Celebrated Kikuyu benga musician Joseph Kamaru, has died at the MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi where he had been admitted since Monday after he fell ill. His son, Stephen Maina, has confirmed.
The legendary musician who was diagnosed with Parkinson plus a nerve disease which the family believe is the main cause of his death, died at age, 79.
President Uhuru Kenyatta describes legendary musician, Joseph Kamaru’s 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.
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.
“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.