Veteran Taarab singer Mzee Yusuf strived to contain his temper, when the family of his late wife, Chiku Khamis, showed open hostility towards him, when he went to take his two children from them.
Chiku, who was the second wife of Mzee Yusuf, died on June 17, 2017 while giving birth at Amana Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Her baby, too did, not make it.
Chiku was buried on June 18 at Kisutu Cemetery in Dar es Salaam.
A source, who spoke to Tanzania’s Global Publishers, divulged that Mzee Yusuf, shortly after his wife’s burial, went to the house he lived in with Chiku; situated at Chanika in Dar es Salaam, and packed her clothes in bags and paid a man to take the clothes to Chiku’s parents in Kariakoo.
The insider says Chiku’s family members, especially her siblings, felt offended by Mzee Yusuf’s action.
A few days later, the Jahazi Modern Taarab band founder, visited Chiku’s parents’ home, demanding to take his two children, who were living with Chiku’s parents following her death.
The source says Mzee Yusuf faced a boiling hostility from one of Chiku’s siblings, who allegedly hurled insults at him, causing Mzee Yusuf to simmer with resentment.
Chiku’s sibling, among other family members, accused Mzee Yusuf of being insensitive to their emotions by sending Chiku’s clothes to her parents, even before they could adequately mourn her loss.
The source says Mzee Yusuf struggled to restrain himself from abusing his in-laws, even as the abuses from one of the in-laws continued to pour in.
“The incident was dramatic, chaotic! Mzee Yusuf was the recipient of insults from members of Chiku’s family; some of the insults, I have to say, were unprintable. They were angry after Mzee Yusuf sent Chiku’s clothes to her parents even before 40 days of mourning her loss had lapsed.
“They were wondering why Mzee Yusuf couldn’t observe tradition by sending her clothes to her parents after 40 days of mourning had ended. They also felt offended that not even one of Chiku family members was present, when he was packing the clothes. Traditionally, a family member should oversee the process, given the deceased could have had secrets that she wouldn’t want her husband to know,” said the source, as quoted by Global Publishers.
Mzee Yusuf had to leave his in-laws’ place without his two children.
When one of Chiku’s sisters, namely Amina, was reached for comment regarding the incident, she said: “I have nothing much to say for now. You can get a comprehensive comment from me after 40 days of mourning our sister lapse.”
When Mzee Yusuf was contacted for comment, he confirmed that the incident took place, but said he did nothing wrong by “returning” his wife’s clothes to her parents.
“I returned Chiku’s clothes to her parents out of the respect I have for them. Going by religious practices, I did the right thing. One of Chiku’s family members hurled insults at me. I have nothing against her though. We have made peace,” said Mzee Yusuf.
Last year April, Mzee Yusuf took to a media platform to say the hostility between his two wives, Leila Rashid and the late Chiku, “was driving him crazy”.
The Jahazi Modern Taarabu band boss speaking, then, on Clouds Television’s Sporah Show, said he was going through a difficult time trying to unite Leila and Chiku.
Yusuf said he loved the two women equally.
“I am finding it very difficult handling them; their fall out is driving me crazy!” said Mzee Yusuf.
The root of the problem, according to the acclaimed singer, was notoriety.
“I am praying they make peace today or tomorrow. The main problem is actually the people around them. I have told my wives severally that I demand peace from them. Stardom has gotten into their heads. They should know that I am more popular than them,” said Mzee Yusuf.
On January 5, 2016, Mzee Yusuf said he did not celebrate his birthday because his two wives engaged in a bitter exchange of words on social media.
Yusuf said he wasn’t pleased with his wives’ actions and threatened to take drastic measures if the two did not iron out their differences.
“I do not have a single shred of joy following what happened on my birthday. I am deeply saddened,” he vented.
“What they are doing is not good, especially in the public eye. I usually talk to them. I don’t know how they perceive me; perhaps they are oblivious to the fact that I am their husband. They don’t respect me, especially the one who is always ready for war,” he added.
His wives’ constant warring made Mzee Yusuf a sad man.
“Personally, I am sad. I usually urge them to respect their followers on Instagram. My pleas, nonetheless, fall on deaf ears as one of my wives enjoys engaging the audience in an exchange of words. One day I will do something dire and let none of them blame me,” said Yusuf.
After the January fallout, a source intimated to eDaily that Chiku, who was the younger wife of Mzee Yusuf, was over-protective of her husband.