Kenyan musician John De' Mathew dies in car crash

Police say he ran into truck

By Bukola Adebayo and Kagweni Micheni, CNN
Amazon via CNN

Kenyan singer John De Mathew, real name John Ng'ang'a, was driving alone in his car in Nairobi when he ran into a truck, Kenyan police said in a statement.

(CNN) - Kenyan musician John De' Mathew has died in a fatal car crash, police said .

The singer, real name John Ng'ang'a, was driving alone in his car in Nairobi Sunday night when he ran into a truck, Kenyan police said in a statement on Monday.

He was coming from a fundraiser where he had also performed, according to a local media report.

De'Mathew regularly sang in Kenya's Kikuyu language and was popular for his style of music known as Benga, which featured fast-paced guitar tunes.

Kenyan's vice president William Ruto paid tribute to the singer and described him as an eloquent performer whose lyrics tackled social problems.

"De Mathew was a great composer of Kikuyu lyrics, which carried undertones of societal ills, including alcoholism and promoting peace and cohesion in society," Ruto said in a post on Twitter.

Kenyan lawmaker and musician, Charles Njagua Kanyi, who goes by the stage name, Jaguar, said De Mathew's songs inspired him to go into music.

"While growing up, I listened a lot to John DeMathew. His music inspired me greatly to become the musician I am today. I am Deeply saddened by his untimely demise following a tragic road accident today.. May His soul rest well in eternal peace," the lawmaker said.

De'Mathew recorded more than 50 albums and had sang over 300 songs.

His fans shared videos of his last performance on Sunday night on social media.

Many are also tweeting with the hashtag #RIPDeMathew to share fond memories of the musician who was famed for wearing cowboy hats.

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