Event organiser Big Kev, born Kevin Ombajo, is dead.
Big Kev, who was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in 2010, died 8pm Saturday, July 29 at the Nairobi Hospital. He was admitted at the medical facility beginning February, 2017.
Big Kev died after a long battle with a brain tumour that did not respond to numerous surgeries and treatment.
The founder of True Blaq Events had undergone 14 surgeries to remove the tumor, with one of the surgical operations performed in India in October, 2016. The last surgical operation performed on him was at the Nairobi Hospital on February 3, 2017.
Confirming his death, a source close to Big Kev’s family – who spoke to eDaily on condition of anonymity –, said: “It is true he (Big Kev) is no more. Big Kev passed on this evening (Saturday, July 29, 2017) after a long battle with a recurring brain tumor. His tumor had grown so big and others were still growing. Doctors, who were attending to him, said there was nothing more they could do.”
“When he was flown to India for treatment in October, 2016, Kenyan doctors had expressed fear of operating on him, citing the operation as a great risk to his life. After the India surgery, Big Kev, sadly, lost his eyesight and suffered paralysis on his left side of the body,” added the source.
“We will meet tomorrow (Sunday, July 30) in Nairobi to make funeral arrangements,” added the informant.
Big Kev flew to India early October, 2016 after complications developed on his right brain and a week in a top Kenyan hospital did not yield much.
In July, 2016 he was hospitalised after a seizure after which he took to Facebook to share his then-six-year journey with the tumour and how much it had affected his life.
“The sickness robbed us of millions, time, resources and much more but never doubt the power of prayer and faith. It is a chapter I’m determined to leave behind me for good. There is nowhere I have not gone in search of a cure and nothing I have not been prepared to. Interesting to note that over the last two months I have had *four* of these attacks; in class with my colleagues, with my driver, at home with the maid opening the door for me and most painfully a nasty fall in front of my young daughter and later having her witness daddy shaking on the ground.”
CAMPAIGN TO OFFSET MEDICAL COSTS
In February, 2017, hundreds of Kenyan entertainers turned up for a KSh10, 000 per-attendant dinner, which was held at the Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi to raise funds for the medication of Big Kev.
The campaign realised over Ksh7.1 million.
Big Kev was represented at the event by his wife Tracy Kamene Ombajo, who thanked Kenyans for their donations.
INTERACTIONS WITH BIG KEV
Kenyan singer Wahu Kagwi, who visited Big Kev at the Nairobi Hospital in February this year – after Big Kev had undergone a surgery to remove a brain tumor –, recounted her interaction with him back in the day. Wahu wished him a quick recovery in an emotional post.
She said: “I remember clearing Fourth form and falling into this group of guys, amongst them my big brother @bigkevkenya. I remember vividly him showing me a book that outlined his vision for his life. Looking at your life Kev, I’m so proud to say that many of those boxes have been ticked.
“One of the things though that is still pending, is you wanted to one day become the President of Kenya. Anyone who knows Kev knows he makes for an excellent leader! This country would be blessed to have you in leadership! For your sake, for your daughter and wife’s sake, for your sisters and brother’s sake and for the country’s sake, get well soon my brother!”
Wahu’s sentiments were echoed by Big Ted, the Deputy Director in charge of state branding and events, who described Big Kev as a “cool and balanced guy who made sure he had an impact on people’s lives”.
UHURU, KENYANS MOURN BIG KEV
When news about Big Kev’s death broke online Saturday night (July 29), Kenyans took to social media to mourn the fallen events guru.
President Uhuru Kenyatta tweeted: “Saddened by @BigKevKenya’s passing on. Against all odds, you prevailed again and again. You inspired a generation. RIP.”
Narc Kenya chairperson-cum-Kirinyaga gubernatorial candidate, Martha Karua, tweeted: “My condolences to Tracy and family on the passing of Big Kev #RIPBigKev.”
Philip Etale tweeted: “RIP Big Kev. You fought a good fight.”
DJ Sadic wrote: “Rest in peace Big Kev.”
Xtian Ndela tweeted: “My heart and prayers go out to the friends and family of Big Kev. We have lost a giant.”