NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 4 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has led leaders in mourning legendary musician Joseph Kamaru, describing his death as a blow to the Kenyan music industry.
In his condolence message to the family, relatives, friends and fans, President Kenyatta described the popular musician as a “gifted artiste who mentored and cultivated the talents of many Kenyan musicians.”
The Head of State said the late Kamaru used his talent as a musician to address morality while giving the best in entertainment.
“It was a blessing for us as a country to have had such a talented artiste who played a big role in promoting the Kenyan brand of music. Indeed, we will miss his educative music which was unique in many aspects,” said President Kenyatta.
The President said the late Kamaru, who started his singing career in 1956, was one of the most popular musicians in the 1980’s with his vocals rising to become a signature tune in most music stores.
“He recorded nearly 2,000 songs addressing morality and offering life teachings. The songs stamped his status as a Kikuyu music legend who touched the hearts of music lovers with classic hits such as Gathoni and Charia Ungi,” he said.
President Kenyatta pointed out that although the younger generation may not be familiar with his music, those who grew up in the 1980s will recall he was a force to reckon with as far as vernacular classic music goes.
The President also said as a patriotic Kenyan, late Kamaru would be remembered for his contribution in the expansion of democratic space through his music.
“He was a courageous Kenyan who used his music talent to implore those in authority to fulfil their mandate by heeding to the voice of the masses,” said the President.
Deputy President William Ruto stated that Kamaru was a father figure to many musicians, whom he took under his wing and helped them record and publish their songs.
“His place in Kenya’s folklore is assured. We mourn a great musician. Condolences to his family, friends and the music fraternity,” he stated.
The DP pointed out that the Kenyan music industry is poorer following his death.
“The vibrant performer wowed audiences with his lyrics that spoke to morality and life lessons. He generated great vibe, which informed, entertained and celebrated the Kikuyu culture.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga described Kamaru as his friend, and hailed his music as one that inspired generations in central Kenya and beyond to reflect deeply on profound political, cultural and social issues.
Kamaru, who died last night aged 79, started his singing career in 1956 and was one of the most popular musicians in the 1980’s with his vocals rising to become a signature tune in most music stores.
Kamaru aged 79, passed on at the MP Shah Hospital where he had been admitted since Monday after he fell ill.