GONE TOO SOON

Deaths that shocked the showbiz industry

Showbiz players we lost in 2019

In Summary

• Death robbed us of talents and supporters of the industry. May they rest in peace.

Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore speaks to the media after an investor briefing on the company's full-year results at its headquarters in Nairobi, May 11, 2016. Photo/REUTERS
Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore speaks to the media after an investor briefing on the company's full-year results at its headquarters in Nairobi, May 11, 2016. Photo/REUTERS

2019 has not only been a dark year for the country but for the showbiz industry as well.

From great talents to supporters of the industry, the music scene was left the poorer for their demise, and we pray their souls rest in peace.

Here are some of the deaths that shocked the industry.

 

Bob Collymore

 
 

The Safaricom CEO succumbed to acute myeloid leukaemia cancer on July 1.

He brought a great change to the music industry by giving local artistes a chance to showcase their talent through Twaweza, Safaricom Jazz and Safaricom Live.

He supported Kenyan music and his death left a huge void that can never be filled. From rapper Juliani to Sauti Sol to award-winning comedian Eric Omondi, Collymore won the hearts of many.

In a previous interview with the Star, Genge King Jua Cali said, "Collymore has been very supportive of Kenyan music since he joined Safaricom. His journey, he has been with us all through. During Safaricom Live, he would travel to wherever the event was just to support us. His support was not just in the boardroom. He has been for the industry."

He died aged 61.

 
 
The late John De' Mathew
The late John De' Mathew
Image: COURTESY

De Mathew

John Ng'ang'a, alias De Mathew, succumbed to his injuries after he was involved in a grisly road accident on August 19. His car rammed into a lorry near Blue Post Hotel on Thika Road.

De Mathew had spent his entire last day at fellow artiste Peter Kigia’s fundraiser before leaving with Mugithi singer Mike Rua to an entertainment spot. After having a good time, he left his friend to go home but never made it.

In his songs, the Benga singer talked about politics, corruption and challenges affecting the youth.

Chris Kantai
Chris Kantai
Image: COURTESY

Chris Kantai

The legendary rapper died on February 27 while undergoing treatment at St Francis Community Hospital in Kasarani.

He was eulogised as a talented artiste, superstar and trailblazer. At the time of his death, he was working on an album, of which he had already produced 10 songs but only released three.

He was known for songs such as Happy, Kantadda, Jinga Hii and Ting Badi Malo featuring Khaligraph Jones.

Anthony Njenga aka Njenga Mswahili
Anthony Njenga aka Njenga Mswahili
Image: Courtesy

Njenga Mswahili

The comedian's body was discovered by the railway track in Dagoretti. Njenga was battling addiction and was in and out of rehab and was depressed.

His close friend comedian Consumator told Word Is, "We were trying to help him recover after rehab and I was planning on working on new projects together. I even planned to secure him a job to keep him busy because when he was idle it used to affect him."

His death is still a mystery and comedian Captain Otoyo, while eulogising Njenga Mswahili, said, "Depression took our friends down. We don't know whether he was knocked down by a train or as many are speculating that his body might have been placed on the railway track. He was the only one doing this kind of comedy and he was special."