By NDUNG’U GACHANE
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In efforts to remember and honour fallen Kikuyu Benga musician John Mwangi Ng’ang’a, popularly known as John DeMathew, Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has sponsored a music show (mugithi night) on Friday before the singer’s burial on Saturday.
The event, according to the county boss, will give DeMathew’s fans a chance to remember him by playing all his music.
In his career spanning over 30 years, DeMathew had produced over 50 albums.
He died on August 18, 2019 after his car hit a trailer-truck near Thika’s Blue Post Hotel.
Artistes drawn from Mt Kenya region will also attend the Friday event which will be held at Golden Palm Hotel in Kenol town and which will go on for the whole night.
Fans of the late musician have also formed a WhatsApp group where they are pledging goats which will be slaughtered during the event.
According to Governor Wa Iria, the event will remind the Agikuyu people of the life and times of the late DeMathew whom local leaders regarded as a seer or a Kikuyu prophet.
“We want to remember him by listening to all his songs which play a major role in uniting the Agikuyu community as well as advising and entertaining our people,” the governor said.
Kikuyu pop singer John DeMathew who died in a road crash in Thika on August 18, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
According to the governor, the DeMathew was the bona fide leader of the artistes from central Kenya after the death of Joseph Kamaru last year.
“The late was not your ordinary musician. He took the mantle from the late Joseph Kamaru and as a matter of fact, it is only after Kamaru’s death that a sacco was formed and DeMathew was appointed to be its chairperson,” the governor said.
Mr Wa Iria was named the patron of the musicians’ sacco known as Tamco Sacco and was instrumental in its formation and operations.
The governor has lauded DeMathew’s leadership saying seven months after the sacco was formed, they have been able to buy land in Kenol town at a cost Sh8 million. He said he will continue working closely with the artistes to ensure they realise their dream.
The sacco was launched in January this year at Thika Greens in Murang’a where President Uhuru Kenyatta, the governor and other leaders sent their contributions.
During the launch of the Sacco, Mr Wa Iria advised the artistes to put more emphasis on investments than offering credit services to their clients to prevent the society from collapsing of as has been witnessed with other similar ventures in the recent times.
During the sacco’s launch, the late DeMathew said they intended build a recording studio, commercial shops and conference rooms where members will be benefitting from the proceeds on monthly basis.
“We have been mocked and laughed at but we are determined in joining hands and growing together so that never again shall we be seeking fundraisers for the hospital bills and burials of musicians,” he said.
DeMathew will be buried on Saturday at his ancestral home in Mukurwe, Gatanga in a ceremony where the President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders are expected.