When Paul Mwangi, 43 – popularly known as Salim Junior the King of Mugithi – breathed his last on Saturday January 23rd 2016, the curtains had fallen on one of the most illustrious music careers the Kikuyu benga industry had seen.
Armed with a guitar, a melodious voice and aptness for covering popular Kikuyu songs from the seventies and the eighties, Salim Junior courageously ventured into the unknown. Eventually he would skillfully carve out what would be later known as Mugithi, a popular Kikuyu rendition of songs made into lengthy medleys.
He gave new life to most vernacular and secular and gospel songs by releasing their remix through his unique style, and orientated budding artists struggling to find an entry point into the industry.
Today, there are tens of Mugithi oriented musicians popularly as “One Man Guitar” who have built high flying careers out of the rendition that Salim Junior originated. As a matter of fact, I happen to be a direct beneficiary of Salim’s talent with two of my uncles fully in the trade.
Therefore, as Salim Junior is laid to rest later today in Subukia, Nakuru County, we celebrate a life well lived. The life of a man who did not die old but rather he died empty. That’s the goal of life. Go to the cemetery and disappoint the graveyard.
Rest in peace Salim Junior