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Musician John Nzenze is dead


May 30, 2020

The music industry in Kenya is in mourning the death of veteran musician John Amatubi Nzenze.

Nzenze, a popular Kenyan Twist music style of the 1960s, died while receiving treatment at St Elizabeth Hospital, Mukumu on Saturday where he was receiving treatment for prostate cancer.

His cousin, Sammy Ingati, who confirmed the death, said the musician had been admitted to the Kakamega-based facility for one month.

“He died at 2pm today (Saturday). He was a popular musician and a patriot. He sang patriotic songs that promoted the country. We are requesting the government to support the family,” Mr Ingati said.

Nzenze was operated on after he complained of stomach pains.

He is best known for his Angelike Twist hit song that was released in the early 1960s.

Nzenze, who retired from active music in 2016, has been battling a hypertension.

After leaving the music stage, Nzenze opted to lead a quiet life in his rural home near Kaimosi in Vihiga County.

He started his career in Nairobi in the 1960s.

Some of Nzenze’s songs are Marashi ya Warembo, Maoni ya Twist, Kumbuka Nyumbani and Wanawake Kuwakimbia Mabwana.

He teamed up with some friends to form Air Fiesta Matata Band in the late 1960s and got invitations to perform in Nairobi and other towns.

This saw Nzenze work with Laban Juma Toto and Gabriel Omollo of the Lunchtime song fame. Mr Ingati said the family will give details of his burial and preparations later.

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