Kenyans have taken to social media to express their condolences and relive their memories of the fallen benga musician Joseph Kamaru, who died on Thursday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogised the late Kamaru as a talented artiste, who used music to educate Kenyans on the importance of upholding morality.
“It was a blessing for us as a country to have had such a talented artiste who played a big role in promoting the Kenyan brand of music. Indeed we will miss his educative music which was unique in many aspects,” said President Kenyatta in his condolence statement.
Deputy President William Ruto said the nation has lost a legendary musician.
“The Kenyan music industry is poorer following the passing on of legendary musician Joseph Kamaru. The vibrant performer wowed audiences with his lyrics that spoke to morality and life lessons. He generated great vibe, which informed, entertained and celebrated the Kikuyu culture,” said Mr Ruto on Twitter.
NASA chief principal Raila Odinga described the late Kamaru as an entertainer whose music “inspired generations.”
“I have learnt of the passing of my friend and legendary musician Joseph Kamaru whose music inspired generations in central Kenya and beyond to reflect deeply on profound political, cultural and social issues. It is truly the end of an era. God rest his soul in peace,” said Mr Odinga on Twitter.
National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi, said Kamaru played an important role in placing Kikuyu music on the map.
“Condolences to the family and friends of legendary musician Joseph Kamaru. Kamaru led an unrivaled illustrious career spanning four decades, contributing immensely to the development of the folklore genre of music for entertainment and education. May his soul rest in peace,” tweeted Speaker Muturi.
Businessman Chris Kirubi said he remembers “grooving” to the late Kamaru’s music in the 80s.
“I am saddened by the death of legendary singer Joseph Kamaru. We grooved to his music in the 70’s & 80’s but most importantly we’ll remember the positive impact brought by the message in his music on political, social and cultural matters. Kenya has lost a music icon,” said Mr Kirubi on Twitter.
Other Kenyans also took to Twitter using the hashtag (#RIPKamaru) to mourn the musician.
Twitter user Lil Koima said: “Legends don’t die, they just leave a good legacy behind #RIPKamaru.”
Agnes Kagure said: “When I first met Kamaru, he wanted me to insure the fingers that played the guitar. That’s how serious he was about his music and its power to change lives. A star can never be dimmed. May your music and values shine brighter. A legend forever. #RIPKamaru.”
Mr. Kamaru died at the MP Shah Hospital early Thursday, where he had been admitted since Monday after falling ill.