Dar es Salaam — President John Magufuli led hundreds of city residents yesterday to pay their last respects to the fallen veteran comedian, Mr Amri Athuman, who is popularly known as King Majuto.
Mr Athuman, 70, who was well known for his rib-breaking antics, passed away on Wednesday at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) where he was receiving treatment.
Speaking a before mourners, the deputy minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Ms Juliana Shonza, said the ministry had lost a "great partner" who helped lift the entertainment industry.
"The ministry has lost a great partner and his void is hard to fill," she said.
Ms Shonza said that the demise of King Majuto had given the country a good lesson considering efforts that were being made to save his life. "President Magufuli and we at the ministry, local and foreign doctors tried their best to keep King Majuto alive, but it was God's plan that he had leave us," she said.
The deputy minister said the ministry will ensure that all advertisement contracts that King Majuto signed help the deceased's family. "We will continue to follow up on contracts that King Majuto signed with various advertising companies so that we can help his family," she said, adding that all artists who are used as advertisers should work closely with the ministry to ensure that their rights are protected.
For his part, Dar es Salaam Mayor, Mr Isaiah Mwita, called upon artists to take art seriously in order to generate income. "I urge you artists to ensure that as you leave a legacy in the entertainment, you should also plan to generate income for your families. In doing so, the industry will respect you forever.
Speaking at different occasions, artists especially comedians expressed their grief saying they had lost a 'father' who will never be replaced.
"King Majuto has left us with a big gap as far as comedy is concerned. We will remember him for his readiness to coach and support the young Tanzanians who wanted to join this industry," Hemedi Maliyaga (Mkwere) from 'Mizengwe' group told The Citizen.
Mr Maliyaga added that the artists should love each other.
The veteran's body was yesterday transported to Tanga where he will be buried today.