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KIAMBU

Revealed: What Kamaru hated most

Martin Murigi
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The late benga musician Joseph Kamaru. [Source/ radiojambo.co.ke]

The late Joseph Kamaru spent the better part of his youthful life in clubs entertaining revellers.

For more than three decades, Kamaru Wa Wanjiru na Macharia, as fans fondly called him, was the vernacular pop king whose charming music spread beyond the boundaries of Gikuyuland.

The 'Muti Uyu' hitmaker was the most-sought after Kikuyu musician by bar owners due to his songs that were making waves across the country.

But unlike other musicians from the 'House of Mumbi' who are said to be notorious drunkards, Kamaru never drunk a single drop of alcohol.

According to veteran musician Daniel Kamau, popularly known as DK Wa Maria, for the 79 years Kamaru was in this world, he has never taken alcohol with intention to get drunk or for leisure.

"I met Kamaru in 1965 in a bar in Thika where he was the guest artist and from that day we became close friends. So close that at one time we used to share a single room in Ziwani Estate, Nairobi. But for the so many years I had known Kamaru, I have never seen him settle on a bottle of beer. I can confess that alcohol was the only thing he hated from the bottom of his heart," DK said in an interview with Inooro FM on Thursday.

Echoing similar sentiments, musician Kajohnnie Kariuki said the benga icon has been urging Kikuyu musicians to keep off beer, noting it was what has led many artists to descended into obscurity.

"He has been inviting us at his home to guide us but one thing he has never forgotten to tell us is to stop taking beer. He had always said alcohol was for dying people," Kariuki recalled.

Kamaru was buried on Thursday at his home in Kaharati village, Kigumo sub-county, Murang'a.

The legend passed away last week while undergoing treatment at the MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi.

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