Queen Lady Maureen: The Life & Struggles of Fallen Ohangla Artist

  • ODM leader Raila Odinga with the late Lady Maureen during a rally on September 7, 2014 in Kibra, Nairobi
    ODM leader Raila Odinga with the late Lady Maureen during a rally on September 7, 2014, in Kibra, Nairobi
    File
  • Ohangla fans were saddened by the death of popular artist Maureen Achieng known as Lady Maureen. The hitmaker passed away on Saturday morning, July 11.

    Her music and hits such as Jogi Jokuoge, Alemo, Gor Kogallo, Raila will be played for many years, reminding her fans of the fallen artist's talent and passion for music.

    She is also famed for her hit song Safari ya Canaan song during the 2017 election in support of ODM leader Raila Odinga, having worked previously with Odinga's CORD coalition in 2013. 
     
    “I am shocked at the news of her death. She was one of the best composers of Ohangla hit songs, May her soul rest in peace," Mama Ida Odinga eulogised.

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    The late Ohangla musician Lady Maureen in an interview in 2018
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    Despite her fame and fortune, her life turned around in 2018 when she was diagnosed with hypertension and anaemia. 

    She spent two of her last years seeking treatment at various hospitals, from Pastor Machage Memorial Hospital in Migori to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu.

    At one point in her life, she fell out with her mother while seeking help, but the two reunited later on with the mother accusing the songbird's friends of abandoning her in her time of need. 

    Various celebrities such as Esther Akoth, Akothee, passionately supported her during her long illness.

    Her illness started weeks after she was released from a Tanzanian prison in 2018 where she and her 15 band members were jailed for allegedly performing without a permit. This explained the lengths she would undertake to entertain her followers. 

    Royal Media Services Radio Ramogi and Viusasa contributed Tsh.4.2 million (Ksh 186,104) to bail her and her team.

    "I thought it was the end of my music career because the band had already been slapped with a one-year jail term. We were being woken up every day at 4 am like any other prisoner to do casual work; my worst experience as a musician," she recalled. 

    In her last interview in January 2020, Lady Maureen detailed that she felt back pains following an operation that had left her bedridden. 

    “I find it hard to get up and even walk on my own. My legs are too weak and I have to be supported to walk. It’s traumatising but I believe I will get better,” she stated, hoping to recover and entertain her fans.

    The artist's death comes a month after Ohangla musician Bernard Onyango aka Abenny Jachiga passed away on June 11

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    The late Ohangla artist Lady Maureen after being released from prison in Tanzania in 2018
    File