The late TikTok content creator Brian Chira
Image: Instagram

In an era where social media intertwines with mourning, the traditional solemnity of a funeral can take on unexpected dimensions, especially when the deceased has shared their life with a vast online audience.

Such was the case for Brian Chira, a vibrant presence on TikTok whose untimely passing in a road accident near Nairobi garnered significant attention.

Ordinarily, a burial for a young orphan like Brian might draw only those intimately acquainted with him.


However, his virtual charisma had attracted over 400,000 followers in just a year, forming a devoted community dubbed the "Chira Clan."

These followers, deeply impacted by his candid and humorous videos discussing social and personal topics, rallied to contribute over $60,000 for his funeral expenses.

Yet, what ensued at his burial in the remote village of Gitei, Kenya, astonished even the organizers.


Initially expecting 500 attendees, they were overwhelmed by more than 5,000, predominantly youths, who flooded the event.

Despite their contribution to funding the funeral, some of these attendees behaved disruptively, overshadowing the solemnity of the occasion.

Reports emerged of drunkenness, rowdiness, and a lack of respect for traditional burial customs, as attendees clamored for selfies and livestreamed the event.

Even attempts by religious figures to conduct the service were hindered by the chaotic atmosphere.

Brian's journey to notoriety began in 2022 when a viral interview showcased his eloquence and engaging personality.

However, his life was marked by adversity, including orphanhood, financial struggles, and battles with depression and HIV.

Despite his challenges, he leveraged his platform to share his experiences authentically, albeit sometimes courting controversy.

Tragically, Brian's life was cut short in March 2024, prompting an outpouring of grief from his online community.

However, their behavior at his funeral left many villagers and family members dismayed.

Disrespectful conduct, including smoking, drinking, and using offensive language, marred the proceedings, prompting criticism of the TikTok community's perceived abandonment of Brian in life and exploitation of his death.

Ultimately, amidst the chaos, the true purpose of the funeral—a dignified farewell to a young life lost—was overshadowed.

Despite financial contributions meant to support Brian's family, the aftermath left a bitter taste, with damages incurred and little solace offered to those grieving his loss.