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E-Sir lives on

By | May 7th 2010

By Matilda Nzioki, Tony Mochama and Shirley Genga

On the Friday evening before the big E-Sir memorial show, most of the big local acts invited had arrived in Mombasa, and could be found intermittently at the famous Club Lambada, partying by the pool (side) or pulling exhilarating slide moves on the hover-stage above. But with the Celsius having ‘faren-heated’ all day, the clouds finally burst open at about midnight, drenching the out crowd at Lambada. Who was to say the same calamity would not befall the E-Sir memorial concert, slated for the next day?

Flame Entertainment and soft drink Minute Maid folks were definitely praying that the flame would not be doused by the rain gods in 24 hours, this being a metaphorical candle-light vigil for the late E-Sir, killed in a car crash after a smashing performance at Club Dimples, Nakuru, in the Ides of March, at the prime of ideas, in his march to conquer the nascent music world of boomba.

That was seven years ago, and now, major artistes had come in tow to Mombasa, to hook up with the ‘local stars’ of the Coast, for what everyone hoped would be a blazing and unprecedented show.


When is the last time we saw veteran artistes like Nameless, Redsan, Tattuu, Mr Lenny, Nonini, Big Pin, Kleptomaniax, Habib, Manga, Shanky Radics, Pilipili, Historians, Prince Adio, Nyota Ndogo, Ally B, Cannibal, Montana, Mwasi, Generations Band and also Kunguru on one stage?

Well, this was a trip down memory lane at Mombasa’s New Big Tree last weekend, during the first ever E-Sir Memorial concert organised by Flame Entertainment, E-Sir’s family in conjunction with the Pulse magazine as a multitude of enthusiasts were treated to old school local tracks like, African Queen, Teso, Fever, Raha, Githurai, Morale, Bambika, Holiday and many more including E-Sir’s hits.

It all began on Friday at the meeting point on Mombasa Road. The Pulse crew alongside many celebs and E-Sir’s family members checked in, in style, with their luggage at hand and soon, the exclusive private bus (called LOL Express, like the Facebook expression) was en route to the sun city with one aim — to honour a fallen soldier.

On arrival, we were thrown into panic mode, as the weather seemed unfavourable. Mombasa was wet and drab and admittedly, we could not help but fear for the beach party. Luckily, the gods were on our side. After a heavy downpour that lasted all day, Saturday night suddenly dried up. Just like that magical day of Nameless Kamonski’s wedding when rain clouds along Lake Nakuru vanished. So, an excellent omen!

Fans came to the venue in large numbers using both the main and the beach entrance, all anxious to travel back in time and pay tribute to the legend. And at hand was the sexy Minute Maid face — the fair and comely Fiona Anderson — giving celebs and fans the ready-to-drink juice.

They gathered stage-side and along the light barricade in front of the excellently lit-up and deejayed stage, lightly clad feet astride blades of Big Tree grass green with rain crystals, and shook calves (and curves) restless for the memorial concert to get on.


"E-Sir’s greatest dream was to be remembered long after leaving this world," his sister Miriam Mmari told the Pulse, saying that she believed the event was like bringing to life the vision of her younger brother. "I remember when E-Sir was still alive he would always say that he wanted to live on forever, he did not want to be forgotten and so, seeing all this people coming together today seven years after his death is like making his dream a reality and we are so humbled and honoured as his family," she noted.

The stage was set, colourful lighting, great sound and ambience. So soon, the show was underway. The MCs for the event were Philipo, Real Solo and Shaffie, who were fresh in approach and knew how to engage the crowd.

The first artiste on stage was Shanky Radics, who has been on hiatus for a while. As the first act, he did not disappoint, even bringing a dance competition on stage. And one could only wonder what might be if Shanky decided to stay radical and continue with it after the hit Bambika; because for sure, E-Sir is on the other distant shows of boomba. Mandugu Digital’s Montana also announced his arrival to the big stage with new hits.

A while later, Mr Lenny got the crowd exited with old time hits like Githurai and African Queen. Tattuu, the only girls who performed during the Saturday event, also brought the A-game to the show. They looked sharp, were well co-ordinated and their energy was as contagious as those sweet and enigmatic smiles that we have come to associate with them. They sang hits like Teso to the crowd’s delight, and new songs like Come Back To Me featuring Ulopa and Solophobia (which, we must say, is not the ‘fear of Real Solo.’).

Every artiste who came on stage seemed to set the bar higher with each performance, especially after Tattuu started the fire; the trio are getting better with time like wine.

Cannibal raised the mood with Street Hustler as he did a cameo as fans cheered him on. Big Pin, one of the late E-Sir’s closest friends, too gave an electrifying and long act, and as his performance came to a close, Redsan’s bodyguard could be seeing hovering around the stage, a sign that the ‘big shot’ was to take over the mic. He got to the stage with Alkaeda Dancers and tore it up with his old and new hits. The crowd could not get enough of him, and they danced and sang along word for word before the rain set in.

Surprisingly, the fans were not deterred instead they soldiered on, and enjoyed the show more than ever. Redsan left the stage to a ‘happy birthday’ tune sang to him by the crowd. And gets the bronze medal of the night.

Next to rock the already pulsating party was Chilli Inc’s Pilipili who raised the roof with Twende Ndani, Kamata Dem and Morale as rain poured as fans danced.

Undaunted by the rain, silvery Nonini ran onto the stage and gave a performance that was not only memorable, but also heartfelt. He danced and entertained the crowd who now totally forgot the rain, even putting down the improvised brollies (plastic seats) as they grooved to Nonini’s beats. Then it was Nameless’ and Eclipse Dancers turn to heat things up. He sure lived up to the billing, singing songs like Salary and also Deadly, and as the crowd yelled and danced to every beat and lyric, there was no doubt who was the golden performer of the evening. Yes, the artiste who was with E-Sir when that fatal crash snapped life out of the budding musician. And now the other was honouring him in song.


And then the climax of the night finally came. After performing a few of his songs with Manga, Habib belted his brother’s much adored hits like Leo, some alongside Nameless, Big Pin and Mr Lenny. Tattuu also backed him up on E-Sir’s hit collabo Moss Moss. The other stars also joined on stage to pay respect to E-Sir, whom even seven years after the sudden exit, has proved he was no passing cloud. The moving event finally came to an end at around four in the morning to a full beach. But that was not the end of things; more was to come the following day at the Sunday family show.

A repeat and more of the previous night’s show was staged, with Nyota Ndogo, Prince Adio, Ally B and Generations Band also making appearances. The family show was similarly, a success as the Coasterians came in great numbers, and enjoyed every bit of the afternoon. This time they were in for a bigger treat. Each attendant got to taste a piece of Blackforest cake, courtesy of Redsan’s birthday, who seemed in a mellower mood than the evening before.

In between the performances, E-Sir’s mother Damaris Wangui expressed her gratitude to the crowd for showing their support by attending the show, even though it’s seven years later. A delighted Habib later told Pulse how the family was overwhelmed by the response that they received at Mombasa. "It’s moving to know that people still remember E-Sir seven years after his death. The artistes, Flame Entertainment and Pulse magazine have been good to me and my family; we are still very close with them," he said adding, "I miss E-Sir but I’m glad that people like Nameless and Big Pin have taken the role of big brother to me".

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