By: SAMUEL KARANJA
The late Kenyan actor Benson Wanjau, popularly known as “Mzee Ojwang’ Hatari”, will be laid to rest Wednesday at the Lang’ata cemetery in Nairobi.
Fellow thespians, artistes, musicians and several politicians, including Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and Governor Evans Kidero, are expected to attend the funeral service.
According to actor and comedian Ngoni Thuita, also known as “Ole Matope”, the body of Mzee Ojwang’ will be removed from the Umash Funeral Home in Nairobi and taken past a city theatre and then to a stadium before it is taken to Lang’ata for burial.
“The procession will pass by the Kenya National Theatre and later the body will be taken to Nyayo National Stadium for a funeral service,” he told Nation.co.ke.
He described the mood at the Umash Funeral Home as “gloomy”.
Mzee Ojwang’ died on July 12 this year at Kenyatta National Hospital, where he was being treated for pneumonia.
He had been battling ill health and in March this year Kenyans and private companies rallied to assist the iconic comedian seek medical help for his failing eyesight.
The 77-year-old was admitted to Loresho Hospital, where he underwent eye surgery.
Among the first people to come to his aid was Mr Sonko, whose rescue team took him to hospital.
The comedian had been a fixture on Kenyan screens since his debut in “Darubini”, which was broadcast on the Voice of Kenya (now the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation) in 1980.
He joined the cast of the “Vitimbi” television show in 1985 where he acted as the patriarch Mzee Ojwang’ married to Mama Kayai.
The talented actor, who was married with two children, tickled Kenyans with his thick Dholuo accent, although he did not actually speak the language.
The government was accused of neglecting the popular actor.
Senators also criticised the government, saying it waited for national heroes to die before praising them.