Gor Mahia super fan Collo Kwala gets resounding send-off – PHOTOS
Thousands of mourners on Friday thronged Gunda Village in Rusinga Island, Homa Bay County for the burial of renowned videographer Collins Ochieng Kwala, who was also a staunch supporter of Gor Mahia.
The emotional ceremony was attended by several prominent public figures, including Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo, who delivered a special message to the bereaved family from Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga.
Other distinguished guests who attended the ceremony included Nairobi-based lawyer and politician Brian Weke, who emceed the event, Ohangla maestro Prince Indah, AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda as well as Gor Mahia Treasurer Sally Bolo, who represented club chairman Ambrose Rachier.
There was also a huge presence of Gor Mahia fans, many of whom travelled from Nairobi. Governor Johnson Sakaja did not attend the ceremony but provided a bus and a van to ferry mourners from Nairobi to Rusinga Island for the burial.
The funeral brought Rusinga Island to a standstill as thousands jostled for a space at his final resting place.
Kwala, who is said to have never missed a single Gor Mahia match in the last decade, died on September 9th in a road accident at Londiani, Kericho County
His body arrived in Kisumu early on Thursday morning aboard a Kenya Airways flight for an overnight vigil at his rural home ahead of the burial.
An entourage of mourners from Nairobi caused a traffic snarl-up in Mbita town on Thursday afternoon as they joined the funeral cortege on its way to the late Kwala’s final resting place.
During the funeral service, speaker after speaker eulogised the late Kwala as one who touched many lives and left a positive impression on those he interacted with during his lifetime.
Politics also took center stage when Ms Odhiambo, who was the chief guest, seized the opportunity to lecture former allies of Opposition leader Raila Odinga who have shifted their allegiance to President William Ruto.
“The people who are today insulting and fighting Raila are the very same people whose careers he built,” Ms Odhiambo told the mourners in Dholuo.
Crowd puller Prince Indah shared a heart wrenching experience of how he learned about Kwala’s demise as the deceased was on his way to cover one of his shows in Busia County.
Prince Indah recounted his last conversation with the deceased that tragic evening around 6:45 pm while the latter was enroute to Busia.
“I talked to him on his way from Nairobi at 6:45pm, he confirmed that was coming to my show in Busia. Then around 9:30pm, when I was about to get to the stage, I got the shocking news that Collo Kwala had been involved in a road accident at Londiani. I was informed that he had been rushed to the hospital and was in the ICU. An hour later, my friend was pronounced dead,” the musician recounted.
“How much this news shocked me is beyond explanation. I stopped my performance for an hour as the sad news sunk in. I’ll still not question the will of God, but Collo left us too soon. Collo will be remembered for his humbleness and as a kind soul who got along with everybody. Through Collo’s death we have the importance of living well with others. The reality is now here with us that wuod Adhis has rested, forever,” Prince Indah said.