13 years ago, today, arguably the greatest Kenyan artiste of my generation, E-Sir was killed in a road accident along Nairobi-Nakuru highway. He was not your ordinary musician, he was a lyrical genius. He would weave through his lines with such finesse that it was absolutely difficult not to like his music.
It was E-Sir who creatively introduced the the phrase “Uko freshi lakini” in music. Back in his days, no one believed in the kind of music E-Sir was creating. But E-Sir was a bridge, a transition from old to new-a new and comfortable platform which has helped create many talents that we idolize today. A young man who loved donning a snapback and baggy pants-of course sagged to the comfort of his time, E-sir truly left an indelible imprint in the heart and souls of Kenyans because of his music.
When he sung ‘Kamata,’ the old would tap their feet on the ground and snap their fingers, perhaps afraid of the ominous warning of being musically humbled: “kuwaka, ka moto tutawaka, na wote waliongea takataka wata….shhhh…huu mwaka.. When FM stations played the song Mos-Mos, the young would gyrate their bodies-‘kuku-style.’ E-Sir started, nobody could stop him. Sadly though, 13 years ago, death put a full stop to E-sir’s talent just as the motif of his music was taking shape.
What I can never forget is that when he passed on, parliament honored E-Sir with a minute of silence, evidence that his music had capacity to humanize politicians. E-Sir belongs to history pages of Kenya music.
“Ukikatika na hii ngoma, just be cool as a cucumber…..”