Dick Munyonyi: Kikuyu Musician Who Performed at Uhuru's Wedding

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta dancing
    President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta dancing
  • Kikuyu Musician Dick Njoroge Alias Munyonyi, who gained popularity in the 1980s was among the few chosen to perform at President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta's wedding in 1989.

    In a 2016 interview, Munyonyi, 69, recalled that he first met Uhuru during the ceremony where he performed alongside legendary Gikuyu musician Joseph Kamaru, who passed away in 2018.

    The musician stated that he had interacted with the head of state by virtue of being close to his cousin, Ngengi Muigai.

    Uhuru Kenyatta and Margaret Kenyatta during their wedding at the Holy Family Basilica in 1989
    Uhuru Kenyatta and Margaret Kenyatta during their wedding at the Holy Family Basilica in 1989.

    "I was close to Ngengi Muigai and that is how I met President Kenyatta. I was in Ngengi's campaign team and when Uhuru joined politics, he also requested me to be in his campaign team," he disclosed.

    They would go on to have more interactions as Munyonyi's wife Peninah Waithera, 49, recalled that the first family paid for her medical bills at MP Shah hospital and Agha Khan hospital when she delivered her first two children.

    She revealed that before Uhuru ventured into politics they had slaughtered a goat for him when he visited their home at Githuya village, Gatundu South constituency.

    During a visit to Kiambu County in 2016, President Uhuru picked out Munyonyi in a crowd outside Gatundu level four hospital and greeted him.

    "This is like a dream. I am yet to come to terms with reality. It is a miracle that the President noticed me in the crowd and he now wants to see me at State House," the musician revealed at the time.

    Dick Njoroge speaks with President Uhuru Kenyatta outside the Gatundu level four hospital when the president toured the region.
    Dick Munyonyi speaking with President Uhuru Kenyatta outside the Gatundu level four hospital when the president toured the region in 2016.
    The Standard
    Fidelis Kabunji

    The visit to State House, however, failed to materialise as he forgot the number given to him at the time, and officials from the president's office did not call him either.

    Munyonyi's music career began in 1971, releasing a number of hit records with the most recognizable one being "Onga Munyonyi".

    His journey to making more music was however cut short when he was diagnosed with tuberculosis at Kiambu Hospital.

    He disclosed that he lost his voice after a bus trip to Nairobi from the Mwembe tayari, Mombasa where he had been invited to perform in clubs at the coast.

    "As time went by, my voice began to change. It became hoarse and finally I could not sing. I now perform with my son who sings as I play the guitar. We have recorded an album and one song is dedicated to the President," he conveyed.

    Kikuyu Musician Dick Njoroge during an interview in 2017. He turned to composing songs for other singers after he lost his voice.
    Kikuyu Musician Dick Njoroge during an interview in 2017. He turned to composing songs for other singers after he lost his voice.

    In a previous interview, he lamented that his children cried when they hear his hoarse voice compared to his singing voice.