The Jakarta Post
Veteran comedian Eko Koeswoyo, popularly known as Eko DJ, passed away on Monday night at the age of 65 following a yearlong battle with kidney failure. (Kapanlagi.com/File)
Indonesia’s comedy scene is in mourning once again. Veteran comedian Eko Koeswoyo, popularly known as Eko DJ, passed away on Monday night at the age of 65 following a yearlong battle with kidney failure, according to his daughter Dewi Sari Krisnandaru.
“Maybe now is the time for him to finally rest in peace. This is all God’s will,” Dewi said as quoted by tribunnews.com. She said that in his final days, Eko refused to go to hospital to undergo his dialysis procedure, which he regularly did on Tuesday and Friday every week.
“He refused to go for the dialysis procedure on Friday. He said he was very tired. I insisted he do it but he became angry,” Dewi said.
She said Eko might have had a hunch that his time was about to come and therefore he opted to stay at home with his loved ones.
Following the news of Eko’s departure, mourners began to gather at his residence on Jl. Taman Malaka Selatan in Pondok Kelapa, East Jakarta, on Tuesday morning to pay their final respects. Among those mourners were legendary comedians such as Tarzan, Tukul Arwana, Daus Mini, Kadir, Doyok and Gogon.
Eko’s burial took place at the Pondok Kelapa cemetery in East Jakarta on Tuesday.
Eko was mostly known as a member of the country’s renowned comedy troupe, Srimulat, where he honed his comic craft. He later became a household name for his role as Pak Baroto in the 1997 comedy series Jinny oh Jinny.
One of Eko’s former colleagues from Srimulat, Tarzan, remembered Eko as a naturally gifted comedian.
“There are many memories of him. One of them is his ability to spark laughter naturally,” Tarzan said. “He was very gifted with words and puns. This is why he could still survive working in the comedy industry until now. A very communicative and smart comedian.”
Tarzan said he regarded Eko as a mentor who paved the way for him to enter the comedy scene in Jakarta at a time when both of them were just starting out as comedians.
“I entered Jakarta in 1981 and Eko was a couple of years ahead of me. He came from a ludruk comedy background. We got together in Srimulat in 1995. The first time I met him was when I was still in Surabaya [East Java],” he said.
Tarzan said his first impression of Eko was that he was very friendly and very easygoing.
“Over the years, his career had always been stable. Even when our comedy industry was at its lowest point, Eko still managed to earn a living from comedy and had his own car,” Tarzan said.
Perhaps what Tarzan misses the most about his fallen comrade is more than just his comedic gift but also the kindness of his heart.
“He always helped his friends when they were in trouble. He was a very kind human being above all,” Tarzan said.
Separately, presenter Indra Bekti remembered Eko as a man who remained humble despite his success.
“He lived a simple life despite the fact that he had been blessed with a lot of gifts and good fortune. He was very famous but he never let fame go to his head,” Indra said.