SEK 65k Raised at the Otieno Opee Harambee; Viewing of Body Planned

Dr. Otieno Wariaro addressing mourners

Following the Otieno Opee harambee about a week ago, a series of events have taken place. At the highly successful harambee, a total of SEK 65,000 was raised thereby paving the way for the Mzee’s body to be airlifted to Kenya for burial.

The harambee, which was held at Hornstull, was well attended. Mr. James Ochieng Nyambok, a close friend of Mzee Opee, delivered the eulogy. Ochieng said that he knew Mzee Opee in 1952 because they grew up together and that in Sweden, he first met Opee on 26th May 1969, the same day Mr Ochieng arrived in Sweden for the first time. The two then moved to Opee’s house in Åkesov.

Ochieng said that since then, the two have been struggling together and that after his arrival in Sweden, the two engaged in the business of taking Swedish tourists to Kenya. He said that they would both travel to Kenya on several ocassions with a group of tourists then return with a different group.

He said that with time, Opee got married and started building a family. When the Mzee fell ill, Ochieng said that he used to visit him in hospital until his final days. He said that Opee was a jolly man and encouraged Kenyans and friends to celebrate his life.

The mourners were also addressed by Junior Odhiambo Opee, Mzee Opee’s first born son. Junior introduced the family then gave the circumstances that led to the demise of his late father. He said that his father had been ailing for a long time before he passed on.

When Mzee Opee was discharged from hospital after an initial admission, Junior told the attentive mourners that his dad was planning to travel to Kenya. Junior said that on 28th March this year, his dad went for another medical check up and that he thought he would be discharged.

During the beginning of April, Junior said that his dad’s condition begun to deteriorate drastically but that even after comprehensive medical tests had been conducted, there were no answers as to the key issue that had caused his condition to worsen. At that time, Junior told the mourners that his dad was still strong and very clear in mind. He added that despite his condition, his dad remained vibrant up to the last minute and that he never gave up. The Mzee passed on shortly thereafter on Wednesday, May 2nd 2018.

The mourners were also addressed by Dr. Otieno Wariaro who gave a brief history of Opee’s educational background and how he knew him. Mr. Ngolia Kimanzu also addressed the audience. He congratulated Kenyans for having come up with Club 1000 and encouraged the community to continue with the same spirit. Others who addressed the mourners were Serah Nielsen, Mrs Hellen Opwapo, Mrs Jane Owili, Lenza Odhiambo, Prisca Forsman, Milton Obote among others.

Earlier, the mourners were led into prayers By Pastor Nicholas Odada who centered his sermon for the evening on the subject of love. The young Pastor said that Mzee Opee was a loving person who brought people together. He said that because of this love, the mourners had all gathered together for the evening. The Pastor encouraged the mourners to show love through action.

Since the harambee, a memorial service has been conducted for the late Opee at Åkersberga by the family. The memorial was well attended and the family has thanked all those who came to show solidarity with them, both at the harambee and at the memorial service. The family also thanked the “Otieno Opee Support Committee” for the wonderful work the Committee did under the chairmanship of Mr Joshua Oyugi who was also the Master of Ceremony at the harambee.

Through Junior, the family said that they are planning to fix a day when friends of the late Opee can get the opportunity to pay their last respects by viewing the body before it is finally flown to Kenya for a final send-off.

Arrangements to fix a date when the body will be flown to Kenya continues and the public will be updated as information becomes available. The Otieno Opee Committee will have a final meeting after the family returns from Kenya to dissolve the Committee after any pending issue that may arise is resolved.

Okoth Osewe
Information Desk
Otieno Opee Family Support Committee

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