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Police probe death of singer Abenny Jachiga

By Anne Atieno | June 12th 2020

Bernard Onyango aka Abenny Jachiga. Police used teargas canisters to disperse several fans who wanted to view body

Kenya’s entertainment industry has lost Ohangla musician Bernard Onyango aka Abenny Jachiga.

The late Onyango, known for his provocative Ohangla love songs, died at St. Jairus Hospital at dawn yesterday. He was admitted on June 10 at 6pm.

Cause unclear 

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

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

A public health officer who did not want to be quoted said they were waiting for the samples to establish what killed Jachiga.

The musician’s brother Austin Omondi confirmed Ministry of Health officials had taken samples from the body.

He said his brother fell ill on June 5 while in Nairobi.

City lockdown

According to Omondi, Onyango, 33, went to Nairobi on June 3 and it is still not clear how he traveled back to Kisumu last Saturday in the face of the lockdown in Nairobi.

“He told me he was going to Nairobi for some business but I did not bother to interrogate him further,” Omondi said.

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.

Omondi said that from the hospital, Onyango was taken home on a Monday where a private doctor was called to attend to him.

He said that his brother had small spots on his skin body and complained of stomachaches.

Onyango was later rushed to St Jairus Hospital where he died after developing breathing complications at 2am.

Omondi said that while at the hospital, his brother complained of having breathing complications and was coughing blood.

Omondi described his brother as outgoing and forgiving.

“He was a good person, he would forgive very quickly,” he said.

Omondi said Jachiga had recorded about five songs in February, this year, which they wanted to launch but was disrupted by the onset of Covid-19 pandemic.

One of his most popular songs, Kasinde, attacks unfaithful women who always refer to all their lovers as “my cousin.”

The musician started his music career at the age of 21 as an instrumentalist.

Onyango was mentored by the likes of Lady Maureen and had a brief stay with Jakadenge before he started his own band which for several years played at the former Gwara Gwara Club in Kondele.

The musician released his hit song ‘Kasinde’ in mid-2018 and is also known for his other songs like Usidharau mwenzioPenzi ni kama mayai and Simba manyo wendo.

Mentored artistes

Onyango is said to have mentored several artistes and instrumentalists like Lawy Jakabonyo, Boss wuod Nyasembo, Awilo Jakatoloa and pianist Osto among others.

He is survived by a widow and five children.

Yesterday, the police were forced to use teargas canisters to disperse several Ohangla fans who wanted to force their way into Port Florence Hospital at Otonglo to view the musician’s body. The body was moved to the morgue from the nearby St Jairus Hospital.

Chaos erupted shortly after 8am after a large group of youths tried to enter the hospital, but were stopped by police who had been called in.

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