By Songa wa Songa
Dar es Salaam. Fallen movie star Steven Kanumba had won a chance to make what would have been a historic debut of a Tanzanian actor in Hollywood, we can report today.
The Citizen can also reveal that Kanumba was planning to permanently settle as a husband and father, all dreams which have now evaporated with his death on Saturday.
New details emerging now as the country continues to mourn the passing of the iconic actor indicate that he was set for unparalleled trajectory ever attained by a local film artiste as a Hollywood role would have not only added to his fame on the global stage, but also come with a hefty pay cheque.
Based in the United States, Hollywood is the epitome of the world movie industry and rakes in billions of dollars in annual revenues and has made millionaire actors even for the simplest of hit appearances.
Held closely to his chest, Kanumba had just arrived from Ghana a few days ago where he apparently won an audition for a Hollywood appearance.
“He was heading there not as an inspiration seeker like he did in the past but this time to work. He had his US visa ready but fate dictated otherwise,” revealed Mr Dennis Sweya popularly called Dino, a friend of Kanumba since 2003 when they first met in the start-up days at Kaole Sanaa Group.
“When he broke the news to me, I told him; ‘The Great’ once you make it, don’t forget me in your ‘kingdom’ and he replied ‘I will never forget you my brother,” said Dino.
The news of the US job was given credence when Kanumba’s mother Ms Flora Mutegoa told Journalists that her son called and asked her to urgently return to Dar es Salaam for a meeting ahead of his departure.
The mother was away in Kagera Region visiting the actor’s maternal grandmother and received the call on the same night that he died. Friends say mother and son were not only family but great friends.
Meanwhile, before his untimely demise, Kanumba was deeply longing for a family of his own.
Those who knew the person behind the personality say ‘The Great’ wanted to have children more than anything else and prayed to God to bring him the right woman to marry.
“He longed for the warmth of a family of his own to complement the success he had achieved so far,” said Dino who recalled that during his last meeting with Kanumba, the actor had played and joked with his kids while expressing his wish to have his own.
Yvonne Cheryl, an actor popularly known as Monalisa, said she had been taken aback by Kanumba’s great love for children seen in his recent works.
“He was not only making movies for children; he was making friendship with children of late and my own child was his best friend…they called each other and talked over the phone several times,” she said.
Kanumba’s friend and career rival Vincent Kigosi, also known as Ray, said his last work-in progress, Ndoa Yangu, which literary translates to My Marriage initially scheduled for release this month and his recently new-found film niche (for kids) told volumes on how he felt about family.
“I will remember and immortalize his work and life by making movies for children as he did during his last days,” said Ray.
In his recent interviews, Kanumba faulted those who envied his ‘little’ success, asserting that the last time he checked his vision and mission, he was not there yet.
“I feel proud to be a source of inspiration to many aspiring actors and actresses but I want everyone to understand that I have not yet achieved my biggest dream” he once said.
He said the two had purchased an expansive piece of land at Mbezi Mpiji with the vision of developing it into a Tollyhood village—residential villas and offices exclusively for the film industry.
But according to Mr Chiki Mchoma, the Bongo Movies coordinator, Steve Kanumba somehow knew that death had come very close to him. He says Kanumba called him one week ago, praised his work and said he wanted to talk to him in details.
“I was at the border on my way to a neighbouring country, so we did not talk much. But when I came back I met another friend whom Kanumba had also called and learned that he had bought a new Bible, wanted to meet and talk to all his friends; tell them their shortcomings and apologise for his own weaknesses and wrong doings” he said and added:
“I think he has died without accomplishing this noble mission…it is something he really wanted to do and he insisted on meeting in person.
The death of Steven Kanumba has sent both the national leaders and ordinary citizens into a deep sorrow with a huge crowd of mourners of all ages flocking his Sinza home since early Saturday morning throughout Easter Sunday.
Meanwhile, President Jakaya Kikwete yesterday led thousands of mourners in consoling the family, including Kanumba’s mother who was seemingly overwhelmed and remained speechless.
President Kikwete said the death of Kanumba has robbed Tanzania of its finest performing art ambassador at a time when his services were needed the most.
“I was scheduled to travel outside the country but upon receiving the sad news I decided to postpone the trip so that I could join you (Kanumba’s family), fellow Tanzanians and all his fans all over the world in mourning his demise,” he said
According to a programme issued last night, mourners will pay their last respects to Kanumba tomorrow at Leaders’ Club in Dar es Salaam before his burial at the nearby Kinondoni cemetery later in the day.
Meanwhile, the Kinondoni regional police commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Charles Kenyela, said last night police were continuing with investigations into Kanumba’s death.
He said the Police collected samples of drinks found in the room of the deceased and sent them to the chief government chemist for tests.
ACP Kenyela added that the police were also awaiting a postmortem report on the body of Kamumba from Muhimbili National Hospital pathologists.
The police are still questioning the 18-year-old girlfriend of the deceased identified as Elizabeth Michael alias Lulu. http://thecitizen.co.tz/news/-/21327-dreams-that-kanumba-could-not-live-to-realise
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Monday, April 9, 2012
Dreams that Kanumba could not live to realise
at 11:58 PM