Veteran Kenyan musician Aziz Abdi is dies aged 67

The late Aziz Abdi Kilambo|COURTESY -Nation

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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,12TH APRIL,2020-Veteran Kenyan musician Aziz Abdi Kilambo has died . The mercurial band leader, singer and guitarist passed on at a hospital in Voi in Taita-Taveta County on Saturday night.

He will be remembered for a string of popular songs such as Sina Kazi and Nyumbani ni Nyumbani.

According a family source, Aziz, who was the leader of the multi-national Benga Africa Band, and later Ngoma Afrika, had long retired from performing live music and had been battling diabetes and hypertension in and out of hospital.

The late Aziz Abdi Kilambo|COURTESY -Nation

He mainly did part-time music away from his regular work, which was in the manufacture of paints.

The  Nation, spoke to  Mr Kombo Kala, a cousin of the singer,who  said he had been quite ill in the past one month, but his condition worsened on Saturday evening.

“A doctor at the hospital in Voi has confirmed the cause of death as a heart condition, which was compounded by extended hypertension and diabetes,” he said.

Aziz, according to Muslim rites, was laid to on Sunday  afternoon , on his farm at Mleghwa near Voi Town.

His widow Jamilla Ndinda Kasulu, a media personality,  attended the burial after travelling from Nairobi.

The 67-year-old singer, who made his debut in the music scene in the early 1990s, had carved a niche for grooming up and coming musicians to perform rhumba.

Having been immensely inspired by the Simba Wanyika brothers, Wilson and George Peter, Aziz immersed himself fully into rhumba, singing and playing the guitar.

He would then form his own band Benga Africa Group in 1991 and recorded his hit songs, Sina Kazi,  Amri Kumi and Matata Sipendelei.

He later changed the name of the group to Ngoma Afrika, incorporating musicians from other African countries.

His band performed at various entertainment spots in Nairobi including, Miami Tavern in Umoja Estate and Ranalo Foods on Kimathi Street.

The prominent musicians he worked with include legendary singer Mohamed Tika Abdallah, Congolese singer Teddy Suka, Rama Kocha, Congolese star John Monga, and fellow Kenyans Patrick Omolo and Jose Beniko Bulimo.

Voi-based lawyer, music promoter and entertainment organiser Duncan Mwanyumba eulogised Aziz as one of the most inspiring musicians from Taita-Taveta County. Others include the late Habel Kifoto of the Maroon Commandos, fame, the superb Fadhili Williams, who composed the Malaika international hit, Sammy Mwambi Mkali, and  twist legend Mathaia Mlkamaba.

He will be remembered for his contribution to the development of a Kenyan rhumba style and mostly singing in the national language, Kiswahili.

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