By Vision reporters
One of Uganda’s most popular singers, Juliana Kanyomozi, lost her only son, Keron Raphael Kabugo, in Nairobi’s Aga Khan Hospital on Sunday morning.
There had been rumours of the son’s death on social media, and Kanyomozi’s family refuted them, but later announced his death.
On a post on her Facebook page, Juliana said what was spreading earlier were just rumours. “My angel has just gone to the Lord,” she wrote.
“What was spreading earlier was a rumour. He passed away at 10:25am this morning. He's been such a fighter. Thank you for praying for my little angel. I will try and be as strong as I possibly can. Rest in peace Keron. Sleep well my son. Till we meet again.”
According to family sources, Keron got an asthma attack about two weeks ago, and then developed severe pneumonia, with his lungs badly infected.
He was first admitted to Nakasero Hospital in Kampala for a week and then airlifted to Nairobi, where he died yesterday morning.
Juliana has always been protective of her son, a product of a long-term relationship with businessman Amon Lukwago. She brought him up as a single mother after breaking up with Lukwago.
In several interviews with the media, she described how precious Keron was to her, and how she tried to bring him up as normal a boy as possible.
“My celebrity status does not change my motherhood,” she said in an interview with New Vision.
"When I go home I am mother, I do all my responsibilities as a mother. I make sure my son has had a bath and has eaten before he sleeps. I always try to keep his life private because I want him to grow up as an ordinary citizen.”
In several media interviews, Juliana often spoke of how precious her son Keron was to her
In another recent interview she spoke of how apprehensive she was about her son becoming a teenager, which would have happened in two years’ time.
“I freak out at the mere thought!” she told Flair Magazine.
“I am a single mother, and it is troubling how to deal with the pressures of parenting a teenage boy alone. The only advantage is that as a woman I am a nurturer by nature. It is in our DNA.”
Keron has apparently been struggling with asthma almost his entire life, but seemed to be over coming it of recent. He also seemed to be recovering well in hospital in Nairobi.
“I’m so out of words, I don’t l know what to say,” Kanyomozi's elder brother Kim Freeman Edward, also known as Eddie Kim, said.
“Keron was my friend. I talked to him last Sunday and he told me he was getting better and he promised me he would come back fine. He told me he loves the hospital because it has the same name as his school. That is the last I heard from him.”
“Keron was a smart, intelligent and fun loving kid,” said Steve Jean, Juliana’s long-time friend and producer.
"He was very protective of his mum too. It’s unbelievable that he’s gone too soon. He shall be missed dearly.”
Keron’s death triggered an avalanche of condolence messages on social media. The hashtag #RIPKeron was created and many public personalities and fans alike posted message of condolences.
Big Trill, a hip hop artist tweeted: “May the good LORD guide you and give you strength in these difficult times. WE ARE WITH YOU."
Benezeri Chibita, another rapper: “Prayers and thoughts with you.”
Dozens of others posted messages on her Facebook page wishing her the best in these times. These included, among others, MTN’s Aggrey Kagonyera, actress Ruth Wanyana, fashion designer Stella Atal, musician Naava Grey.
There is a vigil at Lukwago's home in Muyenga and by press time, details of the burial were not yet communicated.