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Senator Gideon Moi calls for support of artistes in visit to taraab singer

By Patrick Beja | December 1st 2021

Kanu Chairman, Gideon Moi [left] chat with Former Musician, Maulid Juma at Kisauni in Mombasa County. He visited the Musician at his residential house in Mombasa. Maulid Juma was famous for Taarab music on November 30, 2021.[Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi yesterday met ailing Coast taarab music legend Maulid Juma.

Mzee Juma, 85, used to entertain his late father President Daniel Moi and the late President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and was credited with the growth of taarab music in the eastern Africa.

Gideon visited Soko Mjinga in Kisauni, Mombasa County, which in the recent past had been hit by a wave of insecurity.

Along the narrow alleys, he met enthusiastic locals who hailed his decision to visit the sickly veteran musician.

He said elderly artistes should be supported because they played a big part in entrenching patriotism through patriotic and folk songs after independence.

“Maulid Juma is among old musicians who entertained us for many years, and we recognise their contribution. They should not feel like we have forgotten them,” said Gideon.

The Kanu chair pledged to get in touch with some of the music legends to give them moral support as a way of recognising their contribution to growth of music in Kenya.

Gideon commended Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for launching a programme to support artistes.

“I thank CS Amina for rolling out a programme to support our artistes across the country. It is a sign of recognising their contribution,” he said.

Mzee Juma led Mombasa’s premier Swahili wedding band and has hundreds of songs to his name.

He stormed the entertainment stage in 1972, but recently, he shocked the world when he said he wished to be buried alive.

He felt he had been forgotten after years of being a household name.

He expected people to assist him while still alive, but this remained a pipe-dream.

Juma played taarab style with instruments like harmonium and accordion and remained close to politicians like former Mvita MP the late Shariff Nassir and the late Karisa Maitha.

At the peak of Covid-19 infections, the Ministry of Sports and Culture released a Sh100 million stimulus package meant to cushion those in the creative industry.

It followed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Executive Order issued on April 6, 2020, directing the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund to make available funds to support young people to enhance their talents.

But some of the artistes said they did not benefit.

Yesterday, Gideon said he would also find time to visit members of the Mwakigwena choir that performed patriotic songs about the Kapenguria Six.

The group started as a school choir in the late 1970s. 

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