375 songs on, De’Mathew rests today
Muranga County is best known for the lush green hills, the endless farm lands full of crops such as bananas, tea, coffee and fruits.
A county so rich and full of abundant but what is least known is that this county is home to be the cradle of Benga music popularly known as mugithi.
The county has given us legendary Gikuyu hit makers such as Daniel Kamau (DK), the late John Ndichu, Peter Kigia, Sarah Thuo and the latest casualty is John Mwangi Ng’ang’a popularly known as De’Mathew who died recently in a car accident at the age of 52.
The benga musician gave his fans hit after hit with a career spanning over 30 years; he leaves behind an array of more than 375 songs from his 50 albums produced to date.
His best hits included songs such as My Dear Nduku, Njata Yakwa, Pin Number, Niguo Kuri, Niturihe Thiiri, Ruhiu Rwa Guka, among other.
The songs touch on various topics such as love, death, politics, joy and happiness not forgetting some very controversial naughty songs.
His music career kicked off in 1986 with his first hit Jennifer which he had composed while in class 7, and his most recent hit in 2019 tilted Arume Twi Na U?
While growing up in Nakuru County, Subukia in a village called Mbogo-ini, he used to farm and sell clothes to make ends meet but he stayed true to his love for music as he formed a band and dubbed it “Mbogo-ini stars”.
He moved to Nairobi in 1987 and recorded his first album titled “Rekeria Wendo”.
His love for music saw him with fellow benga musicians come together to form the Talented Musicians and Composers Sacco (TAMCO) to look into the general welfare of musicians and their financial well-being.
Through his John De’Mathew Foundation, he promoted peace and cohesion through his music and peace campaigns in various parts of the country.
He has won a number of awards for his music most notably the head state commendation on 2018.
“Thank you for helping me find love forever, you have left me a piece of you in our children, to the greatest husband and most wonderful friend,” tribute from his first wife Sarafina Wairim John.