On Sunday, Nigerians were jolted by the news of the death of late reggae legend Ras Kimono‘s widow, Efe Okedi. Only a month ago, she and the family had been joined by the music community as they interred the Delta-born musician who had passed away in June. The tragic death of his wife three months later struck a sad chord with all an sundry.
Family members who we spoke to revealed that she was not ill before dying- an eerie similarity to Kimono, whose death was devoid of any pre-existing illness.
Speaking exclusively to NET, Onome Akpobome Ras Kimono’s stepson (Efe Okedi’s son who she had before marrying Ras Kimono), explained that her death was as mysterious as anything and that she was fine before going to bed, adding that the entire family had gone to the beach for an uncle’s birthday; only for her to complain of chest pains during the night.
“On Saturday, we went to the beach for my uncle’s birthday. Nothing went wrong until about 2 a.m when she woke us up to change over because PHCN had brought the light, she then went upstairs and started complaining of chest pain. At this point, she started breathing awkwardly…” he said.
She was then rushed to a hospital in Ogba, a mere ten minutes drive from their Magodo residence but would eventually give up the ghost without recieving treatment.
He continued, “Her elder sister who is a nurse attended to her and gave her first aid but her breathing was still laboured so we decided to take her to the hospital. First, we went to Blue Cross Hospital at Ogba but the staff we saw were unresponsive. I was shocked to see their unconcerned countenance. When we saw that they were not ready to help us so we left and drove to County Hospital. A doctor saw her there, checked her pulse and said she was still breathing but that they had no facilities to treat her. So he referred us to Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Ikeja.”
As he sobbed softly, Onome further narrated that LASUTH was not of help either. “When we got to Lasuth at about 4 am, they also wasted our time for over 40 minutes and by the time they were ready to treat her, we had she had stopped breathing.”
“The pain is worse for me because none of the three hospitals treated the case as an emergency. In fact, I have given up on Nigeria because they all had up to three hours to save my mum, how can over three hospitals in Lagos not have the right facility to treat breathing problems?- None of them even had a stretcher, I am just totally done with this country.”
Onome further explained that he also lost a family friend last month due to the carelessness of some doctors.
‘It is even worse for me because this also happened last month to my friend who lost her sister due to wrong administration of drugs, how can over three hospitals in Lagos not have the right facility to treat breathing problems. This says a lot about the situation of the Health Sector of Nigeria as a country’ he said.
Efe was Ras Kimono’s second wife who had a daughter with him after his first marriage crashed. Like he, she adopted the Rastafarian lifestyle and was at the forefront of his burial ceremonies before she herself joined him, three months later.