By Carol Kasujja
KAMPALA - The son of Ugandan singer Juliana Kanyomozi will be laid to rest on Friday at 4.00pm local time in Matugga.
Keron Raphael Kabugo, 11, died at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya's capital on Sunday after suffering an asthma attack.
His death has been met with a surge of tributes from Juliana's friends, fellow musicians, fans and wellwishers, with many sending their condolences on social media.
The young boy's body will be flown in later today (Tuesday) at 7.00pm (EAT). Juliana is in Nairobi with Amon Lukwago (Keron's father) and will both accompany their son's remains.
Juliana said her celebrity status did not stop her from being a good mother
After the asthma attack a fortnight ago, the 11-year-old boy developed severe pneumonia, leaving his lungs badly infected.
His grieving mother has described him as a “fighter” and says she will try to be as “strong as I possibly can”.
Mourners have since Monday been keeping vigil at Juliana’s home in Lungujja as they await the arrival of the child's body.
‘Loved dogs and art’
Family and friends started collecting at the musician’s home as early as 9.00am local time Monday, and the mood was and is still understandably somber.
Friends and relatives collected at Juliana's home on Sunday and throughout Monday. PHOTO/Mary Kansiime
Mourners have been keeping vigil at Juliana's home in Lungujja. PHOTO/Mary Kansiime
Juliana’s brother, Eddie Kim, who is at the home with other mourners, fought back tears as he spoke of how his deceased nephew loved dogs and fellows kids.
“He was an intelligent and hardworking boy. He loved video games, football, art [drawing] and writing,” he told New Vision.
“He loved dogs and fellow kids.
“His dream was to become an artist.”
Keron's uncle Edward Kim (left) and music promoter Balam Barugahare, who is a family friend at Juliana's home on Monday. PHOTO/Mary Kansiime
One of Juliana’s long-time friends, with whom she worked at Capital FM in Kampala, said she understands “the pain she is going through as a mother”.
‘We are here to support her. Juliana loves people but I know she loved her son so dearly,” she said.
There will be a funeral service at All Saints Cathedral in Kampala at 10.00am local time on Wednesday.
'Intelligent, good boy'
Little Keron's grandmother says she will miss "my handsome intelligent boy" with whom they shared a strong bond together.
The pain in her voice was clear as she told New Vision of the times she and Keron would chat and eat together.
"By just looking at him, I could tell he would grow into a handsome man. He was a good boy. A listener. Respectful," she said.
Keron's grandfather wanted the little boy to be his heir. He says he will dearly miss him. PHOTO/Mary Kansiime
A photo grab shows a happy Little Keron. CREDIT/Mary Kansiime
She remembered that day, two weeks ago, that would be the start of the last days of the vibrant Keron.
"Two weeks ago, he came back home from school and complained to me that he felt pain in his lungs. I asked him how he could tell that it was the lungs, but then he insisted. So we eventually took him Nakasero Hospital at 3.00pm. He was checked and put on oxygen. We left the hospital at 9.00pm that same day after assurances from the medics that the boy would be okay."
But later that evening, Keron's condition worsened and he was admitted at the same hospital, where, after thorough diagnosis, was found to have pneumonia.
Meanwhile, Keron's grandfather (Amon's father), says he will miss him so much. He says he had wanted Keron to be his heir. The two never met often, but the old man says he loved and cherished the few times Keron visited him on occassions like parties.