10 Facts about late E-sir as the world marks 18 years since his death

E-Sir, tragically lost his life in a road accident back in 2003

The late E-Sir

On March 16th 2003, the country was robbed of a star that dazzled the entire music industry. Isah Mmari Wangui, popularly known as E-Sir, tragically lost his life in a road accident.

It is an unequivocal fact that E-Sir is one of Kenya's most universally loved musicians. He died at a young age just when he was storming the Kenyan hip hop scene with hit songs that saw him win four categories in the 2003 Kisima Music Awards. Isah first stormed the music scene with his 2001 hit song, Jo and 18 years later, E-Sir still lives on through his music.

David Mathenge aka Nameless survived the fatal accident, escaping with just a broken collarbone. E-Sir died at 21 alongside a friend, Kevin Kiiru Karanja

Here are facts about E-Sir, 18 years down the line.

Isah Mmari (May 20, 1981 - March 16, 2003) better known by his stage name E-Sir was a Kenyan hip hop artist signed to the Ogopa Deejays label. He was born in California Estate, and raised in South C estate Nairobi, Kenya. He first came to be known in 2001 with his song "Jo", done in the same style as Black Rob's "Whoa".

He was born of a Kenyan mother, Damaris Wangui, and a Tanzanian father, Amin Mmari and was famous for his deft lyrical ability and command of the Swahili language.

The late E-Sir was among the pioneering young musicians behind the emergence of the now popular Kenyan hip-hop music. The popularity of his songs disproved the myth that Kenyan music could never compete on an international market.


Through his brief tenure, E-Sir won four Kisima Awards in 2003.

Song of the Year for "Boomba Train"

Best Male & Hip hop Artist of the Year

Best Album of the Year for Nimefika.


He was also nominated at the Kora Awards 2003 for Best East African Artist and in the 2004 Tanzania Music Awards for Best East African Album Nimefika.

2003 Kora Awards - Best East African Artist

2004 Tanzania Music Awards - Best East African Album for Nimefika

Younger brother is also a rapper

  • E-Sir’s younger brother Habib has been in the music industry for a while. His collaboration with his brother "Fever" is still a banger to anyone who was older than 10 in the early 2000s.
  • Nameless survived the fatal accident that claimed E-sir’s life, escaping with just a broken collarbone. E-Sir died at 21 alongside a friend, Kevin Kiiru Karanja.
  • His body was identified at the Morgue by Nameless’s Big Brother Bob after the accident.
  • His remains were interred at the Kariokor Muslim Cemetery.
  • His album Nimefika, was released posthumously two months after his demise.
  • E-Sir’s mother Damaris Wangui stays in South C.
  • E-Sir dated Yvonne Nkatha, then a 18-year-old first year law student at the University of Nairobi.
  • E-Sir attended St Anne’s Junior Academy and later Brookehouse Senior School in Nairobi where he honed his musical skills.
  • He made his debut on the music scene in 1999 with Jo Nimefika, which he released with Ogopa Deejays Productions.
  • E-Sir’s maiden performance came courtesy of one Evans Odhiambo Ombajo, a former councillor in Nairobi.
  • In early 1999, Ombajo was managing a musician who failed to show up for a scheduled performance in Mombasa. The promoter had agreed to carry E-Sir to the event after much pestering.
  • When his star attraction failed to show up, he ushered E-Sir to the stage. The crowd was ecstatic and a star was born!

On March 16th, 2021, Musician David Mathenge aka Nameless and his wife Wahu Kagwi led Kenyans from all walks of life in paying tribute to the late Isah Mmari Wangui alias E-sir, as the world marks 18 years since his death.


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