John DeMathew Dead
Benga musician John DeMathew dies in road crash
John De Mathew whose real name was John Ng’ang’a was a Kenyan Kikuyu benga musician who died from a road accident in 19th August 2019 after his car rammed into a lorry along the Thika – Kenol Road near Thika’s Blue Post Hotel. De Mathew sustained head, legs and the chest injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival at Thika Nursing Home.
John De Mathew hails from Gatanga in Murang’a County and was born more than fifty years ago. He started off his musical career by the ‘My Dear Nduku’ single and has been composing and producing hit after hit for about 30 years now.
John De Mathew Death and Accident
Thika Base Commander Elenah Wamuyu said Demathew’s car rammed into a lorry near Blue Post Hotel. He was alone in the car.
Gatanga MP Ngugi Nduati said DeMathew was coming from a harambee that was held at Metro Bar in Thika in support of fellow musician Peter Kigia child’s medical bill.
The driver of the lorry said that he was on his way to Sagana from Athi river when a speeding vehicle hit him in the back.
“When I got here at Blue Post, a car belonging to De Mathew hit me at the back. He was removed from the car by good samaritans who rushed him to hospital as I waited for the traffic police to show up,” the driver told journalists at the scene.
John De Mathew and Tamco Sacco
Until his demise, DeMathew was the chairperson of the newly-launched Tamco Sacco that aims to uplift the welfare of musicians.
“We want to come together and join a Sacco to pool resources together so that when we die, our families do not resort to harambees to give us a decent send-off,” he said early this year at Thika Greens during the launch.
Epha Maina, a Kikuyu pop artiste, told the Nation that he spent the better part of Sunday evening together with DeMathew at the fundraiser in Thika.
Maina told the Nation that after the fundraiser, DeMathew was asked to sign some documents to begin the construction of a building at their newly bought land in Kenol but he did not and, instead, called for a meeting on Tuesday.
“I and some few musicians requested him to sign some documents to commence the construction of a building but he urged us to meet on Tuesday since it was late. I could not believe it when I received a call over his death,” Maina, an official of the Tamco Sacco told the Nation.
The sacco bought a land in Kenol, Murang’a County where they plan to build a music recording studio and a talent centre.
The musicians came up with the idea to form the sacco after the death of another Kikuyu Benga maestro Joseph Kamaru where they had to do a fundraiser to help his family give him a decent send off.
During the launch of the sacco, DeMathew said they would pool resources together to ensure that they would no longer have to fundraise to cater for the medical bills or to give one of their own a decent send off.
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“Never again shall we be conducting fundraisers to bury one of our own or to seek money for medical bills,” DeMathew said.
John De Mathew Biography
John De Mathew Education and Early Life
John De Mathew started his education at Mukurwe-ini (currently Githambia) Primary School. He proceeded to Naaro Secondary in Kandara and also schooled at Igikiro Secondary School. Before venturing into music as a career.
De’Mathew used to hawk vegetables at Nairobi’s Soko Mjinga market. He later abandoned the vegetable business and started selling meat in Kariobangi and then sold plastic shoes (Sandak) in Nakuru.
John De Mathew Wife and Children
John De mathew had two wives namely Sarafina and Caroline Waithera. He was popularly called “baba Shiku” meaning that he had a child called Wanjiku named after his mother. He is survived by three children.
John De Mathew Family
John De Mathew was born in Gathiru-ini village, Mukurwe-ini sub-location in Gatanga constituency, Murang’a county about 50 years ago.
He was the son of Matthew and the late Wanjiku. His name De’Mathew was coined from that of his father. He was the fourth born in a family of eight siblings.
John De Mathew Albums and Songs
According to those who knew him well and at a personal level, De’Mathew composed his first ever song while he was still in Class Seven.
His music career officially took off in December 1986 with the help of Timona Mburu and Joseph Wamumbe who helped the young artiste to release his first single, Jenifer. He proceeded to release his hit song My Dear Nduku in August 1987 which thrust him into the limelight and propelled him to fame.
