Veteran Musician David Mathenge popularly known as Nameless recently petitioned Nairobi governor John Sakaja to have a road in South C named after late rapper Issah "E-Sir" Mmari who passed on the 16th of March, 2003.
You can do better - Why idea to name street after E-Sir is not welcome
Kileleshwa MCA Robert Alai said the idea showed why there was stagnancy in the growth in the music industry
Nameless in his petition says E-Sir was regarded as one of the finest rappers to emerge in the Kenyan music scene and should be regarded as a national icon.
“In honour of this iconic Kenyan artist who was not only a great talent and friend to many but a pioneer in his genre of music we are calling on the Nairobi County Council (NCC) and The Office of the Ombudsman to name a road, drive or street in South C in 'E-Sir's" name as a way of celebrating artistic talent and in honor of his memory,” Nameless said in his petition.
The petition which has gathered over 3,800 signatures and is looking to have 5,000 signatures will then be handed to the Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja for further action.
The idea to have a road named after the Boomba train hitmaker however received mixed reactions from the public. While some are in support of the proposal by Nameless, others think the idea to have a road named after E-Sir is not the best way to remember the artist who was among the pioneers of local urban music.
Kileleshwa Member of the County Assembly and ex-blogger Robert Alai said the idea to have a road named after the late E-Sir was shallow, adding that it was an idea passed with time.
In his opinion, Alai said having a social hub for upcoming musicians to nurture talent in memory of E-Sir would work better.
“Of all things you could do for E-Sir, naming a road is what you could think of? You can’t think of fundraising for a social hub which can be digitally enabled and help young musicians or upcoming ones to better their creative skills and properly compose, brand and market?” Alai said.
“Like these very old men you think of naming a road, some of these suggestions show stagnant thought or growth in the industry,” the politician noted.
Podcaster Makarios Ouma known popularly as Mwafreeka commenting on the matter said naming roads after the figures who had an impact on different lines was not viable as there were many people who had great impact even in the music industry besides E-Sir. During a live session of the Iko Nini Podcast Mwafreeka said there were better ways to remember E-Sir.
“If we were to name a street after every artist there are very many artistes to name streets after, Daudi Kabaka, Kamaru, The Mushrooms, and many others, we would rather have a studio or library named after E-Sir but not a street,” Mwafreeka said.
Responding to the petition, Governor Sakaja said the ideas was something he would love to see come to life and was going to push it for due process.
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