Another popular Kenyan musician bites the dust: The Standard

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The 80-year-old was best known for his Angelike Twist hit song released in the early 1960s.

Legendary musician of the popular Kenyan Twist music style John Amutabi (Nzenze) -pictured has died.
Nzenze died at Mukumu Mission Hospital at about 2pm, where he had been hospitalised for a month, battling hypertension and stomach ulcers.
The 80-year-old was best known for his Angelike Twist hit song released in the early 1960s.
His younger sister Mary Mwanga said Mr Amutabi was operated on four weeks ago on his prostrate, and was recuperating well before his situation deteriorated on Friday leading to his death on Saturday.
“He has been having stomach ulcers that have disturbed his health for quite some while. When we eventually took him to hospital, it was found that he had other problems with his prostate that called for an operation,” Ms Mwanga said.
His first cousin Paul Ingatia said since moving from Nairobi and settling in the village, Amutabi has had challenges financially, which contributed to further deterioration of his health.
“He was completely forgotten after moving to the village. While in Nairobi, he could perform in some clubs and get his daily bread, but as his age advanced, he could no longer perform,” Mr Ingatia said.
He urged the government to hasten and pay the family some royalties that were announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta so they can clear his hospital bills and give him a befitting send off for a hero.
Nzenze retired from active music in 2016 and had been living at his home since then, leading a quiet lifestyle.
His other hit songs included Marashi ya Warembo, Maoni ya Twist, Kumbuka Nyumbani and Wanawake Kuwakimbia Mabwana.
Area leaders have eulogised Nzenze as one of the pioneers of music among his Tiriki sub tribe, noting he had been a living hero who did not struggle for fame.
“Despite Nzenze producing hit songs well before most of us were born, we have lived listening to his songs for many years. He has been our icon in Vihiga County and as a community, we are sad to have lost him,” Vihiga Senator George Khaniri said.

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