Field Recording Report by Kahithe Kiiru

Introduction: Project overview and objectives

This report is to inform interested parties of the results of field recordings from Western Kenya under Singing Wells project series, produced by Abubilla Music and Ketebul Music.  It reports on the field interviews and recordings conducted between Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega and Vihiga Counties in the Western Region of Kenya in the period from 17thto 25thFebruary 2018.

 

DAY 1 – Saturday 17thFebruary 2018

The first day of recording for “Rhythms of Western Kenya” took place in Busia County, in the Samia sub-county. This sub-county was named after the Samia sub-group of the Luhya ethnic community who make the majority of its’ population. In Nanguba village of Agen’ga location, we met EKHUNJWE YA ABASAMIA folk group. Led by Stephen Bwire, a local music scholar who acted as our contact person and by the group’s secretary Wilhemina Oduor, this is a very organized group of twenty eight (28) members coming from the different administrative areas of Samia district.

Ekhunjwe ya Abasamiawas formed in April 2008 with common focus on using music as a tool for community development. The group promotes traditional African values and acts in both education and local economy. Members also engage in traditional crafts like basket weaving and jewellery making for exhibition and sale. Their Chairman Mr. Bwire also chairs the County Culture Committee and says he is “biased towards ethnomusicology” because “that’s where the beauty of the music lies”.

Our recording session took place at the home of Dr. Paul Otwoma, a former MP for the area, who is the group’s patron. The choir of women was led by Wilhemina as a powerful soloist and backed by four men on various instruments. These instruments were:

  • ENGARABE – a long one-skin drum with molitor lizard skin (resembles the famous Luo ohangladrum);
  • ENDONYI – a medium sized two-skin drum played with wooden sticks;
  • EBESI – larger two-skin drum (bass);
  • EFURIMBI – a whistle;
  • OLWIKA – antelope horn;
  • MANYANGA – shakers made out of a metal tin filled with seeds.

We recorded ten (10) songs, presented in groups according to the occasion they are normally played in, notably general entertainment, burial and wedding songs. We also recorded Magic Moments with Ekhunjwe instrumentalists only.

 

DAY 2 – Sunday 18thFebruary 2018

Our second day in the field was quite busy, as we recorded three groups in three different locations of the Teso sub-county in Busia County. It was all about Teso traditional music. The Iteso (people of Teso) are Nilotes who live mainly in Eastern Uganda and in Western Kenya. The Iteso of Kenya are about 500,000, the majority of whom live in Busia County. Their music varies from traditional drums to string ensembles of impressive complexity and we were lucky to both witness and document this variety.

The first location of recording was Atapara village of Ong’ariama sub-location within Amongura location of Teso sub-county. Here we visited OMONG’OLUK TRADITIONAL DANCERS founded in the 1940s by Longinos Omong’oluk. Longinos died in 1998 at the age of 87, while the group is today led by his great grandson Ibrahim Omong’oluk. This is a group of men and women, who perform traditional Iteso music and a dance locally known as akisuk.This dance is characterized by rhythmical upright jumping.

We were particularly intrigued and impressed by the traditionally unusual composition of the instrumental ensemble, which was predominantly made up of women. They played several types of drums as follows:

  • AKIBABAM – a two-skin cylindric drum played with wooden sticks;
  • NAKAKIUMU – a cone shaped drum played with sticks and/or hands;
  • AKIDONG – a two-skin cylindric drum played on three metal legs, also played with woodensticks);
  • ABUSA – wind instrument made out of long plastic pipe and a gourd;
  • AMUGWARA – antelope horn;
  • ISMAN – metal jingles tied to dancers legs.

We recorded five folk songs and a magic moment focusing on the percussionists only. In terms of costuming, although they did not have uniform costumes, the men had displayed some interesting traditional clothing items, such as for example banana fibre skirts, chest and leg decorations and a full cheetah skin outfit.

We then proceeded to the second location of recording in Obekai village of the same location in Busia County. Here we met one of our fixers in the area – Patrick Okodoi and his group – the SOUTH TESO JAZZ. Based on the adeudeu– a traditional Teso string instrument, this group plays an interesting folk local sound and is very popular in the area. They combine several adeudeu(arched harps) of various sizes and functions, notably:

  • ADEUDEU BASS – 6-strings instrument played by two people sitting on it; struck as a percussive by player in the back;
  • RHYTHM ADEUDEU – 10-string adeudeu;
  • ADEUDEU SEKETA – 9-string adeudeu;
  • SOLO ADEUDEU – 5-string adeudeu, smallest in size.

