President Uhuru Kenyatta has led the country in mourning the death of the iconic veteran Kikuyu benga maestro legend, Joseph Kamaru, terming his passing on as a great loss to the country.
President Kenyatta spoke of Kamaru as a great talent saying death had robbed the nation of a gifted artiste who nurtured and mentored numerous talents with his music taking over airwaves since 80’s.
“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 the President.
Kamaru died at the age of 79 on Wednesday, 3rd October, at the MP Shah Hospital where he had been admitted after he was diagnosed with the Parkinson plus, a nerve disease.
Kamaru started his music career in 1956 and more than 2000 songs recorded. His music mostly addressed society vices and encouraged social uprightness.
Kamaru’s songs were mostly great hits such as Muhiki wa Mikosi, Gathoni, Charia Ungi, Tiga Kuhenia Igoti and Uthoni Wa Mbathini among others. His music originality always stood in each track he released and was a usual performing guest in weddings in the 70’s and 80’s even performing during President Kenyatta and Margaret’s ,now First Lady, marriage ceremony, a sign of how much the president loved Kamaru’s songs.
“The songs stamped his status as a Kikuyu music legend who touched the hearts of music lovers with classic hits some that the present generation might not be familiar with,” Mr Kenyatta eulogized Kamaru in the statement sent to Kamaru’s family adding that the late legend will be forever remembered for his contribution in the expansion of democratic space in Kenya through music.
President Kenyatta and Kamaru have been great friends over time which also saw the President clear the legend’s bill at Avenue Hospital in Nairobi in April.
Kamaru was born in 1939 and hailed from Kangema in Murang’a County and was passionate about safeguarding the kikuyu culture.
Musicians, Government officials, fans, family, friends, Kenyans in and out of the country have come together to celebrate a life that has been well lived, a legend that has gone too soon and a legacy that has been well outlined. Rest in peace, Kamaru.