• Maureen was born and raised in Migori county. She met Wanjaro in Form 1. He was her mathematics teacher and also her class teacher.
• George took her to college to pursue hairdressing and beauty but never revealed he was an artist.
Maureen Atieno, who was married to the late Kikuyu musician George Wanjaro, says his family sold everything, including the piece of land where the veteran singer was buried.
Maureen was born and raised in Migori county. She met Wanjaro in Form 1. He was her mathematics teacher and also her class teacher.
Speaking to Ala C on YouTube, Maureen said as a class prefect, they used to talk about class matters most of the time. It was then that George noticed she was often missing school and he called her in the office.
"After realising I had issues with paying school fees, George visited my parents, on a Saturday and requested whether he could help in paying my school fees," she said, adding that George told her parents he loved her.
It was there that their love journey started. George took her to college to pursue hairdressing and beauty but never revealed he was an artist. She came to realise it when she got married.
She got married to him in 2001 and by then, George had a child out of wedlock.
"He did not tell me anything about his music. His parents accepted me and welcomed me wholeheartedly when I got married," she said.
Maureen says she took care of the two-year-old son as her firstborn, though she feared the mother could ambush her, but her husband assured her of her safety.
They lived at Gaichanjiru High School, where Wanjaro was teaching, but had a salon in Thika town. Before long, George started complaining of a headache and was taken to Murang’a District Hospital, where he died while receiving treatment.
Maureen says her husband's death left a gaping hole in her life, and she has neither known joy nor peace ever since. Her husband’s family used the fact that George and Maureen were not legally married to disown and disinherit her. They accused her of killing George.
"Some even said he died of HIV-Aids," she said.
Things moved from bad to worse when they alienated her from his burial arrangements.
"I was not allowed to see George's body in the morgue. They also omitted my name from the eulogy, but artistes intervened and it was included," she said. After the burial, the family took all the contributions.
The mother to the firstborn son appeared during the burial and Wanjaro's family disregarded Maureen.
"They sold everything, including the land where George was buried. Today I cant visit where he was buried," she said, adding that although she took the whole issue to court, she has nothing at hand.
"The case took long, and though I won, I have gone through so much."
Maureen got so stressed and depressed. She closed the salon and started doing casual jobs, which she does until today. The family of her husband came for the first son without telling her anything. She says the family lacked love.
"After I won the case, they no longer care because they took everything from me. My son is very bitter about the whole story," she said.
Edited by T Jalio