Hundreds gather in Gatanga for John De'Mathew's burial

Saturday August 24 2019

The burial ceremony of Kikuyu Benga musician John Mwangi Ng'ang'a, who was commonly known as John De' Mathew, was held in Mukurwe village, Murang'a County on August 24, 2019. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Mourners gathered in Gatanga, Murang’a County Saturday to say goodbye to contemporary benga musician John Ng’ang’a Mwangi, better known by his stage name John De’Mathew.

A funeral service held at Githambia Primary School kicked off at 10am. Leaders from across the country including President Uhuru Kenyatta attended the ceremony.

De'Mathew died in a road crash near Thika Town on Sunday night.

Since the news of his death broke, condolences have been pouring in from fellow musicians, fans and political leaders from across the country.

DeMathew, who was the chairman of the recently launched Tamco Sacco, was returning home from a fundraising meeting at Metro Fill bar in the town when he met his death.

His death echoes a warning in his first most popular hit Peris Nduku, which he released in 1987 and in which he narrates about his lover’s death in a grisly road crash, warning that sometimes vehicles are unreliable.


In the song, DeMathew narrates how, with his lover, they were involved in a fatal crash as they went to visit his parents in Gatanga.

But their car rolled while climbing a hill thus cutting short their journey home.


They were taken to hospital where his lover Nduku died while undergoing treatment. He ends the song with farewell words to his lover, who kisses him a final goodbye as she breathed her last, telling her that he is also on the way and that they will meet in heaven.

It was a classic masterpiece that threw DeMathew into music fame which he maintained in his over 30 years singing career.

Incidentally, DeMathew died in a similar way as happened to his imaginary lover Nduku.


On Sunday, August 18, 2019, his car hit a trailer-truck from the rear as he drove up an incline near Thika’s Blue Post Hotel along the Thika-Murang’a Road.

He was pronounced dead at the Thika Nursing Home where he had been rushed following the crash.