Scores of fans are yet to come to terms with the sudden and unexpected death of Weldon Cheruiyot, popularly known as Kenene.
The Kalenjin star was travelling with seven others in a probox when the fateful accident occurred along Nakuru-Eldoret highway, last Saturday.
Also in the car was DJ Nico and four of his dancers.
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Speaking to The Nairobian, Kanene’s mother, Josphine Ngeno said the death of her second born son was devastating.
“I cannot believe he has died. He was our breadwinner and really helped his siblings,” she said at their home in Kapletundo Ward.
A sad Ng’eno says she regrets that her son never slept in the house he had just built.
“Cheruiyot has been a strong financial pillar for the family and I wish I was the one who died instead of him. He had just completed building his house, which he was due to move into in a month’s time. I wish he lived to occupy that beautiful house he worked so hard to build,” said the mum.
Kenene International alias Josphato, alias The Shoes Mwenyewe, was signed to Emmy Simotwo’s publishing and PR company Alfarasha Ltd.
The publicist told Word Is, “Saying goodbye to Keneny is not easy. The pain of the sudden demise of our departed artistes and dancers has left a big gap in the entire Kalenjin industry. It is a big blow.”
Adding: “He was one of the rising stars from the Rift Valley region. Versatility, creativity and originality interwoven into one fabric of artistic mastery, is how I would describe him. He was adept with great stage presence and an immense chemistry with his fans on stage. He never disappointed; I believe he was made for stardom.”
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Emmy said Keneny was not only a gifted musician but also a man of his word and a person of great personality, very humble, easy to deal with and very jovial.
“I occasionally said Kenene was ‘mtu roho safi’. I’m certain many who interacted with him will agree with me. Death has robbed us a great icon in the music industry at large not only in the Kalenjin circles. His death is one that is hard to come to terms with, he passed on at his prime, full of life and so much potential. It is my prayer that God comforts his family, fans, friends and the entire Kalenjin music industry,” she said.
“I was not tight with the dancers. I mostly met them in events or when had business meetings with Kenene. As for Nicodemus Rotich (DJ Nico), who runs a music shop in Kericho county, Embassy building, hence acquired the name Nico Embassy, I worked with him as he was the one who would send Kenene’s and the other artists’ audios and videos. He was very diligent, swift, sharp and reliable whenever called upon to accomplish a given task. Fare thee well family.”
Family, friends, fans and politicians are meeting daily to give them a befitting send off. On Sunday, there will be a grand concert to honour their memory.
Some of the artistes Emmy has worked with include Qtasy, Groove male artist of the year Ljay Masaai, K-denk of Tusker Project Fame, Groove artiste winner 2010 Manasseh Mathiang, Kevoh Yout, Shrink dance group, BBoy Harry, Nellian James, Felix Kimulwo (Fleksy), Mesh Kimutai of Team Mursik the brand, Ba Mdogo, Mbuvi and a host of other artistes from Rift Valley.