A sombre mood reigned in Dar es Salaam yesterday following the shocking sudden death of Bongo movie celebrity, Steven Kanumba.
The prank-like death incident that removed the movie star from the scene caught Bongo movie enthusiasts by surprise, with outpourings of grief in many quarters inside and outside the county.
Kanumba’s death brought about surprise and shock among the public, making the talk of the town for most of yesterday.
The late movie star’s Sinza Vatican residence was packed with mourners, compelling the funeral committee to shift consultation meetings on burial arrangements to a nearby hall at Vatican Hotel.
Sinza’s Makanya Street, by which the Kanumba residence is approached, was jammed with cars, requiring the traffic police to step into the show and rescue the situation.
Apart from artistes, there were also political leaders such as Ubungo MP John Mnyika, as well as Kinondoni mayor Yusuf Mwenda and his Ilala counterpart, Jerry Slaa.
Various other public figures were seen consoling artistes who had partnered with the late Kanumba in his long list of films.
Actress Mayasa Mrisho, who has done a lot of work with Kanumba, said that she did not believe that her mentor had died, adding that it would take her a long time for the fact to sink in.
She stated that Kanumba had died at a time when they were finishing their new film called 'Mr Price.' She said they were also planning to take their new film, ‘Ndoa Yangu’, into the market.
Other artistes such as Patcho Mwamba, Rajabu Jumanne 'Chilli', Issa Kipemba and Fatuma Makongoro 'Bi Mwenda' said Kanumba died at a time when they so much needed his support.
The only male child of Charles Kusekwa Meshack Kanumba and Flora Mtegua, artiste Stephen Charles Kanumba was born at Ngokolo in Shinyanga on January 8, 1984. He was enrolled at Bugoyi Primary School after which he joined Mwadui Secondary School. After completing Form Two at Mwadui, he moved to Dar es Salaam Christian Seminary where he completed his Form Four Education.
Kanumba pursued further education at JKT Jitegemee Secondary School in the city and by 2002 he was already a member of the famous Kaole Artiste Group, participating in a number of television shows on ITV Station. But even before joining Kaole the youth had already displayed a talent in singing church songs and acting on stage during school entertainment events.
While at Kaole Kanumba participated in various shows with TBC1 included 'Jahazi', 'Dira', 'Zizimo', 'Tufani', 'Sayari', 'Taswira', 'Baragumu' na 'Gharika' which gave him a lot of fame. After leaving the group in 2006, he started his film acting career with a company called Game 1st Quality.
Some of the film titles in which he participated are 'She is My Sister', 'Dar to Lagos', 'Cross My Sin', 'The Director', 'Hero of the Church'. He also worked with leading Nollywood artistes including Mercy Johnson, Nkiru Silvanus, Femi Ogedegbe
Other film titles by him are Sikitiko Langu, Dangerous Desire, Dar to Lagos, Cross My Sin, Village Pastor, Family Tears, Unfortunates Love and My Valentine.Later on he joined Steps Entertainment and eventually forming his own film company Kanumba the Great Films.
His most recent works The Shock, Deception, Off Side, Because of You, Morning Alarm, Magic House, Uncle JJ, Big Daddy, This is It and Kijiji Chatambua Haki. ‘Ndoa Yangu’ whose production was well under way by Mr Price, was another of his most recent works.
Among awards won by artiste Kanumba are IJUMAA Sexiest male bachelor of the year-2006, Best Actor of the Year (Baab Kubwa Magazine)-2006 The Best Actor in Tanzania (Hollywood John Wayne International Awards)-2007, Honorary Award (Tanzania Film Vinara Awards)-2008, Best Actor-2007-2008 ya (SHIVIWATA) na Uigizaji Bora na Mtayarishaji Bora-Filamu Central-2010.
The late Kamumba was single. He has however reported to have had relations with celebrities, among them Wema Sepetu.