Legendary Kikuyu pop musician Joseph Kamaru is dead.

The 79-year-old passed away at MP Shah Hospital, Nairobi where he was rushed on Tuesday.

During his latter days, he complained of a back problem that caused him difficulties in movement.

His son Stephen Maina said the elderly legend was admitted to the hospital on Monday.

Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo condoled with the family following the musician’s death.

“My sincere condolences to the family of my late friend, a music legend of all times Mugatha Kamaru. Huruka Uhoro,” he tweeted.

Starehe MP Charles Njagua said: “Heart felt condolences to the family friends and fans of Joseph Kamaru We celebrate his life as a legendary Kenyan musician.”

Kamaru started his singing career in 1956.

For the better part of the 1980s, his vocals were a signature tune in most music stores.

He recorded nearly 2,000 songs addressing morality and offering life teachings.

The musician was famed for classic hits such as Gathoni and Charia Ungi.

The late Kamaru was close to President Jomo Kenyatta but the two fell out after he condemned JM Kariuki’s murder in 1975.

Kamaru was also close with President Daniel arap Moi.


In 1980, he toured Japan as part of Moi’s entourage and composed a song – Safari ya Japan in praise of the President.