Nairobi News


We lost four pregnancies before our first child arrived, Papa’s widow narrates

The widow of TV star Charles Bukeko aka Papa Shirandula on Sunday shared her lifetime experience with her deceased husband.

Appearing on the Churchill Show, Beatrice Andega narrated how she first met the late comedian, their marriage and life together until the latter’s demise two weekends ago.


“We met in 2004 through friends and through pastors because we used to meet in the church. We started talking and then one day he came through the pastor who talked to us and we started the relationship. He took me to Busia and I met his family. He was very serious because he said he wanted a family soon,” Ms Andega recalled.

She also revealed how they struggled to get children with several miscarriages before their first child was born in 2006.

“In 2006, we had our first child. But before that we had lost about four. The first born is Anthony and in 2007 we had our second born Charlie. In 2009 we had our baby girl Sherry. In the same year (2009), we formalised our marriage,” she said.

According to the widow, at they time they were really struggling since the later-to-be-actor had no job at then. Ms Andega said that she even chipped in financially when things became tough.

At the time the family lived in a small house in Uhuru estate and Bukeko used to walk to the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi’s CBD daily to try and earn some little money.


“When I met him, he did not have stability in life. He was struggling as a hustler, living in a small house in Uhuru estate and walking to the theater where he would sometimes make small money in a play. Sometimes I would support him financially when he wanted to make his own play. I wanted to encourage him because that’s where his interest was even though I personally was not interested,” the mother of three said.

She said that things then turned for the better when Bukeko landed a role in a movie.

His breakthrough eventually came when Royal Media Services CEO Wachira Waruru approached the actor with an idea for a TV series, that later gave birth to the immensely successful Papa Shirandula which aired on Citizen TV until Bukeko’s death.

Bukeko’s widow said the Bukeko’s on-screen name was inspired by a relative who motivated him to do things with perfection from the Luhya word khulandula.