President Uhuru Kenyatta will attend Kikuyu Benga music John De Mathew’s burial slated for Saturday.
De Mathew’s close friend Peter Kigia, who had spent time with the singer on the day of his death, said Uhuru had requested that the burial date be pushed backward because he is travelling outside the country next week.
“As artistes, we wanted the burial to be set for next week, but President Uhuru requested us to move it closer as he would love to grace the event. It was a humble request and we felt the need to honour it,” he said.
An autopsy done on Monday at the Kenyatta University mortuary showed De Mathew had chest injuries and broken ribs.
“It was an accident and the normal procedure calls for a postmorterm to be carried out to clear the doubts. Sometimes someone can be killed and be placed in the car but his was just a normal accident, he died from internal injuries,” Kigia said.
Kigia said on the day of the accident, De Mathew had met friends, including himself, to interact and contribute funds for his daughter who had burnt her hand.
“It was not a harambee as written on the internet. We spent the day together and De Mathew was very jovial unlike the rumours going around that he was angry. Those reporting that are just people looking for publicity,” Kigia said.
In his condolence message on Monday, Uhuru described De Mathew as a gifted musician who not only used his talent to entertain but also mentored other upcoming Kenyan musicians.
“As a nation, we were privileged to have had such a brilliant artist who played a big role in promoting our African cultural heritage through his music. Indeed, we have lost an icon in the music industry. De Mathew championed and played a big role in preserving our cultural heritage,” the President said.
President Kenyatta prayed to God to give the family, relatives, friends and fans of the late musician strength and fortitude to bear the loss.
Other prominent leaders who are expected to attend DeMathews’ burial include Muranga governor Mwangi Wa Iria, Deputy President William Ruto among others.