By Stanley Ongwae
Popular comedian Joseph Mochere, better known as Okebiro O‚ÄôMose, attempted to kill four family members before hanging himself on Saturday, his family has revealed.
Mr Mochere‚Äôs celebrity life, which spanned nearly four years, was reportedly clouded by allegations of a troubled marriage. Mochere, 37, was a lead comedian at Egesa FM, a vernacular radio station affiliated to Royal Media Services.
‚ÄúHe was armed with a knife and had become wild as he threatened to kill anyone in the house,‚ÄĚ said Teresa Moraa, the widow, in an interview with The Standard. A day before he killed himself, Mochere is said to have attempted to stab his brother and wife but they overpowered him. They however failed to snatch the knife he wanted to hurt them with. After the incident, his wife packed up and left the city for their rural Nyamira home with their two children.
The brother, who had gone to reconcile the two, also left Mochere‚Äôs house and returned to his own home.
‚ÄúI would be preparing to bury five people in my compound had it not been for the intuition of his wife and his brother, who had gone to negotiate for peace in the family,‚ÄĚ said Mochere‚Äôs father Atandi Rabera yesterday.
Catholic priest ‚ÄúThey only came to me once in the past when they had a crisis. I advised them to go to a Catholic priest and get counselling and prayers. I have not heard of any incident from them since,‚ÄĚ he added. Daniel Ombwori, Mochere‚Äôs younger brother, who also lives in Nairobi, said the couple‚Äôs marriage had been troubled for the last four years, with the comedian being accused of having extra-marital affairs since his rise to celebrity status.
Mochere is said to have left a suicide note addressed to his wife before hanging himself. ‚ÄúI have been patient enough but you have been stressing me for nothing. Take those children and look for another father who is not immoral and who has never seduced any lady. Goodbye,‚ÄĚ read the note.
The note also stated that Mochere‚Äôs wife had blocked his phone calls and text messages, which he took to mean she had walked out of their marriage. On radio, the comedian‚Äôs role involved complaining about social misfits, which he would do with doses of humour. But it is one episode from the radio drama titled ‚ÄėOkebiro O‚ÄôMose‚Äô, in which he acted with his stage wife (Banchiri) that pointed to his death. Drama series At one point in the drama series, Okebiro thinks of eliminating Banchiri and their children after becoming terribly angry. He looks for milk and laces it with poison but fortunately, his wife becomes suspicious and dumps the poisoned drink.
Mochere becomes a second presenter at Egesa FM to commit suicide. About 10 years ago, another presenter, William Tolbert, took his life by jumping off a storey building in Nairobi after reportedly suffering love-related depression.