It was a sorrowful weekend for the country’s TV and theatre industry players as they came to terms with the news of the sudden demise of two celebrated actors, Joseph Olita (70) and George Tyson (41).
OUTSTANDING – JOSEPH OLITA
Joseph Olita is popularly known for his outstanding role portraying Idi Amin in the film The Rise And Fall Of Idi Amin (1981). He is also featured in Sheena- Queen Of The Jungle in 1984 and Mississippi Masala (1991) which also featured international movie star Denzel Washington, Captain Of Nakara among others.
Olita passed away on Sunday morning due to high blood pressure. It’s reported that he had gone home last week to prepare for the burial of his mother when he became ill on Saturday evening.
THE LEGENDARY, GEORGE TYSON OKUMU (TYSO)
George Tyson, popularly known as Tyso by fellow thespians, has been a key player in the growth of not just Kenya but East Africa’s film industry. He cut out a niche for himself as a producer/director in the 90’s and most of the celebrated actors and industry players we have today, like actor/comedian Churchill, TV Anchor Jimmy Gathu and theatre director Victor Ber among others, have worked under Tyson’s wings in the early stages of their careers.
Tyso was the founder of Vision Theatre Academy which performed set books for Kenyan secondary schools. He later relocated to neigbouring Tanzania to do what he knew best and thrust himself fully in the country’s film industry, which was still emerging.
PRODUCER OF TANZANIA’S FIRST MOVIE
The late George Tyson
He produced the first ever Tanzanian movies, Girlfriend and Dilema respectively, productions that marked the foundation of the film industry in Tanzania which has since then grown as an employment hub for many youths. The industry has allegedly offered employment opportunities for almost 70 % of the youths in Tanzania.
Tyso, who at the time of his death was working as a technical director for TV 1, died as the result of a tragic road accident while on his way from Dodoma to donate desks to some schools in the country. The vehicle he was travelling in together with eight other passengers who are part of the crew of the Mboni Talkshow, had a tyre bust and rolled four times.
All the other passengers are said to have survived but unfortunately Tyson died on his way to the hospital.
Below are some of the TV programs Tyso produced in Tanzania’s BONGOHOOD; Wanawake Live, Anneth Talkshow, Mboni Talk Show, and The One Show among others.
The acting fraternity is expected to converge today at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT) from 2pm to make arrangements for his burial. According to the family, Tyso’s body will arrive at the JKIA tomorrow and the funeral will be on 14th July at his home in Siaya.