Albert Gacheru Wamaitu, the revered benga artiste famed for his ‘Mwendwa Wakwa Mariru’ hit song is dead.
Wamaitu died at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) while receiving treatment on Tuesday morning.
Sources say that Wamaitu who was working with the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) had been battling a long-term illness.
The 59-year-old had been in the ICU for two months. He hailed from Nyandarua County.
Wamaitu was committed to fighting piracy in the country. He enrolled for a law degree at 50 years to make his dream of ending piracy come true.
He pursued the course at the Mount Kenya University and hoped to use the knowledge to better the implementation of music copyright laws in the country after his graduation in 2015.
Wamaitu released his first song in 1987 titled ‘Mumunya’ and it became very popular in Mt Kenya region.
He launched Wamaitu Productions which was the label that produced music for the late Queen Jane and John De Mathew. He shut it down after an arson attack in 1999.
His other popular songs include ‘Hurry Hurry Waithera’ and ‘Indo Ciakwa’.
Politicians led by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said Wamaitu was an icon in the development of Kenyan music industry.
“He dedicated his entire life to fighting music piracy. He even enrolled in law school so he is better equipped to fighting for music copyrights. He served at the Music Copyright Society of Kenya with utmost dedication. In the 11th parliament when I chaired a sub-committee of the ICT Committee to review the plight of our artists, he made a very passionate case for protecting local music. Now the Mariru hero Albert Gacheru Muru wa Wairimu is gone,” Kuria eulogized.
Starehe MP Charles Kanyi alias Jaguar said the deceased inspired him to do music.
“He was of great inspiration to me when I was a young and budding artiste. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans. May his soul Rest In Eternal Peace.”