During his time, De’Mathew’s recorded well over 50 albums and 375 songs under his name. He was arguably the most influential artiste from Central Kenya. He was best known for unleashing hit songs with hidden cultural, political and social messages.
John De Mathew Hit Songs
Some of John De Mathew biggest hits include:
- Nii Kii Wacokera?,
- Menye Menye,
- Jogoo Ya Town,
- Thii Biu,
- Nyina wa Carol,
- Simama Mama,
- Niwanyumire Thayu and
- Wituite Hiti.
John De Mathew Other Hit Songs Include
- My Brother,
- Mene Mene Tekeli,
- Njata Yakwa,
- Mami Ke Nguinire,
- Ruhiu Rwa Guka,
- Chiunguyu Iria Nene
- Ngucokia Ngatho.
John De Mathew Wealth
John De Mathew was among the wealthiest musicians in Kenya.
John De Mathew Age
John De Mathew was born on 1st June 1967 at Gathiru-ini, Village, Mukurwe Gatanga Constituency, Murang’a County, He was 52 years old at the time of his untimely death.
John De Mathew and Sabina Chege
John De Mathew was previously linked to Sabina Chege, a Kenyan politician and the Women’s representative for Murang’a County. Sabina who is currently married to Maina Gathito was featured in De ‘Mathew hit single, Njata Yakwa, now a popular mugithi song, in whose video Sabina appears, dancing and holding the musician, as he croons, “You are my star. My happiness is only with you.”
In an interview with Kameme TV in 2017, DeMathew said Ms Chege helped him rise in his music career. He insisted that the two were not in a love relationship.
John De Mathew Controversies
John De Mathew was in July 2012 arrested and charged alongside other Kikuyu musicians for composing and releasing a song that was deemed to be fueling hate speech.
The other two were musician John Muigai alias Muigai wa Njoroge and Mark Kamande wa Kioi. The trio denied the charge and were each released on KSh 100,000 cash bail. DeMathew defended himself saying his political song Witueti Hiti (You have made yourself a hyena), was misinterpreted.
List of John De Mathew Songs
- Arume Kwina Mbu
- Nengereria Ka’ne
- Niwanyumire Thayu
- Mundurume Utari Thayu
- Simama Mama
- Mburi Cia Kiama
- Pin Number
- Mami Ke Nguinire
- Emma Waithera
- Nyoni Ya Njamba
- Tuuragio Ki
- Mugunda Wa Ngoro
- Amicus Curie
- Nindahoera Arume
- Thii Thayu
- Wega Kwa Wega
- Ngai He Number
- Uthekagia Na Kanua
- Twari Kariko
- Githii Tu
- Ndireciritie Ngute
John De Mathew News
DeMathew’s life as told from his home
A small village, tucked between two valleys in Murang’a and which was initially a forest, is where Kikuyu Benga maestro John Mwangi alias DeMathew, who died on Sunday night, sweetened his voice.
Gathiruini village, a place named after a forest of ruthiru (fern) in Gatanga, is a cold place.
This is where DeMathew started his Benga music and would sing out his heart including his love life, politics and advice for decades.
He was fifth born child of Lucy Wanjiku and Mathew Nganga.
His first hit song as narrated by George Waweru, his age mate, was Rekerieria Wendo (Release Love) which was a dedication to a village girl he was in love with.
He sang the song sometime in 1987 after his relatives dissuaded him from pursuing the girl who would later marry a cousin in the same village.
The video of the song was to be later shot at a small well which is downhill from his home.
“I was his age mate, a friend and a classmate. His first song was released in 1987. I remember it because we had a fight some metres from his home. If you listen to the song he mentions me saying” George we were beaten.” This was a song dedicated to a girl who married a relative,” Waweru told The Standard.
He adds that DeMathew means son of Mathew.
He later sang Peris Nduku, a girl who in the song gave him the last kiss before she died.
In the song, DeMathew sings that they were involved in an accident on their way to introduce Nduku to his parents in Limuru. She was rushed to Agha Khan Hospital and where she died.
The woman in the song was fictitious.
“People thought I was an artist too, but our friendship was such that we were always together. I have lost a brother,” he said. Gregory Mwangi, a village elder, told The Standard that DeMathew was like a Kikuyu prophet.
