The wife of the late popular comedian Charles Bukeko alias Papa Shirandula has opened up on intimate details of their marriage. Little known until the death of her hubby, Beatrice Andega narrated how she first met the late TV star, their marriage and life together until the latter’s demise on July 18, 2020.
Andega narrated that they met in 2004 through friends in the church. “We met in 2004 through friends and through pastors because we used to meet in the church. We started talking and then one day he came through the pastor who talked to us and we started the relationship. He took me to Busia and I met his family. He was very serious because he said he wanted a family soon,” she recalled.
In a candid interview on an episode of Churchill Show’s The Journey, which covered Papa Shirandula’s road to success, the mother of three disclosed that they got their first child in 2006 but before that, they had lost four pregnancies.
“We settled and had our firstborn in 2006, but before that, we had lost around four before getting the first one, Anthony, in 2006. Then 2007 we had the second-born, Charlie. In 2009 we formalized the marriage and had our baby girl, Cherry, like a month or two before the wedding,” she said.
According to the widow, they were, at the time, really struggling since his career had not taken off. Andega said the family lived in a small house in Uhuru estate and Bukeko used to walk to the Kenya National Theatre in Nairobi’s CBD.
“When I met him, he did not have stability in life. He was struggling as a hustler, living in a small house in Uhuru estate and walking to the theatre where he would sometimes make small money in a play. Sometimes I would support him financially when he wanted to make his own play. I wanted to encourage him because that’s where his interest was even though I personally was not interested,” she said.
Andega further disclosed that she was surprised when the late told her that he would be playing the role of a watchman in the then-upcoming TV show, Papa Shirandula – a Royal Media Services series that to a large extent defined his TV career.
“I was surprised when he said he was going to act as a watchman, I said ‘Just a watchman?’ Initially, when he started the program, he did not tell me he would call it Papa Shirandula, but later on, he gave it the name. I did not ask why he gave it that name but in the process of him explaining how it came about, he could talk of a relative who would say when you get something, you tear it apart and continue with what you have. To tear in Luhya is randula, and that how he chose the name,” she added.