Bukoba — MOTHER of Steven "The Great" Kanumba, 28, one of Tanzania's most popular actors, who died in the early hours of yesterday morning, has said her son was the most precious thing on earth.
Flora Mtegoa, who resides at Itoju village, in Izigo ward, Muleba district, was caught in shock and grief upon hearing the death of her son, who she was set to meet this weekend.
Flora told the 'Sunday News' at the Bukoba Airport on transit to Dar es Salaam on Saturday that the late Kanumba telephoned her on Friday evening (April 6), inviting her to Dar es Salaam.
"I talked to Kanumba on his mobile phone on Friday evening. He invited me to visit him as he was expected to leave for the US for an appointment sometime next week. "He promised to send me an air ticket, it is so sad that I could not meet my precious son. I have no words to describe the grief," she said, tears running down her cheeks.
She said Kanumba was born on January 8, 1984 at Shinyanga Regional hospital, adding that his father, Charles Kanumba, was still alive working at the same hospital. She will decide where her son is going to be buried. The famous Kanumba died mysteriously and suddenly on Saturday morning while at his Sinza residence.
The Kinondoni Regional Police Chief, Charles Kenyella, told reporters that one suspect Elizabeth Michael alias 'Lulu' was being questioned in connection with Kanumba's death. He, however, said investigations were still pre-mature. Hundreds of Kagera residents received with shock the news of the sudden demise of renowned artist.
In Dar es Salaam it was also a dark day as hundred of mourners flocked the late Kanumba's residence in Sinza most of them in shock and disbelief. There was an impasse to Shekilango road as most cars were heading to Sinza Vatican. "I wish to know exactly what happened to Kanumba, we lost a hero someone who was always smiling," said a sobbing female fan. Another fan said "This is shocking news for Tanzania and the Africa movie Industry."
The actor, who is a household name in Tanzania, also featured in myriad of Bongo Movies and a few Nollywood movies. Kanumba will be remembered by many for his talent. Among his films include Uncle JJ, Moses, Young Bilionea and Kijiji cha Tambua Haki. He won the best Artists price for three consecutive years from 2006-2008.