Matee Festo, AP officer who founded Utawala Band buried after losing battle with cancer

By Brenda Mwende On Sun, 5 Jul, 2020 14:07 | < 1 min read
Matee Festo
Matee Festo, the Administration Police officer credited with founding Utawala Band. PHOTO | COURTESY

Retired Administration Police officer, Matee Festo, who is credited with founding Utawala Band, was laid to rest on Saturday at his home in Ithookwe, Kitui County.

The veteran musician founded the Utawala Jazz Band in 1981 immediately after he joined the police service, a group he headed until his retirement in 2018.

Some of the songs he composed while leading the Band include Kazi ya Askari, a hit that made the group a household name in Kenya.

He composed other songs such as Stella while in Mwema Brothers Band before he joined the police service.


His friends and colleagues who attended his burial eulogized him as a humble public servant who worked well with his juniors.

Until his retirement, Matee was a senior superintendent who served in many stations across the country.

He led the Utawala Band for more than three decades.

His first wife, Rosemary Matee, described him as a man of peace who always loved his family and helped people.

He died of cancer, a disease he had fought for many years.

He is succeeded by two wives and five children.

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