Veteran radio presenter Fred Obachi Machokaa has paid his tribute to the late Benga singer Albert Gacheru.
Taking his fans down a memory line Obachi said he met Albert while doing a top television show on KBC, back in the late 80s.
Albert died yesterday at KNH after a long illness.
‘I first met the late Albert Gacheru outside music producer Joe Mwangi’s music shop christened Matunda productions. This was some time in the late 80s when I used to host a top TV show on KBC-TV known as Music Time. If my memory serves me right, that time I was in the company of one Isaac Mwangi Baru my TV show producer. He is the one who introduced me to Gacheru, then a young budding Benga artist singing in his vernacular Kikuyu language. I asked Albert when he was likely to release some of his music so that we could play it on our and he immediately responded by opening a parcel he was carrying.
Albert GacheruIn the parcel were a few “white” samples of his newly released song Mariru in vinyl form. We requested Joe Mwangi, a top producer of lots of Kikuyu music then to let’s listen to the song on his turntable and after listening to it we all thought it was a good song. Albert was also carrying an unlabelled cassette of the song which he insisted that we take with us and play in car.
After dropping Baru(also now deceased…God rest his soul) at his residence in South B, I decided to play the Mariru cassette given to us by Albert from South B to Alliance Boys High school where I used to shelter (my wife, a teacher there then was a beneficiary of the staff housing system). That weekend we invited young Albert Gacheru to be our guest on Music Time TV show and formally launch his, later to be chart bursting single Mwendwa Wakwa Mariru! Later, many Kikuyu musicians like Peter Kigia, Francis Rugweti, WaTailor Mwenyewe, Mwalimu Mbugua and Queen Jane became a permanent fixture on the TV show until its demise in 1993. Rest in peace Albert, it was a privilege and pleasure knowing and working with you. Pass my greetings to my dear friend Isaac Baru and Linda Waka.