When you mention Murang’a, two vvillages hit your head; Rwathia, which is a home of seven richest men in the country and Gatunyu which is a home to popular Kikuyu musicians.
The late John DeMathew hailed from this village. Lets however dig deeper to see who pioneered the late singer.
It all started by the legendary John Ndichu who paved way for the vernacular artistes alongside John Kamaru. The singer not only inspired his fellow village youth to venture into music but also exposed them. Kimani Thomas was one the beneficiaries.
Kimani became a household name in the Kikuyu land and in return mentored his brother DK Wamaria into the industry. DK became another sensation in Mount Kenya region in the 1970s. He recruited talented singers from his local such as Peter Kigia, Joseph Wamumbe and Timona Mburu to form a band. The three became successful solo acts later on.
It’s from Wamumbe, Timona and another Gatanga allumni that DeMathew got to be known for helping him do his first projects Jennifer and My Dear Nduku.
Other popular singers from Gatanga inlude Makibi James, Waithaka Mboce, Karanja David and Joseph Kariuki among many others.
The musicians remain united despite their fame and riches taken into consideration that the late John DeMathew had just attended a fundraiser for Peter Kigia’s ailing child.