President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga have sent a message of condolence to the family and relatives of legendary musician Joseph Kamaru who died saying his death is a blow to the Kenyan music industry.
Kamaru passed on at the MP Shah Hospital on Wednesday night where he had been admitted since Monday after he fell ill.
President Uhuru described the popular musician as a gifted artist who mentored and cultivated the talents of many musicians.
“It was a blessing for us as a country to have had such a talented artist 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,” Uhuru said in a statement to the media.
The President also said as a patriotic Kenyan, the 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,” the President said.
Raila described the late Kamaru as a hero whose music inspired generations in Central Kenya and beyond.
Deputy President William Ruto on the other hand, said the music industry is now poorer following the death of Kamaru.
He described him as a vibrant performer who wowed his audiences with his lyrics that spoke to morality and life lessons.
“He generated great vibe, which informed, entertained and celebrated the Kikuyu culture,” he said.
“Condolences to his family, friends and the music fraternity. Rest In Peace,” he added.
Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru said Kamaru was one of Kenya’s greatest musical icons and also an ambassador of Kikuyu culture.
“I fondly remember listening to some of his greatest hits like-caria ûngî, nuu ûcio and ke ngwîtîkîrie – as a young girl. He will be dearly missed,” she said.
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 musician was famed for classic hits such as Gathoni and Charia Ungi.