papa-tundeIt has been a sad weekend for Kenya’s film industry. Just hours after the passing of Pray and Prey actress Maende Shikuku, word broke that another Kenyan actor had died.

Owiso Odera, a Kenyan actor based in Hollywood died on Friday.

The 43 year old had flown from Santa Monica to Kentucky, and he reportedly collapsed on stage while rehearsing. He was pronounced dead a few minutes later after efforts to resuscitate him failed. His brother Peter Orudka Odera confirmed the death to Standard.

“We are devastated by his demise. It is like a bad dream. I haven’t come to terms with the news of his death. This is unbearable,” he said.


Odera Owiso has acted in several US TV shows, among them: Madam Secretary, Minority Report, The Good Wife, The Millers, NCIS: Los Angeles, Blue Bloods and Flashforward.

But it is his role as Papa Tunde in The Originals that airs on The CW, that really put him in the spotlight.

Owiso Odera on The Originals

His family is still shocked by the sudden death, and is yet to establish the cause. They described him as a warm person who was constantly in touch with his relatives in Kenya.

“The last time we spoke he insisted that I join him down in Santa Monica to pursue my education,” recalled Peter.

The deceased went to the United States after completing his studies at St. Mary’s School. He got a scholarship to study at Indiana College and proceeded to pursue a Masters Degree in Fine Arts at the University of California San Diego.