Kenya: Artists Demand Justice As Gospel Musician Papa Dennis Is Buried

19 February 2020

Fallen award-winning gospel musician Dennis Mwangi alias Papa Dennis has finally been laid to rest at his Matunda home in Kakamega County.

The musician was found dead two weeks ago after he reportedly fell from the seventh floor of a building in Pangani.

Speaker after speaker at the burial ceremony eulogised the late musician as a hardworking artiste who had achieved a lot at his age.

They also petitioned the government through the investing agencies to move with speed and unearth the cause of his death.

Among notable musicians who attended the funeral held at Matunda Primary School included Daddy Owen, Gloria Muliro, Mr Seed, Ringtone, Mash Mjukuu of Nairobi Records and Grandpa Records CEO Rafigah among others.

"We have taken all measures including engaging the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and now we want them to speed up the investigations because none of us was there when this incident took place," said Mjukuu.

Fell to his death

According to Mjukuu, a post mortem conducted on the deceased's body revealed that he fell to his death.

"The post-mortem states that Papa Dennis fell to his death and now all we are asking is for anyone who might be having any information on what befell our brother to engage us through the DCI," added Mjukuu saying that the family of the deceased was seeking for justice.

Alex Apoko alias Ringtone said that as artistes they will not leave any stone unturned until they get answers on what happened to the musician.

He at the same time took issue with a section of music promoters whom he accused of taking advantage of artistes to market their brands for their selfish interests.

"A time is gone when promoters took advantage of innocent musicians and used their talents to build and market their brands then dump them. Papa Dennis had performed everywhere and we want all his monies and royalties to come to his family," said Ringtone.

Joseph Msanii, Papa Dennis's manager, called on leaders across the political divide who were closer to the musician to use their influence to get to the bottom of his death.

"Since his death, no single suspect has been arrested, DCI are doing their own investigations and we urge friends of Papa Dennis in politics to petition the government to move with speed and help us unearth the cause of his death," said Msanii.

Jamhuri estate

Refigah said that he has always been in communication with Papa Dennis and the last time they met was two months ago in a barbershop in Jamhuri estate.

"He told me that he was planning to release his new album. Papa Dennis was the only artiste who had managed to fly high the flag of Matunda on both national and international stage. I want to urge all artistes in Matunda to emulate Papa Dennis's work because I'm ready to support you," said Refigah.

Born 20 years ago in West Pokot County, Papa Dennis worked with top musicians including Chidma, Mr Flavour, Korede Bello from Nigeria and Ray C from Tanzania, among others during his time at Maliza Umaskini.

He recorded an album that was launched in 2015 during an occasion graced by opposition chief Raila Odinga among other dignitaries at Matunda Primary School grounds.

His work earned him coveted awards in Kenya including Pulse Awards, Mwafaka Awards and other nominations. Affima Nominations (Nigeria), Afrimma Music Awards (USA).

He later joined Nairobi Records where he was working until his demise.

He leaves behind a daughter, five sisters and two brothers.

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