Kikuyu musician Albert Gacheru has died at the Kenyatta National Hospital following a long illness.
The musician is well known for the song Mwenda wakwa marirũ, which was a hit in the 1990s. Part of the song’s lyrics, Gacheru had indicated that most people appreciated their loved ones when they had died rather than when they are still alive.
Artist turned member of perliament, Jaguar has mourned Gacheru saying he was a great inspiration to him when he was a young and budding artiste.
“It is with profound grief that I learn of the passing on of the legendary artiste Albert Gacheru Wamaitu. 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.” tweeted Jaguar.
Other songs Gacheru composed include; Mumunya, Hurry Hurry Waithera, Nindaguteire, Indo ciakwa among others.
This songs placed Gacheru on the map both locally and internationally, having been played by foreign radio stations including Voice of America.
Such success made Gacheru to believe that he would not only earn himself a big name, but also big money from his music. He was terribly wrong.
He however found out that River Road pirates were determined to bring his music career to its knees through the sale of pirated audio cassettes and later, compact discs (CDs) and thus keep him eternally impoverished.
His music shops and company premises at the Wamaitu Production Studio along River Road were burnt down or vandalized at least three times and expensive equipment stolen.
In a bid to curb pirating of his songs, Gacheru enrolled for a law degree at Mount Kenya University at the age of 50. He graduated and went the Kenya School of Law in 2016.
“I realized that this country has enough laws but few people, even those in business, understand the laws that relate to their businesses. I want to bring about a change in the laws governing copyright and social economic affairs of the country,” he stated in a previous interview.
It is however not clear if Gacheru got to practice law or not.
Through his record label, Wamaitu Productions, the deceased helped produce musicians such as the late John DeMatthew and Queen Jane, Shari Martin and Mary Wambui.