Mugithi, a cherished music style originating from the Mt Kenya region in Kenya, has found a new rising star challenging the established order. Traditionally featuring a single musician on guitar singing in the Kikuyu language, the genre has long been dominated by Samuel Muchoki, known as Samidoh, earning him the moniker ‘King of the Mugithi Jangle.’ However, a formidable contender has emerged, giving Samidoh a run for his money – John Waithaka Mwangi, aka Waithaka wa Jane.
Waithaka wa Jane, born in 1998 in Mathioya, Murang’a County, is the youngest of eight siblings. His musical journey began in 2016 when he joined the industry, playing drums and guitar for the seasoned musician Mr. Pato Wa Gathoni. After refining his skills, Waithaka ventured into a solo career in 2020, a challenging time marked by the pandemic’s economic impact and dwindling gig opportunities. Undeterred, Waithaka persevered, even accepting modest pay from vernacular radio stations.
His dedication bore fruit in early 2021, propelling his career to new heights as he claimed the title of the new Mugithi king in the Mt Kenya region, surpassing the veteran Samidoh. Waithaka’s prowess as a one-man guitarist in Nairobi has made him highly sought after, and he has released both gospel and secular hits in various formats. With his calendar booked three months in advance, Waithaka attributes his success to divine intervention.
Acknowledging Waithaka’s talent, Samidoh recognizes the unpredictability of the music industry. He commends Waithaka’s achievements and offers advice, emphasizing the need to capitalize on success while being prepared for the inevitable fluctuations that accompany the industry’s dynamic nature.