Singer Nameless was the last person with music icon E-Sir before his untimely death.
It is more than a decade since Kenya’s fastest rising artiste Issah Mmmari, aka E-Sir, lost his life in an accident on March 16, 2003.
He was on his way back to Nairobi from a concert at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru town, to help promote his debut album, whose songs remain club bangers to date.
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E-Sir was an inspiration and a mentor to many and for that matter, the image of an evolving youth urban music culture.
He had done some collaborations with Nameless, which include Boomba Train, which will forever be in our history. Well, Nameless recounted his musical twin, whom he was ruling with then.
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“I met E-Sir in Splash (in Langata) after he had joined Ogopa and we became friends. We would do shows together and later sit down and talk about how the show was.”
“We would commute in a mathree. Some people would hate on our songs without knowing we are in the matatu with them. He would hear guys hating on our music style because we were doing music differently, and E-Sir would later come and tell me, ‘Yoh, these people are hating so much, let’s come together and become a power house’.”
“That is how [the hits songs] Boomba Train and Maisha were born. Boomba worked well for us, to date, that has become my pillar and it always gives me the energy to move on in my shows, because it talks about what we used to talk about, the struggles and how we wanted to overcome them.”
“When I started touring with E-Sir, I was big in the music industry and so I always made sure that I was the one who fungaas (closes) the show to maintain the audience. He would start and I would finish the show, then I would call him back to do Boomba Train.”
Nameless added, “Our last show with E-sir, we were in Nakuru. E-Sir used to study the market so fast and adjust his writing. I remember after some shows, he had become big and now he was the one who would even funga the show. That day he fungaad the show, and I came later to do Boomba Train,” Nameless recalled.
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Nameless then opened up about the tragic accident that took E-Sir’s life.
“I did not know from the time I was taken to hospital when it all happened. I was told he was in a different hospital. I had no phone or any other way of reaching E-Sir’s.”
He continued, “My brother came from Nairobi. I asked everyone and no one told me. My brother is the one who told me, ‘E-Sir didn’t make it’. It did not sink in. Like you know, you were with someone and then you are told they are no more, it cannot sink in.”
Adding, “I changed and entered a car that is when Boomba Train was played, and all I remember is the presenters then announced it. At this point, I broke down and that is when it sank in. I cried and as I was listening to his song playing, I could feel like he was talking to me.”
Nameless said life after E-Sir was gone, has not been easy.
“Moving on without him was hard for some moment. My wife always tells me that something in me changed. It took me back and I remember going to perform a song in his remembrance.
He concluded, “I remember when performing, I still had an injury but getting on stage and the love I felt for E-Sir just made me say that despite him going, I had to keep the fire going.”