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Big Kev fundraiser dinner nets Sh7.1million

An initiative to raise funds to cushion the medication costs of event organiser Big Kev has netted Sh7.1 million, with the amount expected to rise as Kenyans send in more funds via M-Pesa.

The Sh7.1 million had been realised by Friday night at the end of a fundraising dinner organised at the Carnivore restaurant by Kenyan entertainers.

Hundreds of celebrities showed up at the mirth-filled event where every entrant paid Sh10,000 for a ticket and which saw Jalang’o and Big Ted, the emcees of the night, raise cash from the entrants as they cracked jokes.

Big Kev (real name Kevin Ombajo) was not present at the event but his wife Tracy gave a vote of thanks appreciating the kindness that Kenyans had shown to her husband who is recuperating from his eighth head surgery.

The founder of True Blaq Events, Big Kev has been battling a recurrent head tumour and because of the treatment regime, he lost his eyesight late last year.

CELEBRITIES

The Friday event was organised mainly by Big Kev’s colleagues at the Events’ Managers Association of Kenya (Emak), who had contributed Sh1.5 million by the start of the Friday dinner.

“This was because of the love we have for Kevin, and because we know he is one person who would do the same for us if we were in the same position. For that, we respect him and we love him,” Ms Wambui Njoora, the Emak vice chair, told the gathering.

On Saturday, Emak’s general manager Martin Mulwa said the event was a success.

“It was very impressive. Guys turned up and we were very encouraged by Kenyans who bought tickets. There are a lot of people who bought tickets even though they did not show up,” he told the Sunday Nation.

“As at last night, we were at Sh7.12 million. But guys are still giving. I’ve received several messages that guys are continuing to give,” he added.

The celebrities who attended are Redsan, Nameless and Wahu, Nonini, Atemi, Kidum, Amos and Josh, Habida, Frasha, Chris Adwar, Shaffie Weru, Bhuddha Blaze, ‘Judge’ Ian, Kriss Darlin, Robert Burale, DJ Stylez, Lorna Irungu and Chris Kirwa among others.

The entertainers have set Sh20 million as their target and Mr Mulwa is optimistic that Kenyans would help reach it.

DONATIONS

“A new campaign was launched on Friday night, called ‘Show Your Love for Kev’. It is going to be 100 per cent online for Kenyans to continue contributing whatever they can,” he said.

Speaking during the dinner, former Youth Enterprise Fund chairman Bruce Odhiambo, the brains behind the event, said his personal experience had moved him to do something for Big Kev.

“Six years ago, I had a heart surgery and two years later I had another one. And when I pulled out of those two surgeries — one in Nairobi and the other one in India — they basically tore me apart. It tears you to shreds because I’m from a community that is very proud. You don’t seek help; you don’t cry. You try to die like a man,” Mr Odhiambo told the attendants.

“I watched Big Kev go through his first surgery, second one, third one, eighth one, and I was like, ‘How does somebody get through that spiritually and financially?’ It is definitely very hard. That is why I reached out to the entertainment industry,” he added.

Those willing to contribute for Big Kev can send their donations to Pay Bill number 880100 through account number 7839240019.