Kenya: After Collapsing On Stage, Lady Maureen Never Got Back On Her Feet

As tributes continue to flow for fallen Ohangla princess Lady Maureen Achieng, many artistes have continued to open up about the last years of the songbird's life.

One of these is Lady Maureen's producer, John Erick Ochieng, popularly known as Engineer Wuod Fibi, who revealed how the musician's tribulations started.

Wuod Fibi, a Rhumba maestro and producer at Barikiwa studios, recorded her hit album that had Akuru Marachar (county song), Yom Kabudho, Abiro Iri, Gladys Wanga and Raila Duog dala (Baba while you were away).

The producer revealed that Lady Maureen's tribulations began when she was arrested and held in a Tanzanian prison in 2018 together with 15 band mates.

They were charged and held in prison for two weeks for working in Tanzania without permits, a claim he alleges was meant to tarnish her image through negative publicity.

"This is where her problems started, I had a show in London but had to fly back and through the help of artistes, fans and others we were able to free them and bring them back to Kenya," said Wuod Fibi.

After that she organised her album launch to find her way back to the top of the industry, but this also did not go well after an electric fault interrupted her performance.

"She collapsed, forcing her crew to rush her to hospital. Since then she has been struggling to make a comeback to the industry and she died trying so hard to be back on her feet," said Lady Maureen's producer.

The musician had been admitted to Pastor Machage Memorial Hospital on the outskirts of Migori last month, before being transferred to Ojele Memorial where she showed remarkable improvement.

Since the beginning of the year, she has been in and out of various hospitals battling different kinds of ailments. In June, she was diagnosed with severe anaemia and malaria and was rushed to Pastor Machage Hospital for treatment.

While consoling the family of Lady Maureen, who he describes as an icon, Wuod Fibi said they got help from former Prime Minister Raila Odinga when the Ohangla musician was sick.

MUSIC BUSINESS

He says artistes should know that music is a business and that they should strive to save and invest their earnings.

He also reckons that performers should live within their means.

"You have to be responsible and cannot live large, spend more than you receive portraying a good life on social media to please people so that when something happens to you, you start blaming politicians and friends," he said.

He praised the fallen musician for mentoring the likes of Emma Jalamo and Abenny Jachiga as well as employing many people.

"She wanted to see young men grow and do something that they loved," said Wuod Fibi.

Mr Tabu Osusa, veteran author, music producer and founder of record label Ketebul Music, also believes that going forward musicians should think of saving money to cushion them from future emergencies.

"We are not just organised. If only Luo musicians could have some welfare associations to cushion them during medical emergencies or unions that fight for their rights, this could make such a big difference," said Mr Osusa.

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