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Zilizopendwa 'Lunchtime' hitmaker Gabriel Omollo buried in Ugunja.

Veteran Benga maestro Gabriel Omollo, best known for his zilizopendwa hit 'Lunchtime', was on Saturday buried at his home in Nyabeda

Ugunja, Siaya county.

'Omollo Gabby' died at Busia County Referral Hospital on January 4 after a long illness.

Leaders at the burial criticised the government for neglecting such heroes and only celebrating them after they are dead.

Led by Siaya governor Cornell Rasanga, the leaders said such veterans should be supported especially at their old age.

The national government presented Sh500,000 to Omollo's family as a token of condolence after his death.

Rasanga said artists should be treated as heroes and heroine while alive to enjoy their talent and invest just like any other government employ.

"We know the government cannot employ everyone its only fair that they embrace those with talents like artists in the spirit of development," Rasanga said.

The governor further asked artists to be more vibrant while they are alive by fighting for their rights, reminding them that no one will do it better than themselves.

He regretted that he has never seen an artist in his office championing for their rights or asking to be allocated something in the budget.

The governor was flanked by Siaya women representative Christine Ombaka and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi who all echoed his sentiments.

Wandayi said its only in Kenya where artists are treated like strangers.

Wandayi promised to champion for their rights in the parliament to ensure they enjoy the fruits of their labour when they are still alive.

The Ugunja MP at the same time faulted the ministry of culture and sports for flourishing in corruption instead of taking care of artists welfare.

"It's musicians through their creative works that have always kept record of the past events and even used by researchers," Ombaka said.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jan 21, 2018
Words:366
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