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Mudavadi, Kalonzo mourn Kenyan born British musician, Roger Whittaker

By Winnie Mabel September 19th, 2023 2 min read

Kenyan-born British musician Roger Whittaker has died at the age of 87.

He was born in March 1936 in Nairobi and passed away on September 18, 2023.

The news of his demise was broken over his verified social media handles and website,, by Jesse Waggoner.

“It is with great sadness we share the news of Roger’s passing at age 87. His life, artistry and legacy has meant so much to so many all over the world. We are thankful that the gift of his music remains with us. Comments and condolences can be left on the official website at,” said Jesse Waggoner.

In Kenya, a host of politicians, led by Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, mourned the late Whittaker who gained prominence in the country after releasing his “My Land Is Kenya” folk song.

“My heartfelt condolences on the passing of the legendary country music singer, Roger Whittaker. Born in Kenya, Roger Whittaker’s soothing music touched the hearts of millions worldwide. His contributions to the music industry will always be cherished. His 1982 hit song “My Land Is Kenya” played a significant role in promoting Kenya as a breathtaking tourist destination. May his soul rest in peace,” said PCS Mudavadi.

Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka also offered his condolences to the family of the late Whittaker.

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of renowned Kenyan-born folk singer Roger Whittaker. The over 60 million records sold worldwide over a career spanning more than 40 years, is a testament to Whittaker’s gift and appeal. So too his expert whistling. Whittaker often spoke of how much Kenya’s “wonderful drumming and infectious rhythms” greatly influenced his songwriting. His 1982 record titled ‘A Musical Safari – My Land Is Kenya’ captivatingly celebrated this connection. “…But everybody liveth has one place he was born. And mine is Kenya… You’ll always stay with me here in my heart,” Whittaker wrote and sang. Indeed your land is Kenya, Roger Whittaker; and you will stay in our hearts forever,” mourned Mr Musyoka.

Nyeri County Governor Mutahi Kahiga said, “Roger Whittaker takes his last bow at 87. A mercurial country music singer born in Kenya in 1936, Roger was famous for his “My Land is Kenya” song, “Indian Lady” amongst many other hits. Rest in eternal peace.”

RIP Roger Whittaker,” said Philip Etale, the ODM Communications Director.

According to the late Whittaker’s official biography, his parents hailed originally from Staffordshire in England: his father came from a family of grocers and his mother was a teacher. Roger’s love for music began in his childhood and he went on to learn instruments and being part of school choirs.

Upon completing school, he was drafted into the national service and spent two years serving in the Kenyan regiment. He left the service in 1956 and decided to go into medicine. In 1959, he arrived in Britain and studied zoology for three years before he embarked on his musical journey in 1962 at the age of 26.

He performed across the world for decades until his retirement in 2012 in France.