Kenyan songstress, Wahu has finally gathered the strengths to narrate what transpired on the fateful day that one of Kenya’s most promising musicians, E-sir met his death.
According to the ‘Sweet Love’ hit maker, it all began on March 15th, 2003. Monski (Nameless) and Esir were getting ready to travel for a gig in Nakuru.
“It was a sato morning. The boys were very excited. Shaddie had offered to drive and his friends Kevin and Santos who was loose that weekend was excited to go. I remember saying goodbye to the guys at the Mombasa Road Oil Libya just as you turn into south C. That was the usual drop off/pick up spot. It looked like they were going to have a lot of fun so i was feeling fomo. We said our goodbyes and the boys were off to Nax,” she narrates.
“I heard it was faya! Too much fun! And Esir, who’s joy was always to watch others enjoying his music, had the time of his life…”
On March 16th, 2003 while hanging out in her apartment, she received a call.
“It was a lady on the other side. A politician…(I’ve been struggling to remember her name) she was calm…she asked me who Nameless was to me..and I said “my boyfriend”…she remained calm. “There has been an accident” she said, and told me that all was ok, and that they boys were receiving treatment in a hospital in Nakuru. I called Bob, Monski’s big bro and we headed down to Nakuru…”
“All I remember is when we got there shaddie was in the corridor with tears in his eyes.. he was crying really hard. I’d been assured everything was ok! What’s going on? My heart began to race… I had murmurs on the corridor that someone had died on the way to the hospital… it was Kevin…. the young man who just come along for the ride…how unfair could life be! I was so confused… I wasn’t ready for all this! From the corner of my eye I saw Monski…I ran to him but couldnt hug him coz he was in so much pain! He’d disclocated his collar bone. “I can’t find Esir” he told me and Bob. Which hospital did they take him to! But unfortunately…along the corridors I heard that Esir didn’t make it. I didn’t want to believe it.. I wanted to keep the hope alive.”
However, all of their hope was crushed when Bob was asked to identify the body in the morgue. “We cried..we cried… We cried… We cried….it was painful…how??? Why??? He was so young! When I think back to that moment…and watching my boyfriend fall apart as he mourned his friend, I remember as I cried for the loss of Esir, I cried for my boyfriend… They were very close. I cried for the loss of such a promising young man, who had so much to offer the world… I cried for mama Esir… I cried for his siblings… He was the star of their family.. the one they all run to..
We all cried as a nation.. and indeed as a region. Esir was such a star… A solid guy who loved people… He loved his family so much. He was so super gifted! He chymed out lyrics and rhymes like it was so nothing!”
Monday marked 18 years since that fateful day.
“E-sir Mmari. We remember you through his music, through all the people he touched. You were loved and you’re still loved. And your memory will live on forever.”
E-sir was one of the pioneers of urban music in East Africa and was one of the biggest artists in the region at the time.
Through his brief musical career, E-Sir won three Kisima Awards in 2003. He was also nominated at the Kora Awards 2003 for Best East African Artist and in the 2004 Tanzania Music Awards for Best East African Album ‘Nimefika’.
His album ‘Nimefika’, was released posthumously two months after his demise. The album includes the collabo mega hits ‘Moss Moss’ featuring Brenda, ‘Boomba Train’ featuring Nameless and ‘Kamata’ featuring Mr. Lenny. This album has made a significant contribution to the Kenya music industry by redefining local music.