By Nanjinia Wamuswa
|The late Maunda with one of his grandsons. (Photo:Courtesy)|
It is said that men cannot multi-task with ease. But Jacob William Maunda was exceptional, as he straddled both music and journalism effortlessly.
The veteran journalist and musician died of heart attack on Friday morning at Kenyatta National Hospital’s private wing where he was admitted on August 13. His eldest son, Lawrence Nzomo, said Maunda had been booked to undergo heart surgery on the day he died.
This was his second admission. His first was at the Nairobi Hospital where he stayed for about a month.
It is during the second admission that the music lover died.
At 62, Maunda was one of the remaining few veteran and active musicians, entertaining fans that could not have enough of his legendary music. Not long ago he was still staging live performances regularly at Makuti Vibrations in Machakos, entertaining revellers especially during weekends.
The talented musician enjoyed playing lead guitar, soloist and vocalist best. The music bug hit youthful Maunda while his family was living in Tanzania. At the time his father William Kiongo worked as a driver with the East Africa Locomotive.
In 1972, then aged 22, Maunda and several others that shared his zest formed East Africa Community Boys Band. The group was cardinally for entertainment at various functions. Even then, he posed as the vocalist and bass guitar player.
Two years later, he spread his activities by joining Tengevu Lutheran Church Choir and helped it move to great heights. Under his guidance the band emerged winners in several competitions, managing to beat the then famous Arusha Mjini Choir.
After a diploma course in secretarial and communications at East African Community Centre College in Tanzania, Maunda returned to Kenya in 1976 and formed Mukasu International Band and Mukaa International Choir. He later dissolved the two and founded Orchestra Mukaa Super International band, with which he has been recording songs.
Cocktail of languages
Maunda will be remembered for his talent in singing in a cocktail of languages – Lingala, Kamba, Kiswahili and English. The songs Baba Yenu Mlevi, Shangilia Christmas, Jirani Acheni Roho Mbaya, Nahangaika Mombasa, Dada Rehema, Mkimbizi wa Mapenzi, Dada Sofia and many others will forever remain etched in many people’s hearts.