May 6, 2021

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Kikuyu Benga musician Albert Gacheru “Wamaitu” laid to rest

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Kikuyu benga musician Albert Gacheru “Wamaitu” was laid to rest in a joint funeral ceremony with his elder brother Basilio Ngunjiri in Gathanji, Ol-Joro Orok constituency.

The funeral services was conducted at their mother’s home before they were each laid to rest separately in their nearby farms.

A majority of mourners who had turned up for the burial ceremony were turned away by security officers as they moved in to ensure that the Ministry of Health protocols on COVID-19 pandemic were strictly followed.

Gacheru, he of the “Mwendwa wakwa mariru” fame among other hits died on 6th April at a Nairobi hospital after losing the battle against chronic pneumonia.

His elder brother Basilio Ngunjiri on the other hand died a day later as he received treatment at Ol-Kalou’s JM Memorial County Hospital over COVID-19 related complications.

Residents and musicians present eulogized the two brothers as dedicated and loving persons who were always ready to work and support the community.

Directors of the musician’s Tamko Sacco and the Music Copyright Society of Kenya said the deceased was a dedicated defender of musician’s right and recognition.

Tamko Sacco Chairman Epha Maina said the music industry had lost a dedicated artist which he said was a big blow to the music industry in the Country.

John Mwangi, one of the directors of the Music Copyright society of Kenyans (MCSK) echoed the sentiments saying Gacheru had demonstrated good leadership in the music industry and the welfare of artists.

Gacheru aka Wamaitu died at the age of 59 years and was famed for his popular hits such as “Mwendwa wakwa Mariru” “Mumunya” “Ni ndaguteire” and “Wairimu” among others.

He served as the producer behind artists such as the late Queen Jane, the late John De’mathew and gospel singers Mary Wambiu and Shari martin among a host of other musicians.

Born in Nyandarua County, the trained accountant who also pursued Law at the Mt. Kenya University has been fighting for the rights of musicians and streamlining the copyrights Act in an effort to protect both the musicians and producers.

Gacheru had also expressed interest to contest for a political seat in the forthcoming 2022 general elections.

Residents recounted how he would contribute in church and community fund-raisers as well as offer financial support to needy children.

 

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