The rampant CHEST epidemic has robbed Kenya yet another of her illustrious sons. Veteran Kenya broadcaster Tony Msalame, 57, passed away Friday morning after suddenly collapsing at his Sheki Studios in Mombasa complained of chest pains. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Pandya Memorial Hospital where he was rushed.
The death of Msalame robs Kenya of an authentic entertainer both at radio studios and on TV, Tushauriane. The not-so young Kenyans will recall Tony as the signature voice of infant Metro FM radio off KBC. Teaming with youngster DJs like Lucy Nduta, Angela Obino, Anne Lamayan and Kenyan-Congolese Harry Kabecha, African Music/Lingala and Benga music grew its own wings at Metro.
Tony was an accomplished broadcaster at ease acting in TV, presenting Jazz hour on radio and Rhythm and Blues with Fayaz Qureishi. His Zum Zum Kipindi cha Kuongeza Maarifa, which he co-hosted with Kenyan-Tanzanian Tido Mhando was in a league of its own. Come Sunday evening and Msalame na dada Mrembo Khadija Ali would rock you off your seat with scintillating and often provocative Taarabu ballads.
Tony Msalame trail blazed modern FM Radio entertainment in Kenya with his Sheki Legi program. His ilk includes the evergreen Freddy Obachi Machoka (the blackest man in black Africa), Khadija Ali, Eddy Fondo and Abdull Haq not to forget Mwalimu JOJ (Kenyan Franco), John Karani and Jeff Mwangemi. Tony's death is a golden feather off Kenya's national entertainment wing.
A true Kenyan, Burudani with Tony at Sheki FM was the best. His fans spanned all the corners of Kenya. He would start with a call from Kip in Eldoret, follow it with Kasivu from Mwala, spice it with Nyongesa from Bungoma before invitting, Busia, Kisumu dala, Kisii, Kakamega, Muranga, Lunga Lunga na Kenya yote to Sheki legi.
Rest in peace Tony, we loved you. And may your Skeki FM studio in Mombasa live long in flying your flag/legacy. You were a true Kenyan who warmed our hearts when you lived. Thank you Tony for a life fully lived and enjoyed, we can only repay you by celebrating yours.