Veteran Kenyan rapper Chris Kantai was laid to rest at his parents’ home in Oloolua in Ngong, Kajiado County last Friday.
His burial was attended by, among others, top celebrities in Kenya’s entertainment industry.
“Dead before his prime, but leaves behind what cannot die” were the words the rapper’s friends, family and colleagues used to eulogise the legendary artiste.
The musician’s manager, Wanjiku Thuku, told mourners that Kantai got saved after battling alcoholism.
The death of the rapper’s elder brother, Kokitash, also contributed toward him receiving Christ, said Kantai’s handler.
“He was planning to return to the music scene this year,” said Ms Thuku.
Chris Kantai had been admitted to a rehab centre, where he successfully triumphed over alcohol addiction after completing a one-year programme.
Contemporary music artiste Juliani eulogised Kantai as a man “full of life”.
“He was full of life. I am not mourning Kantai today because we were in the same industry, but rather because I have lost a brother and friend; someone who introduced me into the rap world,” said Juliani, whose voice was shaking when paying his tribute.
Gospel artiste K. Force referred to Kantai as his “mentor”.
“Chris [Kantai] mentored me. When I was in secondary school, I would sing to his songs word by word. Once I completed high school education, I looked for him [to mentor me]. And, today I am who I am because of Chris Kantai,” said K. Force while weeping.
Kantai died on February 27 at the St. Francis Community Hospital in Kasarani.
He had, prior to his admission to hospital, complained of abdominal pain.
Kantai succumbed to breathing complications.
He is survived by a wife and three children – a daughter with his wife in Kenya and twin children he got from a previous relationship in the US, where he stayed for a while.
Chris Kantai is credited for introducing into the music market big-name rappers such as STL.