Celebrities Who Died in Controversial Circumstances in 2020

  • Daniel Ndambuki and colleagues carry Njenga Mswahili's casket on Thursday, November 14, 2019
    Daniel Ndambuki and colleagues carry Njenga Mswahili's casket on Thursday, November 14, 2019
  • The year 2020 was a tough one across the world as the Covid-19 pandemic affected mankind, disrupting the normal way of life. 

    Millions died from the pandemic, others died on the roads, and many more went to be with their Maker under controversial, almost mysterious circumstances, leaving families mourning their loved ones. 

    Some of those who passed away this year were celebrities, people who left legacies and memories that will remain with us for sometime, a long time.

    Below are a number of celebrities who passed away in 2020 under controversial circumstances.

    Papa Dennis 

    The body of the award-winning Kenyan gospel musician Dennis Mwangi, alias Papa Dennis, was discovered by the roadside in Pangani, Nairobi, on the night of Friday, February 7.

    File image of the late Papa Denis
    File image of the late Papa Denis

    Papa Dennis' friends painted a picture of a struggling musician following his death. It was alleged that the musician died a poor man and had struggled to maintain the flashy lifestyle.

    He released songs with popular Kenyan musicians like Jimmy Gait in 'Makeke' and Daddy Owen in Foundation.

    The artist successfully sold his music across Kenya's borders, building a reputation that saw him feature the likes of Tanzanian musician Ray C for the hit, Tornado, and Nigeria's Mr Flavour for the hit, Mayaya Remix. 

    Ken Walibora

    Veteran Swahili author and former NTV anchor Ken Walibora Waliaula, 56, passed away on Friday, April 10, after being involved in a tragic road accident on Landhies Road, Nairobi.

    His death was marred with controversy, with Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor raising question on suspicious injuries he had sustained. He argued that someone had reportedly attempted to stub him. Walibora had a 7cm long cut between the thumb and the index finger.

    Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) was accused of failing to attend to him for a whole day after he was rushed to the facility by emergency rescuers. Police and MPs launched parallel investigations into his death.

    Walibora was laid to rest on Wednesday, April 22, at his home in Huruma Village, Cherangany Constituency in Trans-Nzoia County.

    Abenny Jachiga 

    Luo artist Bernard Onyango Obonyo, popularly known as Abenny Jachiga, died on June 11.

    Jachiga is said to have passed away at St Jairus Private Hospital after a short illness. His death was controversial as pictures showing a shirtless Jachiga lying on the floor of the hospital.

    That he died at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic heightened tension as angry mourners confronted police during his burial.

    His internment took place at a time when the government had introduced tough containment measures with regards to funerals as a way of mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic. Police buried Jachiga at night. 

    Comedian Kasee

    On June 28, comedian Joseph Musyoki Kivindu, alias Kasee passed away under mysterious circumstances

    The mystery surrounding the cause of death denied his family and loved one’s closure.

    The young entertainer was found dead around Nginduri area in Kikuyu.

    Two weeks after his death,  the chairman of the Comedians In Kenya Society Ken Waudo, announced that according to autopsy results, the comic had been poisoned.

    Daniel Ndambuki alias Churchill during the burial of Joseph Musyoki Kivindu aka Kasee. July 4, 2020.
    Daniel Ndambuki alias Churchill during the burial of Joseph Musyoki Kivindu aka Kasee. July 4, 2020.

    Lady Maureen 

    Ohangla artist Maureen Achieng popularly known as Lady Maureen passed away on Saturday morning, July 11.

    Lady Maureen's life too a wild turn around 2018 after she was diagnosed with hypertension and anaemia. 

    She would spend 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.

    Lady Maureen's mother, with she had fallen out before mending fences, accused her daughter's friends of abandoning her in her time of need. 

    Papa Shirandula 

    Popular Citizen TV actor Charles Bukeko known to many as Papa Shirandula, died on Saturday, July 18 in Nairobi.

    Shirandula's family disclosed that the 58 year old died at the Karen Hospital where he had been receiving treatment since Monday, July 13.

    Beatrice Adenga, the widow of the late revered TV actor claimed that Bukeko passed away in their car while awaiting admission at the Karen Hospital.

    This sparked a public uproar forcing the hospital to issue a statement refuting the claims.  

    Othuol Othuol

    Churchill comedian Ben Maurice Omondi (Othuol Othuol)  passed away on Sunday, October 11 after battling brain tumour for a long time. He also suffered from tuberculosis.

    The comedian was laid to rest on Saturday, October 24, in Ndere village, Siaya County. 

    He had suffered bouts of depression and spent time in and out of hospitals. In July, Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) was put on the spotlight for allegedly failing to attend to Othuol for an entire day.

    In an interview in November 2019, the comedian revealed that he had been diagnosed with TB and Vitamin D deficiency. He lamented that most of his friends deserted him and he remained with very few close friends in the last stages of his life.

    Othuol Othuol in his element during a Churchill Show back in 2018.
    Othuol Othuol in his element during a Churchill Show back in 2018.