Honouring legendary Kikuyu benga musician Joseph Kamaru

 Joseph Kamaru

Musician Joseph Kamaru entertains guests during Madaraka celebrations in Nyeri on June 1, 2017. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A special launch ceremony for a mausoleum built in honour of the legendary Kikuyu benga musician Joseph Kamaru is due to be held today at his home in Kaharati, Kigumo, Murang’a County.

The unveiling of the mausoleum will be graced by not only fellow musicians who are members of the Tamco but also Kikuyu elders, family members and well-wishers.

Speaking to Saturday Nation yesterday, musician Epha Maina, who is the chairman of Tamco (Talented Musicians and Composers) said they had chosen the day to honour Kamaru as a culmination of the month-long activities to remember and honour him.

“Being three years since his departure, we found it ideal to have the launch ceremony of the mausoluem on the last day of the month that he passed on,’’ he said.

The ceremony, also to be graced by the patron of Kikuyu Council and Kiama Kiama, Mr Kinyua wa Kinyua, is set to start at 10am.

Later in the afternoon, various leading Kikuyu artistes are set to converge at the Golden Palm Hotel at Kenol also in Murang’a County for a special concert to celebrate the life and music of Kamaru alongside other fallen Kikuyu music heroes.

According to musician Epha Maina, among those expected are Ben Githae, Peter Kigia, Joyce wa Mamaa, Dick Munyonyi (of Firirida song fame) and Kui wa Nganga. The event is set start at 3pm until late,

Kamaru, who died on October 2, 2018, will be remembered as among the Kikuyu musicians who were in the forefront of promoting both Kikuyu folk songs and benga music.

Some of his popular songs are Muhiki wa Mikosi, Nuu Ucio, Kiania Utuku and Marua wa Gathoni, Besides releasing secular songs, Kamaru also released several gospel songs.

His ancestral home in Kangema, also in Murang’a, is revered to have produced Queen Jane, also a top benga musician. Notably, she was mentored by Kamaru, having performed alongside him during her earlier days in music.