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Nine things you may have forgotten about E-Sir

Exactly 12 years ago today, the country was plunged into mourning after news broke that then high-flying musician E-Sir had been killed in a tragic road accident on the Nakuru-Nairobi Highway.

On the fateful Sunday, E-Sir was travelling back to Nairobi from Nakuru where he had performed at the Dimples Club the previous evening during the Miss Tourism Nakuru contest.

To date, E-Sir is credited with revolutionizing Kenya’s musical scene. These are the nine things you may have forgotten about E-Sir.

1. Born Issah Mmari, E-Sir was among the pioneering young musicians behind the emergence of the now popular Kenyan hip-hop music. The phenomenal popularity of his music disproved the myth that Kenyan music could never compete with imported pop.

2. Nameless survived the fatal accident, escaping with just a broken collarbone. E-Sir died at 21 alongside a friend, Kevin Kiiru Karanja. He’d be 33 today.

3. E-Sir’s remains were interred at the Kariokor Muslim Cemetery.

4. E-Sir was born of a Kenyan mother, Damaris Wangui, and a Tanzanian father, Amin Mmari. “I always encouraged and supported him, and he was always willing to take my advice,” said Damaris after her son’s death.

5. E-Sir attended St Anne’s Junior Academy and later Brookehouse Senior School in Nairobi where he honed his musical skills.

6. He made his debut on the music scene in 1999 with Jo Nimefika, which he released with Ogopa Deejays Productions the following year.

7. E-Sir’s maiden performance came courtesy of one Evans Odhiambo Ombajo, a former councillor in Nairobi.

In early 1999, Ombajo was managing a musician who failed to show up for a scheduled performance in Mombasa. The promoter had agreed to carry E-Sir to the event after much pestering.

When his star attraction failed to show up, he ushered E-Sir to the stage. The crowd was ecstatic and a star was born!

8. E-Sir dated Yvonne Nkatha, then a 18-year-old first year law student at the University of Nairobi.

“I will always remember his courage and determination, which shone through some of the songs he composed,” she said.

9. His album Nimefika, was released posthumously two months after his demise.