Christopher David Mwaura, alias CDM Kiratu is a celebrated Kikuyu benga musician famed for his song about Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
He attended Nyandarua High School and later joined Kenyatta College, currently known as Kenyatta University.
In a past interview, CDM Kiratu discussed his rise to the top and how he blew his music money on cars after fame.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
CDM Kiratu composed a song about Mzee Jomo Kenyatta when he was 19 years old, studying at Kenyatta College.
In an interview with The Standard, the singer said he was later sought by the then Head of State who set up a meeting in Gatundu.
Through the help of PC John Mburu, Kiratu was able to meet Mzee Kenyatta.
“I was so worried because I thought maybe Mzee was angry. I was surprised and pleasantly relieved when he patted me on the back and told me it was a great song. I was in Form Five at the time,” he said.
Following his interaction with Mzee Kenyatta, Kiratu’s career picked, and within a short period, he started making a decent income from music.
He would make money from performing in live shows, and selling CDs.
However, Kiratu had poor money management and ended up spending most of his money on liabilities such as cars.
“I made a mistake because I never invested in assets like land. I only bought cars. Money was not a problem back then, but I ended up selling the cars when I got broke
“The problem that we have as musicians is that we live for today and fail to invest. Musicians should invest if they don’t want to die poor,” he said.
During the same interview, Kiratu also mentioned that he composes his songs based on real life experiences and imaginations.
For instance, his song, Kaba Kuinuka (I better go home), is based on a true story.
He noted that he was working for an insurance company as a claims officer, earning a mere Ksh 700 per month.
“I was working in Nairobi and was not making enough money, so I used the song to advise young men who were suffering in the city to go home and try their luck in the village,” Kiratu said.
Kiratu pointed out that poor government policies are some of the things that are ailing the Kenyan music industry.
“…lack of political goodwill is a big problem today. Kamaru’s rise to stardom for instance was made possible due to the fact that he was close to Jomo Kenyatta, Kamotho and Njonjo,” be pointed out.
He mentioned piracy and poor royalty collection as other factors that affecting our music include.
“We can develop local music by protecting it against piracy. Music should also be taught in schools and each county should establish talent centres and music studios,” Kiratu said.