If Issah Mmari Wangui, better known by his stage name E-Sir, was alive, he’d be celebrating his 40th birthday next month, May 20.
The pioneer Kenyan rapper who passed on in 2003 is still regarded as one of the best rappers to emerge on the Kenyan hip hop scene.
With his lyrical ability and command of the Swahili language, E-sir gained phenomenal popularity and disrupted the imported pop music which had started penetrating the Kenyan market.
As we look forward to celebrate his 40th birthday, here are five things every Kenyan need to know about the late rapper.
#1. Issah “E-Sir” Mmari was born to a Kenyan mother, Damaris Wangui, and a Tanzanian Father, Amin Mmari.
#2. E- Sir was born in California Estate, and raised in South C estate Nairobi, Kenya.
#3. He first came to be known in 2001 with his song “Jo”, done in the same style as Black Rob’s “Whoa”. The song was E-Sir’s major hit in the Kenyan music scene and was featured on the Ogopa DJs’ debut album. He went on to release his debut album Nimefika in 2003 which was a big hit, with virtually all the album tracks becoming radio singles in their own right. E-Sir won in four categories in the 2003 Kisima Music Awards.
#4. E-Sir perished in a road accident on March 16, 2003, while in the company of fellow label mate Nameless (real name David Mathenge). He was on his way back from a concert in Afraha Stadium, Nakuru town, to promote his album.
#5. E-sir was laid to rest at the Kariokor Muslim Cemetery.