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Fallen Benga musician, Joseph Kamaru to be laid to rest on October 11

The Members of Parliament, Muturi  Kigano (left), Maina Kamanda  and Alice  Wahome when they  visited  Veteran Benga Musician, Jospeh Kamaru in hospital in July this year, Kamaru died on October 3, 2018. File Photo/KNA

Renown benga musician, Joseph Kamaru will be laid to rest on October 11th in Murang’a county .

Burial preparations for Kamaru who died on October 3rd have been completed and the function is expected to take place in his farm at Kaharati area of Kigumo sub county, Murang’a.

Local County Commissioner (CC), John  Elung’ata has confirmed that the Head of State will be among mourners who  will see final journey of the veteran musician.

Elung’ata  told KNA that the burial is expected to be attended by other government officials and musicians from across the country.

Kamaru  aged at 79, was suffering from Parkinson Plus syndrome and passed on in a Nairobi hospital where he was receiving treatment.

The benga maestro has been eulogised by Kenyans as a legend whose music helped shape the cultural, social and political scenery of the country.

Fans have also hailed his music as a kind that has a gone a long way in preserving the Agikuyu culture.

Kamaru   started his singing career in 1965 and became a hit in the 1980, making friends with the then President Jomo  Kenyatta and his successor Daniel Moi.

His signature vocals remained favourite to many even after a crop of younger artistes hit the market as the thousands of songs that he recorded continued to make sales undeterred.

In his honour, his music has been endlessly played on some local radio stations and enjoyed by revelers in clubs.

“Kamaru  was a poet extraordinaire. His knowledge of the Kikuyu language, wit, vocabulary, idioms and proverbs, history, botany and other aspects of culture can only be compared to William Shakespeare in the English language. His mastery of the guitar was legendary,” attributed Murang’a Assembly Speaker, Nduati Kariuki in his eulogy.

Kamaru’s health started failing last year and in April  when rumours went around that he has died before the musician came out to dismiss the rumours.

In  July, MPs Maina Kamanda (nominated), Muturi Kigano (Kangema) and Alice Wahome (Kandara) appealed to the government to provide medical aid to the musician after he was admitted in hospital.

Kamaru  was born in Kangema district in 1939 and was married two wives, Susan Wangari and the late Teresia Wanjiku; and he has been survived by four children.

By  Bernard  Munyao

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