John DeMathew has been laid to rest today at his Gatanga home.
During his burial service, we got to learn a lot of things about him.
Apparently, when DeMathew completed high school, he went back home to help his parents in everyday chores, farming and selling farm produce at Korogocho market, Nairobi.
During this time, he was composing his music. Throughout his childhood, while DeMathew studying, Muheria Kariuki (former Chairman Thika County Council) noticed his talent in music.
During that time people with guitars/musicians we were frowned upon and seen as jokers. In 1986 Muheria took DeMathew to Timona Mburu and Joseph Wamumbe who assisted him to recorded his first song “Jennifer” which he had composed while in STD 7.
Oh my heart! Rare photos of John DeMathew’s moments with his family
He later moved to Subukia, Nakuru, Mbogo-ini Village where he was farming and selling Mitumba clothes and shoes at Soko Mjinga, Nakuru and it is there where his band name came from “Mbogo-ini Stars”.
In 1987 he returned to Nairobi to record the song “Krismasi tutashangilia Voi” and released the his first album “rekereria wendo remix”.
In 1988 he released the song “Peris Nduku” recorded by “Wamaitu Production” which made him to be very popular.
DeMathew has recorded and released more than three hundred and seventy-five (375) songs in 50 albums namely:
1986 – Jenniffer
1987 – Krismasi tutashangilia Voi
– Rekereria Wendo
1988 – Peris Nduku
1989 – Mathiko ma Peris Nduku
1990 – Njambi PT2
– Ni yumbukaga I mbute (Photocopy production)
1991 – Menye menye na Curucuru
1992 – Ndinda Kakwa (Tiriki Production)
– Thii ngwage “
1993 – Rekia Nyambura
1994 – Shiru witu(Photocopy production)
1995 – No ngarihirio(Jokama production)
1996 – Nairobi ni irima
1997 – Rekia Nyambura 2nd Edition
1998 – Njata yakwa (Tiriki Productio)
1999 – Mburi ya rwanio (Tiriki production)
2000 – Ni wathire ukindiga PT3
2001 – Urathi wa ma
2002 – Nyama ya mwiri
2003 – Jogoo ya town
– Uhiki ti undu munene
– Radio ya River Road
– Ciunguyu iria nene
– Nguku ya gukua
2004 – Mundu wi na rwake
2005 – Uguo niguo kuri
2006 – Kamaru njokeria
2007 – Nengereria Kane
2008 – Ngai wirehe
2009 – Kiura kinene
– Nyoni ya njamba
2010 – Mene mene Tekel
– Pin Number
2011 – Witutite hiti
– Arume kwi na mbu
2012 – My brother
2015 – Twari kariko
– Ruta ndwara githu-ini
2016 – Korwo ni nii wee
– Ngatho cia ngoro gitina
2017 – Tucemanagirie bara
– Tutigucokera kimera
2018 – Wendo uumaga kuraya
2019 – Arume twi na u?
His most favorite songs were “Pin Number” and “Muoyo ti kibandi”.
He was a stout fighter of musicians’ rights especially against music piracy, His Excellency Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta advised the musicians to come together and unite for that purpose and general welfare of musians and artists.
‘Goodbye! My dear sweet husband,’ John DeMathew’s wife pays tribute
DeMathew following this advice and together with the Vice Chairman Epha Maina, Peter Kigia, Shiru wa GP, Ben Githae, Lois Kim, Betty Bayo, Michael wa Beth, Wamuting’oe and many others formed TAMCO (Talented Musicians & Composers) SACCO on 19th January 2019.
Through his leadership, the SACCO within seven months has bought land at Kenol, Murang’a County worth Kenya Shillings Ten Million (Ksh 10,000,000/=).
Before his passing Demathew had organised for a meeting with Equity Bank to plan for
developing of the said property.
Because of his love for the people and musicians De’ Mathew vied to be a member of parliament for Gatanga Constituency in 2007.
He has also been promoting peace and cohesion at Laikipia and Embu counties and had planned similar programme in Nyandarua County in September 2019 through his John De’ Mathew Foundation.