Remembering the Kenyan musical pioneer E-Sir, 16 years on - The Sauce
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Remembering the Kenyan musical pioneer E-Sir, 16 years on

Exactly 16 years ago today, Kenya lost one of its high-flying musicians E-Sir, to a tragic road accident on the Nakuru-Nairobi Highway at the tender age of 21.

On the fateful Sunday, E-Sir was traveling back to Nairobi from Nakuru where he had performed at the Dimples Club the previous evening during the Miss Tourism Nakuru contest.

Popular Kenyan musician Nameless survived the fatal accident, escaping with just a broken collar bone. E-Sir died alongside a friend, Kevin Kiiru Karanja and would be turning 38 this year. E-Sir’s remains were laid to rest at the Kariokor Muslim Cemetery.

The legendary E-Sir was a Kenyan hip hop artist. He was born Issah Mmari Wangui on May 20th, 1981 and died on the 16th of 2003. He was the elder brother to fellow Kenyan rapper Habib. He was famous for his lyrical ability and command of the Swahili language as well as Sheng.

To date, E-Sir is remembered for changing the game in the Kenyan music scene. Long after his death, he is still widely regarded as one of the best rappers to emerge on the Kenyan hip hop scene.

The ‘Saree’ hitmaker was born of a Kenyan mother, Damaris Wangui, and a Tanzanian father, Amin Mmari. “I always encouraged and supported him, and he was always willing to take my advice,” said Damaris after her son’s death.

E-Sir attended St Anne’s Junior Academy and later Brookehouse Senior School in Nairobi where he honed his musical skills.

He made his debut on the music scene in 1999 with ‘Jo Nimefika’, which he released with Ogopa Deejays Productions the following year in 2000. E-Sir’s maiden performance came courtesy of one Evans Odhiambo Ombajo, a former councilor in Nairobi.

Through his brief musical career, E-Sir won three Kisima Awards in 2003. He was also nominated at the Kora Awards 2003 for Best East African Artist and in the 2004 Tanzania Music Awards for Best East African Album ‘Nimefika’.

His album ‘Nimefika’, was released posthumously two months after his demise. The album includes the collabo mega hits ‘Moss Moss’ featuring Brenda, ‘Boomba Train’ featuring Nameless and ‘Kamata’ featuring Mr. Lenny. This album has made a significant contribution to the Kenya music industry by redefining local music. Ever timeless, ‘Nimefika’ has set the pace on sales for Kenya Urban Music as we know it today.


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