Kenyan artist Charles Lwande dies

A promising talent has been nipped too soon, leaving the Kenyan music fraternity in shock. Singer, song writer, rapper and consummate guitarist Charles Lwande aka Cee L Nuke breathed his last this morning. The cause of death is yet unkown.

The late Charles Lwande.
The late Charles Lwande.

Friends, fans and fellow musicians have taken to social media to send their condolences for an artist who was part of a large musical family and social network.

Lwande, who apparently had shown no signs of ill health, spent the evening with his brother and cousins but asked to take a nap in the car because he was feeling dizzy. He was taken home but become unresponsive and did not wake up in the morning. Dashed to St Mary’s hospital in Lang’ata, Nairobi, Lwande was pronounced dead after doctors failed to resuscitate him.

Lwande, a member of the world-travelled choral group Kenyan Boys Choir, was also an alumnus of Sauti Academy, a training school for vocal talent in Nairobi. He was a member of JKD (Just a Kenyan Dream), a hiphop and afro-fusion band comprising of singers, rappers and poets who met at Upper Hill High School where they originally did acapella and acoustic pieces. His love for music was sparked at this school, which has produced several contemporary music greats such as the members of Sauti Sol band.  

He performed alongside other Sauti Academy graduates such as Vereso, Phy, Serro and Andrew Wambua.

Here are some of the tributes from friends: 

Natalie Lukkanaer (Runs Sauti Academy): This Cee L. Smiling, happy, true. A connector, a great musician. #TheSautiMovement will miss him dearly. We will be gathering at Sauti Academy, 5pm today. Carry something to sit on and a guitar.

Monaja (artist): So much promise, so so much promise in what you did. Plus, you were a great soul. I could feel it instinctively. Rest well bro, the best way I can honour you is by mirroring your soul in my ways.

Kenyan Boys Choir: We are saddened by the death of our brother Cee L Nuke. You will be missed dearly. #ForeverInOurHearts Rest in Power bro!

Sage (artist): It hurts me so much to have to tell you to Rest In Peace so young. Shine bright in the heavens as you did here on earth #RIP.

Anto Neosoul (artist): You don't have to be family to die inside when someone dies! Someone as talented, kind and so genuine like Charles Lwande! Today we have lost! When I performed at Tree House where I last saw you, you literally danced the whole time I was on stage. I'm speechless! Rest in Peace. Death is Cruel!

Polycarp Otieno (Sauti Sol member): I am really struggling to believe this. Still in shock! Worst news in a very long time. You have left us too soon brother! Too soon! You indeed were a very talented soul oozing so much musicality and a great man too. I was truly honoured having you in my studio a couple of times. May The Lord rest your soul in ternal eace @ceelnuke.

Listen to JKD’s song, ‘Hello’ on:

Watch Lwande’s video for ‘ Good Music’ here: 



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