Kutoka THE CITIZEN
Mystery surrounds movie star’s death
Saturday, 07 April 2012 21:39
The Citizen Reporters
Dar es Salaam. Police are busy trying to resolve a mystery surrounding the shocking death of movie star Steven Charles Kanumba, who died in Dar es Salaam yesterday, shortly after picking a quarrel with his girlfriend.
The Bongo movie iconic actor, 28, was pronounced dead on arrival at Muhimbili National Referral Hospital where he had been rushed by his doctor, a family member and close friends. He died at around 3am.
The Kinondoni Regional Police Commander, Mr Charles Kenyela, said Kanumba had been rushed to the hospital unconscious from his city home in Sinza suburb.
“Initial reports indicate that he fell in his bedroom where he was with the 18-year-old girlfriend identified as Elizabeth Michael,” said Mr Kenyela. The girl, also an actor commonly referred to as ‘Lulu’, has been cohabiting with Kanumba for some time now.
Mr Kenyela confirmed they were holding Ms Lulu for questioning. She was still locked up at the Oysterbay police station last night.
The police chief said investigations were still in the initial stages, and as such, it was too early to draw conclusions on the cause of the death, but promised to issue a detailed statement upon completion of the exercise. He confirmed that a postmortem was also underway at the hospital’s mortuary.
According to Mr Kenyela, Lulu told them that Kanumba fell down and hit his head on the concrete wall and passed out on the spot. “She said the deceased just slumped to the ground and hit the concrete once they were in the bedroom,” he said in a telephone interview with The Citizen.
He said the girl told the police Kanumba had picked a quarrel with her after they had arrived home at about 1am, over a telephone call she had received a short while earlier.
“Lulu claimed when he got aggressive, she attempted to run away but Kanumba caught up with her outside the gate and took her back to the bedroom. She says he collapsed as soon as he locked the door and hit the wall,” Kenyela explained.
The police took from the scene a glass and bottle of whisky which the deceased was believed to have been drinking. Other witnessed claimed they also saw them dust the wall and also take away a sword found in the bedroom.
News about the death spread fast and shocked the nation where the self made actor had attracted tremendous following and liking for his quick success in the film industry spanning almost decade.
His talent not only made him a household name locally, but also in other countries like Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Ghana and Nigeria, if social network post yesterday are anything to go by.
Thousands of fans rushed to the hospital as soon as they got wind of the incident. The crowds welled by the second outside his house gate, forcing the police to intervene to cordon the highway for smooth traffic flow.
Fellow actors wailed uncontrollably and some fainted on arriving at the home to join other mourners, whom included Cabinet ministers, and top public and private sector executives.
The grief galvanized the entire nation and other countries where Kanumba had made a name for himself as one of the rising actors in the continent. A close friend and South Africa based Tanzanian model Happiness Magesse could not hold her tears and broke on national television during an interview in the morning.
At Muhimbili, close associates and comrades cried and huddled in disbelief when they witnessed his body being removed from his brand new Toyota VX land cruiser and wheeled him into the mortuary.
The super star’s burial plans would likely be announced later today as his mother was being awaited last night from Bukoba town where she is based.