the back wagon. Further info: 0704478833.
KSB sends deep condolences to Carren and family during this tragic moment. It is always very difficult and painful to lose a loved one, more so, a mother. We hope that Carren will have the courage to go through this difficult moment.
Mr. Moses Trubadur, a Kenyan musician, is back in Stockholm after attending the funeral of his 17 year old son who died mysteriously in Kenya. Trubadur, who returned to Stockholm yesterday, told KSB that following the sad news, he had to travel to Kenya abruptly and at very short notice.
As a father, he needed to be present at the funeral while he told KSB that circumstances under which the son died also called for proper investigations which could not wait.
The musician said that he did not even have time to inform Kenyans about the tragedy that had struck the family and encouraged friends and well wishers who need more light about the news to contact him for details.
Trubadur is a well known personality in Stockholm and, naturally, Wakenya expected that the tragedy of his son’s death could have been brought to the attention of Wakenya to help the family cope with the sad moment.
Trubadur said that he understands and appreciates the concerns of Kenyans in Stockholm about the matter. He said that he is now back in Stockholm and that he is in the process of updating himself with the latest situation within the community in Stocky.