Narratives are rife about the death of Kenyan gospel star as the DCI heightens investigations while autopsy reports shows deceleration.
By GEORGE D. MWENDWA
Over the past one week, social media platforms have been abuzz with condolence messages from key music industry players paying their final bow to fallen renowned gospel artiste Dennis Mwangi popularly Papa Dennis after he fell from the 7th floor of a building in Ngara under unclear circumstances.
It is believed that he rushed out of studio and went straight for the rails jumped over them, hitting the ground and dying on the spot presumably from depression.
Autopsy results that were released a few days ago show that he died out of deceleration from the impact of the fall.
In a social media post Mash Mjukuu the CEO Nairobi Records from who’s balcony Papa Dennis fell from wrote: “Today we did the post-mortem conducted by Dr. Joseph Ndung’u. The outcome is as follows, Papa Dennis died as a result of deceleration. The Post-mortem report cannot tell whether the cause was suicidal or homicide. As a result, we are waiting for the final investigations over the matter from the DCI. The samples were taken to the Government chemist in order to test and determine whether he was under influence of any substance,” read a post by Mash Mjukuu.
Rumour is rife that Papa Dennis lavish lifestyle had dwindled to that of a pauper in a few days such that he couldn’t afford a plate of food for himself.
In an interview with the Sunday Nation on 21st July 2019, Papa Dennis confirmed these claims. “I have decided to walk away from Maliza Umaskini stable because I feel that I need to serve my local fan base and for a long time I have been barred from that because my management charges unrealistic figures that the local event organizers can’t afford considering the state of our industry. I’ll also be able to make my own decisions but the tough part will be my music expenses and bills because my management used to cater to all that. However, I believe that I have the backing of my fans,” he revealed shortly after leaving Maliza Umaskini a label owned by businessman and tycoon Sadat Muhindi who in several occasions paid hefty amounts in millions for Papa Dennis to shoot expensive music videos with the leading producers in Africa like Moe Musa and Godfather productions.
Sadat Muhindi unsuccessfully vied for the Likuyani Parliamentary seat but has on several occasions been spotted with ODM leader Raila Odinga who was also invited in Papa Dennis’s music launch in one instance.
The question however begs how is it that Papa Dennis went broke days after contract with Maliza Umaskini ended yet he had in several occasions posted videos of him flaunting large amounts of cash and riding in the flashiest cars in Africa.
Sadat Muhindi responded to this but still remained scanty on details. “Maliza Umaskini does auditions and picks the best. We singled Papa Dennis from a music group he used to be in and we’ve supported him ever since investing in his craft and ensuring he builds a rigid international brand. However, when the time came he had to give space to other artists whom we have to support as well,” disclosed Sadat.
On why Papa Dennis never invested a dime from the fortunes he was earning, Sadat maintained that anyone faces challenges in life and that shouldn’t be blamed on Maliza Umaskini. “Papa is my homeboy and he shared what he was going through which was normal and happens to any human being. I never spotted depression but I know he was undergoing financial issues,” he summed.
A good number of key industry players still hold that Papa Dennis committed suicide and that it was after being used and dropped without any fortune to start up on his own.
Award-winning gospel artist, Mash Mwana, who was once a signee of Nairobi Records is of a similar opinion. “The tribulations of Papa Dennis are majorly advised by the management that has been running all his endeavors and projects. They never allowed him to grow as a person and all they did was to grow his brand leaving him at the mercy of the cruel economy and the public the moment they withdrew. He fell into depression because his life changed drastically in a day and all of a sudden had to beg for the very basic needs like food and shelter. Sadat should have built the young man as a person by helping him to start a business rather than investing millions into his projects and leaving him desperate in the end. Bahati is doing the same with his signees, using them for his gain and dumping them in the end with nothing to show. We can never grow as an industry without love,” decried Mash.
Burial arrangements for the fallen star are still ongoing as the public remains in the dark on the so soon sunset of the Mayaya hit maker.
He will be remembered for his up to the minute quality videos, international collaborations with Flavour, Christina Shusho, Chidinma, Korede Bello among others and his lavish lifestyle that was portrayed in his better days.
He shot to the limelight as immediately as he fell after releasing Makekes with Jimmy Gait in 2013. In an interview with NTV, he once narrated how he started off by doing odd jobs like selling inner wears and making candles to support his twin brother after their mother passed on, to a one-day breakthrough when Sadat flew him to South Africa for his first video shoot.