He said that the he was different from other artists as his words would eventually come to pass.
The 81-year-old man said he was to take up Joseph Kamaru shoes as the king of Kikuyu music. He, however, pointed out that the two had different paths.
Kikuyu artist Daniel Kamau wa Maria (DK wa Maria) praised DeMathew for lifting his village’s name.
According to DK, at the time he started singing, in 1980s, guitars were associated with ‘thugs’.
“We came from a hard and uncertain time where anyone who saw you with a guitar thought you were a thug. We grew together and that is how we all became famous,” said DK.
DeMathew’s brother Evans Mburu said that away from fame, his brother was a humble and calm father of four.
“We loved him and will remember his songs and his advice as our elder,” he said.
Demathew’s love life was open to his family and village. Those who knew him say he lived a polygamous life. He was married to Sabina Wairimu and Caroline Waithera.
We inquired about his relationship with Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege. Those who spoke said they were married for three years before parting ways.
“Maybe others might show up. That is a life of a musician. I think you go to a place to sing and get happy with a girl. Sabina lived at DeMathew’s home in Gathiruini sometimes in 1995 or thereabout,” said Stanley Maina, a villager who claimed to have known the two.
According to Maina, Demathew’s song Njata Yakwa (My Star), which Sabina is featured in the video (pictured), was an expression of love for her.
“We recognise the two wives, Mama Shiku (Wairimu) and Waithera. His two wives are known and we have talked to them. Everyone knows that he has two wives and they will not fight,” said Mburu.
Area Member of Parliament Nduati Ngugi said that DeMathew was a star of Gatanga.
“We had Gatanga Night where he would sing until late,” said Ngugi.
Source: The Standard
John De Mathew Tributes: Leaders and Fans mourn singer John De Mathew
Leaders and fans of popular Kikuyu pop singer John Mwangi Ng’ang’a, popularly known as John DeMathew, have expressed shock and disbelief following the news of his death in a road crash Sunday evening.
At the same time, fellow musicians are yet to come to terms with the sad news.
Following the sad news, leaders led by Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria have eulogised him as an “Agikuyu seer” and a talented artiste who used his music to warn, entertain and inform the Agikuyu community on various issues ranging from politics, love and the effects of drugs and substance abuse.
President Uhuru Kenyatta
“As a nation, we were privileged to have had such a brilliant artiste who played a big role in promoting our African cultural heritage through his music. Indeed, we have lost an icon in the music industry. DeMathew championed and played a big role in preserving our cultural heritage,”
Deputy President William Ruto
“Deep condolences to the family, friends and fans of renowned musician John De Mathew. He used his talent to teach us life lessons and convey socio-economic and cultural messages, especially to the youth,” … “De Mathew was a great composer of Kikuyu lyrics, which carried undertones of societal ills, including alcoholism and promoting peace and cohesion in society.”
Governor Mwangi Wa Iria
“They Agikuyu community has lost an artiste who guided them and warned them on various issues. He also exemplified leadership skills following his chairmanship of the Tamco Sacco which was formed in January this year … I urge artistes to support the sacco and take it to where Mr Ng’ang’a had envisaged. My administration will partner with them and his family in burial preparations,”
“I have received with utter shock and deep sorrow the passing on of my friend, my brother and my comrade John DeMathew. John was not an artiste. I have always referred to him as a modern Kikuyu prophet – mũnabii – alongside the late Joseph Kamaru and Muigai Wa Njoroge,” Mr Kuria said.
Gatanga MP Nduati Ngugi
“DeMathew had put our constituency on the world map due to his popularity in the music industry. He was among the pioneer Agikuyu musicians who, to some extent, dictated the political direction and it’s sad to have lost him through the tragic accident,” he said.
“May your soul rest in peace John Demathew we will surely miss you, condolences to family and friends.”
Starehe MP and singer Charles Kanyi – Jaguar
“While growing up, I listened a lot to John DeMathew. His music inspired me greatly to become the musician I am today… I am deeply saddened by his untimely demise following a tragic road accident. May his soul rest well in eternal peace,” t