Gor Mahia fans take over burial of comedian Bokelo
Gor Mahia fans stormed the funeral of Citizen Television actor Bonny Owino and seized the coffin as mourners scampered for safety.
The fans said the ceremony came ahead of the big clash between Gor Mahia and Sony Sugar in Kisumu’s Moi Stadium and he should be allowed to “watch it before he is buried”.
The scuffle started after the Kogallo fans got agitated by the clergy who they accused of hijacking the ceremony without their involvement.
Mr Okello, who acts as Bokelo in Inspecta Mwala show and a comedian with a popular vernacular radio station, was a card-carrying Kogallo fan.
Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o had to be whisked away after the rowdy youths destroyed the podium during the funeral held in Kano in Kisumu County.
MPs Fred Outa (Nyando) and his Kasipul counterpart Silvance Osele were also denied the chance to address mourners after the fans disconnected the public address system.
The clergy were forced to scamper for safety at Mr Okello’s home, a stones throw away from the venue.
The fans insisted that they will take Mr Bokello’s remains to the stadium for the match and later return it for burial.
Chanting Jowi Jowi Jowi (loosely translated to mean bull), the group carried the coffin shoulder high and marched with it around the school compound with pleas for calm by family and friends of Mr Okello falling on deaf ears.
“Sisi kama watu wa kogallo, tumehuzunishwa sana na jinsi wanasiasa wanataka kuchukua hii matanga (As Gor Mahia fans, we will not allow politicians to take over the funeral),” said a fan Peter Onyango.
At some point, the group began conducting ceremonies accustomed to mourning Luo heroes by beating drums and horns. They later lit small fires.
Renowned Kogallo point man, Jared Obonyo alias Jaro Soja, was not spared either with his efforts to calm the crowd leading to more confrontation.
“Wan kaka jo Kogallo, ok wadwar ng’ato mathagowa e liel (as kogallo fans, we will not tolerate any interference from politicians and leaders,” said a fan who identified himself as Otieno Oloka.