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Luo Benga musician Omondi Long Lilo dies in hospital

Tuesday June 16 2020
lilo

Luo Benga musician Eric Omondi Odit, popularly known as Omondi Long Lilo, who died on June 16, 2020 at the Bondo Sub-County Hospital in Siaya County. PHOTO | COURTESY

By DICKENS WESONGA

The Kenyan entertainment industry is yet again mourning the death of another Benga musician Eric Omondi Odit, popularly known as Omondi Long Lilo.

The “Kon'go Shida” (alcohol is dangerous) hit maker died at 4.30am Tuesday at Bondo Sub-County Hospital in Siaya County.

He had been admitted to the hospital for treatment, according to his friend and colleague Benard Odhiambo Okome popularly known as Odhiambo Tusker.

NIGHT BURIAL

His death come just a few days after the passing on of another Luo musician Benard Onyango aka Abeny Jachiga whose controversial burial at night kicked up a storm in his home village in Kisumu County.

Mr Olima Gondi, who is a neighbour to the late Benga artiste in Migwena village, South Sakwa Location, told the Nation that he received a call at 3.26am from Odhiambo Tusker asking him to go to Bondo Sub-County Hospital urgently.

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"I rung a friend who drove me to the hospital and when we got there the musician was on a life support machine," he said.

"We stayed up to 4.30am when Omondi breathed his last," he added.

ONLINE FUNDRAISER

Mr Olima revealed that a friend of the late musician had starts an online fundraiser on Monday night which was to go towards his medical bill.

"He is gone and we only pray that the almighty God blesses his soul as we thank everyone who stood with the family when the artiste was ailing," he said.

The Nation established that Long Lilo had been in the hospital for two months although it was not immediately clear what he was ailing from since doctors were unavailable for comment. 

His colleague Odhiambo Tusker told a local radio station that the musician had been having stomach aches and had been in and out of hospital.

WIFE BY HIS SIDE

"He was doing well around March and he would even attend some of our meetings. However, two months ago his condition worsened," he said.

His wife Gorretty Awino was by his side when he passed on at the sub-county hospital.

Among those who condoled with the family was Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o.

SAD DAY

The governor said it was a sad day for the entertainment industry following the passing on of musician just days after the death of Abenny Jachiga.

"Omondi was a talented musician who kept Benga genre alive in the face of a fast-changing musical landscape," the governor said in press statement.

He said the Luo musical community has lost a great resource.

"On behalf of my family and on my own behalf, I send my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the departed," he said.

MEDICAL APPEAL

In February this year, the renowned Luo Benga musician made a public medical appeal as his health deteriorated.

His is known for his popular songs such as “Goretti”, “Okoth Pilot” and “Kong’o Shida” which rocked the airwaves 13 years ago.

His Migwena Kings band used play in popular clubs in Bondo town.

He shot to the limelight in 2007 after a breakup with king of Benga Osito Kale, Odhiambo Tusker and Ogina Koko.

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