Today the body of the late Juma Salum Kilowoko a.k.a Sajuki will be put to rest at the Kisutu Cemetery in Dar es Salaam.
This will mark the end of the funeral procedure, which started on Tuesday morning after he took his last breath at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) minutes before seven o’clock that morning.
Now, from 11 o’clock this morning the process which precedes the actual burial at one o’clock in the afternoon is scheduled to start. As is the case when someone passes-on, loved ones left behind still in shock will have a lot of unanswered questions.
With time some of these will be answered but there usually are those that remain without a suitable response to them. No doubt that the late Sajuki’s wife, Wastara and parents will also have their questions, concerning him being taken from them at the young age of 26 years. It is hoped that they will find the strength and reasons to continue carrying his banner.
Wastara’s senior brother, Issa Juma, was one of those found pondering on the questions he had in regards to his late brother-in-law’s demise. When talking to the ‘Daily News’ on Tuesday he seemed to have found some answers, which helped him contain himself in the reality.
For him the fact that Sajuki had to change blood seven or eight times during his illness must have contributed to his failure to retain full recovery. Further, to use a lot of medicine over a year and a half, as he had to do, must have caused a lot of chemicals to enter into the late actor, producer and director’s body.
From Issa Juma’s layman knowledge he surmises that to an extent this must have caused the body to lose its natural balance. All of this could not be seen with the eyes but what they did witness actually happening to Sajuki physical was swelling on various parts of his body and doctors attesting to his body lacking blood, which was the reason for the numerous transfusions.
Towards the end this swelling was of the legs and hands. Not being a doctor, the brother-in-law didn’t know how to explain this in medical terms other than to explain what he actually saw. When Sajuki returned from India, towards the end of last year, to Issa Juma, as was the case with those who saw him, he appeared to be in reasonable good health.
Between this time and when he was rushed into Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) from Arusha, he had managed to continue working tirelessly, even to the point that those around him were amazed at his energy. “He held two festivals, which he organised himself.
The first was in Iringa and Mbeya regions, while the other was in Arusha Region, three week ago. He was conducting these shows so that he could make money to return to India for further treatment. Before he went to India the first time, the swelling was in the stomach, for which he was treated there to rectify this abnormality.
By when he was brought to Muhimbili from Arusha the swelling was seen on the legs and arms,” the Brother-in-law explained. A close family member, whose name is not known mentioned to the ‘Daily News’ how during the last moments before his demise Sajuki was joking with his wife Wastara.
He asked her to come closer for him to sing her a song, which he did and told her to go and record it. That was some minutes to nine on Monday night before she actually left the hospital. As expected, members of the late Sajuki’s family, friends and relations from Songea arrived in Dar es Salaam yesterday for today’s burial. This was one of the reasons given on Tuesday, as to why the burial was not going to be held before today.
Then, the President of the Tanzania Film Federation (TAFF), Simon Mwakifwamba, told the ‘Daily News’ how their members were extremely pleased to see the way in which the late Sajuki took-on the tasks at hand after he had returned to Tanzania from India.
Prior to this, according to Mwakifwamba, Sajuki was seen by them as an activist because of the kind of things he initiated, such as being the founder of the Tanzania Film Directors’ Association. “Just to show you that he was an activist, even when he was sick, Sajuki used to participate in various meetings.
So we consider him an activist and someone who fought for the rights of all those in this field on a whole, right to his end. We will not be able to fill the void that has been created by his absence because Sajuki came as Sajuki and he went like Sajuki and that is why we seriously believe the role he played is still important to our field,” Mwakifwamba explained.
All-the-same, TAFF’s president also sent out a word to artistes emphasising the importance for them to be united during these difficult times, whereas they in the field have lost four members in the last 40 days. That is why he asked for them to hold firmly together and come out in their numbers to bury their colleague today.
He also made reference to how Sajuki had touched the lives of the nation in a very real way, as was displayed last year when people from all walks of life contributed for him to be taken to India for treatment. This can only happen for a “special kind of person”, Mwakifwamba added.
By IMAN MANI, Tanzania Daily News