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Rhumba maestro's burial in Siaya today

Saturday, April 9, 2011 - 00:00 -- BY JUSTUS OCHIENG

Popular Rhumba musician Musa Juma, who died last month at Mombasa hospital will be buried today at his rural home in Usonga, Siaya county. Tom Kodiyo, chairman of the committee organising his funeral, said yesterday everything is set for today’s burial.“All arrangements are complete and we thank the funeral committees in Mombasa and Nairobi for the successful arrangements that ensured the body arrived here safely,” he said.

Kodiyo said they are expecting a number of MPs from Nyanza to attend the funeral alongside many musicians. “We have confirmed that government chief whip Jakoyo Midiwo, Kisumu Town West MP Olago Aluoch and Alego-Usonga MP Edwin Yinda will attend the ceremony,” he said.

The rumba maestro, who was also the lead guitarist of the band died on March 15, at Mombasa Hospital where he had been taken after a severe pneumonia attack. He is survived by widow Winnie Juma and daughter Victoria Juma. A cloud of gloom enveloped Kisumu when the body of the late artiste arrived in the lake side city on Thursday.

Members of the public, among them Rhumba fans swarmed the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground where they paid their last respect to the King of Benga.

His popular songs; Christina, Mercelina, Oyoo Daktari, Freddy Afune, Siaya Kababa and Lake Victoria were played at the venue, reviving memories.

Sega Sega entertainment boss and a member of the funeral committee Samuel Onyango lamented Juma’s death saying it was another blow to Kenyan music fans.

He said a number of musicians who will converge at Musa Juma’s home to pay their last respect to him will play their popular songs to give the deceased a heroic send off.“We have made all arrangements to ensure that the ceremony ends without any hitch,” he added.

Prior to his death Juma had just been on his third US tour where he spent close to seven months performing in various States, including Texas, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Atlanta, Maryland and Washington DC.

By coincidence, Juma’s younger brother Omondi Tonny, also a musician, died about three years ago at Mombasa hospital from injuries sustained in a road accident.