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Campus dance legend bids life bye

By Collins Osanya | January 6th 2017

The cruel hands of death have cut short the promising life of a third-year student of film and animation at Multimedia University.

Benjamin Chacha Mkapa, 22, a member of Eldoret-based dance group, Gospel Warriors, died on January 1.

Benjamin, popularly known as Benja, is best remembered for being dapper and his enthusiasm for life and love for dancing. Being a member of Gospel Warriors, he was part of the group that won the best dance group of the year award during the 2014 Groove Awards. He was also featured in the Shake Your Bum Bum hit song by Sauti Sol. Savara Mudigi of Sauti Sol band when contacted by Campus Vibe said: “I’m shocked. I’m surprised. I’m devastated. Chacha contributed to making my art grow. To the family, pole sana. Tufuate tu mipango ya Mungu. It’s in God’s hands. Your son was a star. He was good at what he did.”

Benja took his last breath at Guru Nanak Hospital, Pangani on the New Year’s Day between noon and 1pm in the presence of his brother Hezron Munge Mkapa.

Speaking to Campus Vibe, Hezron said Benjamin complained of chest pains on the evening of December 31 when he got home after doing their New Year shopping.

“Aliniambia, bro nimechoka sana! He then got into bed to rest,” added Hezron. Later on, he got better and the two followed the New Year festivities on TV including the Groove Party.

Matters slid out of hand the following morning. Their attempts at getting him a doctor were futile, a situation that was allegedly exacerbated by the ongoing doctors’ strike. Hezron says that they could not get urgent medical attention.

“We resorted to buying painkillers from a pharmacy after an endless wait for a doctor who was not picking his phone,” said Hezron, adding that, “I gave him water to drink and went out to call my elder brother. I came back from making the call and found him lying on the floor gasping for air. I called a taxi and we rushed him to Guru Nanak where he was given first aid. After five minutes, the doctor called me into the room and told me, ‘we’ve lost him’. I had a panic attack. I collapsed.”

Results of a post-mortem attributed the cause of his death to acute pancreatitis haemorrhage.

“Benjamin didn’t use any drugs. He wasn’t a smoker. He didn’t even drink alcohol. It is still shocking that we’ve lost him to a condition connected to heavy drinking,” the brother said.

Nathan Bronze Asiago, his lecturer at Multimedia University, confirmed Benjamin’s death saying,

“I can’t believe it. He wasn’t just my student. He was a brother and a colleague in the art industry. I was his patron at the university drama club.”

Benjamin Chacha Mkapa will be buried at their home in Isibania, Mara Tanzania.

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