Steven Charles Kanumba (8 January 1984 – 7 April 2012) was a Tanzanian actor and director of Sukuma heritage, born in the Shinyanga Region. Kanumba died in 2012 at the age of 28, for which actress Elizabeth Michael was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison in November 2017. Over 30,000 people were estimated to have attended his funeral. He was described as “Tanzania’s most popular film star”, and appeared in Nollywood films.
Kanumba was born into a Sukuma family in the Shinyanga Region in Northern Tanzania. His father was Charles Kanumba and his mother was Flora Mutegoa. Kanumba had three older sisters. He began his studies at Bugoyi Primary School and continued with his secondary studies at Mwadui Secondary School, later transferring to Vosa Mission Secondary School. He joined Jitegemee High School for his high level education. He spoke three languages fluently: Swahili, Sukuma and English.
Kanumba died after he fell in his bedroom on 7 April 2012, apparently from a head injury after falling and hitting his head on the wall. Elizabeth “Lulu” Michael, 17-year-old girlfriend at that time, was charged with manslaughter in connection with the death. Kanumba was taken unconscious to Muhimbili National Referral Hospital where he was declared dead. Michael was arrested and stayed in remand for almost a year for investigation. Later, the charges were amended to involuntary manslaughter.
In January 2013 Michael was granted bail. In October 2017 She testified to the High Court of Tanzania that after Kanumba confronted her, he took her to his room by force and started beating her with a sword while he was intoxicated, she claimed that Kanumba fell down and hit his head while beating her with the sword. In 2017, Lulu was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his death and sentenced to two years in prison. Her sentence was then changed from two years imprisonment to community services and she was released from jail on 12 May 2018, after serving at least a year in jail.
His funeral was attended by around 30,000 people including the first lady of Tanzania, Salma Kikwete,Vice President Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, and the minister for culture and sport, Emmanuel Nchimbi. Kanumba was buried in Kinondoni Cemetery.
Steven Kanumba’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 Million, according to the list of richest Tanzanian celebrities.