Dead Ohangla artiste had plans to release new hit

Philip Omondi alias ‘Ndogo Jaraha’.

A rising Ohangla music star who died in a road accident alongside three of his band members, Philip Omondi alias ‘Ndogo Jaraha’ had plans to release a new hit song this month.

The musician and members of his band died at the weekend following a grisly road accident involving their personal car and a bus at Kijabe, along the Nairobi-Nakuru road.

Prior to the accident, Ndogo and his band had performed at a nightclub in Nairobi and were on their way back to Kisumu.

His new track “chunyi nie dak’ which is his last was released on Tuesday morning by his producer in his memory.

‘Ndogo Jaraha’ as he was fondly referred to by his fans joined the music industry in 2012 and had bigger plans of growing to become a better artiste.

His hit song ‘Iber gi sura’ put him in the limelight. His band known as blessed Ohangla had eight members.

“He believed that through his talent our lives would change and our family would break the poverty cycle. He had plans to have all of us lead better lives. He had said he would release his latest hit this month on 15th in a big way,” recalls Jenifer Atieno, his sister.

She says, the last time the family saw Ndogo was when he left the house on Saturday around 1 am to travel to Nairobi. He was just from a performance at a club in Manyatta that had begun around 6pm.

“He changed into his warmer clothes, packed a few clothes and personal things before he bid one of our sisters who stays with him goodbye. He said they would return by Monday. They only had one performance in Nairobi,” she adds.

Atieno says the family has lost their only hope and breadwinner. Having grown up apart, Ndogo brought together all his eleven siblings when he started off his music career in 2012.

The family lived apart after the death of their father in 1996. In a bid to take care of themselves as older siblings because the responsibilities had weighed down their mother, they opted to find work to support their other younger siblings.

Together they set off to find something to do at a tender age when they were supposed to be at school like other children.

“He worked at someone’s home where he did all menial jobs just to eat. At this age he was very young and never received any pay. I also worked as a house help somewhere else,” she narrates.

Atieno says later, one of their father’s siblings took Ndogo while 12 years old and sent him to school where he went through primary education.

He would later drop at Form Two and started some little businesses to fend for himself and his siblings.

Ohangla artiste Philip Omondi alias ‘Ndogo Jaraha’ (Centre) and some of his band members. [Standard]

Later, he joined the music industry but still, things were tough because he was learning the art and trying to find a bearing among his peers in the industry.

“There are days he would return home with nothing after the club performance. On other days they did not have even where to sleep when they went for performances out of town. But he never gave up because all through he always had us in mind,” she says.

According to his siblings, he paid school fees for three of them who are still in school and also took care of their basic needs.

“He was not only my brother but a friend. Three of our siblings are still in school; college, secondary school and primary school. The three were his responsibility. We grew up apart but maintained a close contact. He was generous and shared the little he had with us. All of us including the elder siblings were his responsibility,” says Atieno.

Atieno says his brother was talented from the time he was a young boy and it was just a matter of time for him to become one of the greatest and celebrated Ohangla artists.

His greatest hit songs include Rozenna, Verah, ‘Dak tek’ among other hit songs.

Samwuel Onyango alias “Sam Jangolo,’ his back up artiste says he was also supposed to travel with his band members but had to attend his uncle’s funeral.

Onyango told The Standard that their band was based in Kisumu where they played their music in clubs.

“We were supposed to travel together for the Nairobi show. I had even left my house with all my luggage. We performed at a club in Manyatta until 12 at night. I had told him that I really did not want to miss uncle’s burial and so after the Manyatta performance he asked me to take an off and attend the burial. He said one of his longtime friends in Nairobi had agreed to do back up singing on my behalf and that is how I remained in Kisumu,” Onyango narrates.

The vehicle they hired to Nairobi left with five of the band members. One of the band members had remained in Nairobi for personal errands.

“We were not only colleagues but friends. I left my previous job to join his band as his backup singer. We had a lot of plans together and our band was just picking up. Initially I had plans to have my own band but he convinced me to join him. I have lost a great friend,” recalls Onyango.

Out of the four bodies, one was to be brought to Kisumu last night. The other three bodies  are yet to be brought to Kisumu. Family and friends of the bereaved are planning to bring them anytime this week as they prepare for burial.