As details emerge on the death of Kenyan poet and musician Grandmaster Masese, the Mstari Wa Nne collective is hosting a tribute show in his honour at the Kenya National Library, Nairobi on June 10, 2022.
Grandmaster Masese, real name Dennis Dancan Mosiere, came to prominence when a new poetry scene emerged in Nairobi in the mid-2000s. Masese kept at his poetry and his obokano, the lyre from the Gusii people, and in 2021 gave us his album Grandmaster Masese, the first full-length obokano record in history. The poet from Kisii passed away in circumstances that were not clear on June 2. This gap has been filled by some of the comrades who share his final hours. Here is the statement shared verbatim;
Dear Comrades and Friends,
We understand that for all of us it feels important to be able to make sense of the passing of our beloved Masese, whose loss was both sudden and untimely. Although we do not have all the information on Masese’s final hours we felt it would be useful to share some basic information about his last days and his passing.
Our dear friend and comrade passed on Thursday the 2nd of June while in transit to Kenyatta National Hospital. It was determined that the cause of this death had been cerebral malaria. In the days prior to his passing Masese had been in Nairobi, shortly, for a performance and to spend time with a close friend who had travelled to Nairobi. The following timeline outlines his basic movements and the symptoms he reported over the days.
May 27: Performed at Rosslyn Riviera, on Limuru Road, Nairobi where he wasn’t able to perform as usual due to feeling unwell. 28 May: Spent time with friends at the National Theatre, where there was an event hosted in honour of Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
May 31: Was at a farewell party for a friend, who’d flown in for the performance on the 27th. Right off the bat he pointed out that he was not feeling well, he complained of feeling like he had gas, was nauseated, and did vomit. By midnight he lay on the floor, and was sweating. His friends tried to convince him to go to the hospital, but he kept insisting he was okay.
June 1: Early morning, he took a taxi to the place where he was staying. Later in the day his friends received a call stating he needed to be transported to a hospital. Upon his return, he confirmed he had medication and that the hospital had advised him he had amoeba
June 2: He passed in transit to the national hospital, and it was later determined that the cause of death was cerebral malaria.
We hope that by having this basic information you find a level of peace as you process his passing- in understanding that nothing can make up for the grief and loss of his life.
His former poetry collective Mstari Wa Nne comprising Inkwa Dennis, Njeri Wangarĩ, and Leon Kiptum have today announced a tribute show for the beloved poet. In their statement they said;
A tribute for departed Kenyan poet and musician Dennis Dancan Mosiere, popularly known as Grandmaster Masese will take place on Friday, 10 June 2022 at the Kenya National Library Services Headquarters at Maktaba Kuu at Community, Nairobi.
The tribute will feature performances from guest artistes as well as Masese’s colleagues from the poetry collective Mstari wa Nne – Njeri Wangari, Dennis Inkwa, Leon Kiptum and Michael Kwambo. The proceeds from this event, which will cost Kshs500 per head, will be channelled towards Masese’s funeral expenses.
If you are in Nairobi, please consider attending this event at the Kenya National Library Services Headquarters. If you cannot attend, please send the entry fee and any amount you wish to contribute, to 0722321094 as all proceeds go to funeral expenses.