Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Queen Jane burial stopped over row

Queen Jane entertains revellers during her heydays. She has died while being treated at a Nairobi hospital June 29, 2010. Photo/FILE

Queen Jane entertains revellers during her heydays. She has died while being treated at a Nairobi hospital June 29, 2010. Photo/FILE 

By OLIVER MUSEMBI

The burial of popular musician Queen Jane at her parents’ home has been stopped. Queen Jane’s husband, Mr James Kariuki, obtained a restraining order from a Thika court on Wednesday.

The burial was to take place on Thursday at Mugoiri, in Murang’a District. Mr Kariuki wants a permanent order to prevent his in-laws from interring her remains at her maternal home.

Queen Jane, whose real name is Jane Nyambura Ciira died last week at Lang’ata Hospital. In his application, Mr Kariuki claims that the family of the songstress has excluded him from all funeral arrangements, yet Queen Jane was his legally wedded wife.

He says he married Queen Jane under the Kikuyu customary law in June 2001 and later solemnised the marriage, under the Christian Marriage Act.

He now wants to bury his wife at his farm in Makwa, Gatundu North District. The case will be heard as a matter of urgency on July 12.

According to Mr Kariuki, the body of his wife was transferred from the Lang’ata hospital mortuary without his knowledge.  

The plaintiff further wants the family of the deceased stopped from making funeral announcements on the print and electronic media and the body preserved at the Chiromo mortuary, until the matter is resolved by the court.

He says his exclusion from the proceedings has caused him mental and psychological torture. Mr Kariuki also insists that he and his wife were never estranged and they have lived happily together as a couple, although without children.   

In the plaint, he also says there was a frosty relationship between the musician and one of her siblings, who is one of the defendants over illegal production of her music. 

Her mother is also a defendant. He says his elaborate plans for a decent burial have been jeopardised by his in-laws. Queen Jane will be remembered by many of her fans as having adopted the popular Benga beat infused in her vernacular songs.

During her career, spanning over a decade, she recorded songs such as “Mwendwa KK”, “Ndutige Kwiyamba”, “Guka Nindarega” and “Maheni ti Thiiri”, which became big hits throughout the country.

Additional reporting by Amos Ngaira