The woes surrounding the late king of Benga’s family played out last year when his daughter Jane Waithira lost her son Victor Nganga. The boy was named after De’Mathew but was denied a grave at the late singer’s ancestral home where he is buried.Waithira, an upcoming artiste, called on artistes who have sired children outside marriage to plan more for their children because “he who goes for a journey does not ‘Muumagari nî wa njûa igîrî’ (a person on a journey should be prepared for any eventuality).
“As an artiste, I learnt a lot after the death of my father, I was denied a place to bury my 14-year-old son and ended up burying him at my mother’s ancestral home in Nyeri and this pained me because I have lived at Gatanga since I was a little girl and did not know any other place to call home,” explained Waithira, popularly known as Jane De’Mathew. She said she was informed that her father had sold his ancestral land to one of his siblings.
“I was told that the only thing that belonged to my father was his grave,” Waithira said.Given the fact that many artistes have big names but end up leaving controversy and property rows after their death, Waithira advised fellow young musicians to jealously guard their wealth so that it serves them and their families in old age. Waithira said her father had four wives and eight children, and to save the agony that she went through after losing her firstborn son, her father ought to have planned for any eventualities.
“He who starts a journey does not leave a banana to roast hoping to find it back because it may turn to charcoal. The problem with my father is that he was quick to trust people with his investments not knowing their true colours,” she said. Close allies to De’Mathew said the deceased had three wives before Waithira and Wairimu and that after briefly separating with Wairimu, he married Waithira.
“He loved (the) bottle and women although he was a family man, even if he quarreled with his wife, he took care of his children and would invite all at his ancestral home for December holidays,” a friend who did not wish to be named told The Nairobian.
He said that of all the wives and women that the deceased had a relationship with, he was fond of Waithira, and talked nicely about her to his friends. It is rumoured that despite being his fourth wife, the artiste paid dowry for her unlike all the other marriages.