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EXCLUSIVE: How gospel artistes failed to give Ilagosa decent sendoff

By Beth Nyambura February 17th, 2023 3 min read

Gospel singer Ilagosa Wa Ilagosa was laid to rest on Thursday in Bugina village, Vihiga County. The musician died of high blood pressure, the family said through a WhatsApp group where his friends were contributing towards his burial arrangement said.

The same was confirmed in a postmortem report that also indicated that blood pressure had caused the enlargement of the artiste’s heart.

Nairobi News has established that more than Sh700,000 was contributed in two WhatsApp groups formed after Ilagosa’s demise. This money was, however, allegedly not properly accounted for.

Before his burial, his fellow musicians allegedly told the family to leave every plan to them since he was one of them. The artistes formed a separate group where they raised funds to build a house where the artiste’s body was to be kept before his burial.

In Luhya culture, when a dead person is brought from the morgue his or her remains have to stay overnight in the living room of their houses on the eve of the burial.

The artistes had also promised to cement his grave, which did not happen. They also built a mud house which some members of the group questioned about the amount spent.

Also read: The Voice of Heaven Silenced: Ilagosa Wa Ilagosa’s burial will cost Sh1.5m

Ilagosa’s brother said most of the materials were from their farm. Artistes only bought iron sheets and construction nails and labour for one week.

“Hio nyumba mlango ni secondhand, madirisha ni secondhand. Tell us the exact budget of the money used,” one follower demanded in the group.

His message was not well received as most blasted him asking what Ilagosa’s family was doing.

Ilagosa’s casket cost about Sh25,000 and his father is reported to have been given Sh70,000 for food. But according to Ilagosa’s brother, the father did not receive the said amount and therefore, mourners did not have food for some days.

The house that was built for gospel singer Ilagosa Wa Ilagosa before his burial. PHOTO | COURTESY

“There was no food for the mourners. Not even tea was there,” a source told Nairobi News.

A follower on the WhatsApp group alleged that Ilagosa’s dad was stubborn.

“We gave out some cash to mzee to ensure hiyo ng’ombe imenunuliwa na chakuka, only to learn hakupeana pesa na amekua mgumu, surely!”

A cow was to be slaughtered, but it later emerged that this did not happen since the gospel artistes did not give out the money required for that.

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“Ilagosa was born again hatuko kwa mila, ya kupea wajomba ng’ombe, hiyo ni shughuli ya familia inafaa ishughulikie,” an artiste commented in the group.

There are claims that the artistes left before the service ended to go and eat.

“They did not come to the grave because they had gone to eat at one of the luxurious hotels in Shemakhokho village. They spent the night there. I would say, they just came for a road trip,” a source alleged.

The source also claimed that the more than 10 artistes each paid Sh2,500 per night for accommodation at the hotel and that this money was from the funds they had raised.

At some point, the area chief and the artistes differed during burial service.

Ilagosa was eulogized as a man who worked peacefully with everyone. His only son paid an emotional tribute to the singer.

“We have accepted that you have gone before us. Thank God for the years you have been together. We will dearly miss you but in our hearts we will miss you forever,” he said.

Politicians who attended the burial promised to educate Ilagosa’s son.

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