By Victor Maumo
Papa Shirandula, whose real name is Charles Bukeko, died on Saturday morning in what was suspected to be COVID-19, family sources said. He was aged 58.
He leaves behind a wife, Beatrice Ebbie Andega, and three children; Tony, Charlie and Wendy.
His family said he passed on at Karen Hospital where he was rushed for emergency treatment after experiencing breathing difficulties.
“Bukeko was a multiple award-winning actor who scooped the Kalasha Award for ‘Best Actor in a TV Series’ in 2010.
He is said to have tested positive for COVID-19, and even gone into isolation but his condition was worsened by diabetes, according to his family and colleagues.
The deceased was popular for the popular CITIZEN TV series Papa Shirandula where he was the main actor.
Royal Media Services Managing Director Wachira Waruru has conveyed a message of condolence to the family and friends of veteran TV actor Charles Bukeko – popularly known as Papa Shirandula – who passed away on Saturday morning.
“Bukeko, who was known to many simply as Papa Shirandula, was a towering thespian who was loved in every corner of the country. He endeared himself to TV audiences with his natural sense of humour and effortless depiction of typical Kenyan lifestyles,” he said.
“Papa, as he was fondly known within the Royal Media fraternity, represented a pioneering group of Kenyan actors who immensely contributed to the growth and success of local productions. I am honoured to have worked closely with Bukeko in the creation of the Papa Shirandula series that immediately gained wide acceptance across the country.”
He further stated: “His passing is therefore, a big loss not only to the Royal media family and kenya’s acting fraternity but also to the country as a whole. His legacy and contribution to Kenya’s TV industry will continue to impact many generations to come.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta has condoled with the family of popular Kenyan TV comedian Charles Bukeko who passed away earlier today. In his message of comfort, the President eulogised the thespian as a gifted storyteller whose contribution to the development of Kenya’s entertainment sector will be cherished forever. The Head of State wished Kenyans God’s fortitude as the country mourns the departed entertainer.
Deputy President William ruto also Eulogised Papa Shirandula.He said,”We are heartbroken by the passing of versatile television star Charles Bukeko ‘Papa Shirandula’. Bukeko was a towering, talented and skilful actor. His electrifying and distinctive performances will continue to enlighten and inspire many generations.”
Among other political leaders who have since also mourned Bukeko include Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Council of Governors Chair Wycliffe Oparanya and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.