This string sound is complemented with a home-crafted drum-set they refer to as akicheketin their vernacular language. This is a set of metal tin drums of different sizes joint on a wooden stand, together with bottle tops and a metal plate. Finally, the ensemble also a metal ring called edongotanditwol– shakers made out of gourds and seeds.

The group performed 5 songs accompanied by virtuoso dancers who performed, individually or in pairs, a dance centred on pelvic movements. We also recorded our influences artists – Fadhilee Itulya, performing one of his original composition called “Wango” accompanied by the mellow wound of South Teso adeudeu.

 

Our last session for the day was recorded at Kodedema village in Kamolo location of Teso sub-county (Busia County), at the home of Obasie Palnyang’. We were welcomed by his son Donald Obasie, who is a fine artist. The 80-year-old Obasie grew up with music, since his grandfather Okomol was a traditional percussionist. Obasie himself started playing music in 1958 and has mastered several Teso traditional instruments. Today he plays with an old friend – Mzee (Edler) Ikobulo (born 1932) and his daughters as back-vocals. Through a series of 8 songs, he showcased three major instruments:

  • ADEUDEU – 5-strings arced harp;
  • AGEREGERE – a one-string traditional fiddle;
  • ACCORDION.

All through the session, Obasie was accompanied by a percussionist on a drum called atenus amwatonitand by Mzee Ikobulo on a traditional wind instrument made out of a plastic pipe and a gourd. They called it etuo aporutu. We were all mesmerised by the Elder’s robust yet sweet voice and unique style of performance – a perfect end to a fruitful day of recording.

 

DAY 3 – Monday 19thFebruary 2018

The third day of our field recordings started in Kulisiru village of Sirisia location in Bungoma County. Here we visited Samuel Namatete Wepukhulu, a locally famous player of the litungu– a seven-string traditional lyre, which originates in the Bukusu sub-group of the Luhya community.

Namatete started playing the litungu in 1982, but founded his first serious band in 1992. His current band, simply called “Namatete Band – Bungoma” counts five members and performs locally at community celebrations and rituals (such as weddings, burials, etc.), as well as at political rallies and events by the County government. According to him, the style of music they play is known as tindikti. Because of his wish to reach a larger audience, Namatete performs most of his original compositions in Kiswahili. His band is composed of the following instruments:

  • LITUNGU – a 7-string traditional lyre;
  • ISIRILI – a one-string fiddle;
  • LUENGELE– a percussive idiophone composed of a wooden bowl struck with wooden sticks on both the outside and the inside;
  • ENG’OMA – a generic term for drums, use it for several drums of different shapes and sizes;
  • CHICHUKA – shakers made out of gourds;
  • metal ring struck with wooden sticks
  • metal plate used as a drum-set cymbal.

The charismatic Namatete played for us 6 songs and did one of his song (“Oche Kombe”) together with Fadhilee on guitar. We also recorded a magic moment with percussive instruments only.

 

Moving along through the county of tindikti, we visited another famous tindktiplayer/singer – Pius Wafula. We recorded a session with him and his band called “Webuye International” at the beautiful Nabuyole Falls in Chetambe location of Webuye sub-county (Bungoma County). Pius, singer and player of shirili fiddle, used to play with a famous local group called “Webuye Jua Kali” up to 2009, when he founded his own group. Today the group counts 5 members who play the following instruments:

  • LITUNGU – a 7-string traditional lyre;
  • ISIRILI – a one-string fiddle;
  • LUENGELE– a percussive idiophone, they use a wooden stool struck with wooden sticks;
  • ENG’OMA – a generic term for drums, they use a plastic water container also struck with wooden sticks;
  • CHISASI – shakers made out of gourds.

We recorded five of Pius’s original compositions and were amazed with his rough yet mellow voice.

 

We then proceeded to the location of our last session for the day. In Bungoma town, at a hotel known as Santa Maria resort, we were to record Wilbert Wanyama – probably the most popular litungu player in the area. Unfortunately, the sudden rain shower did not allow us to record that afternoon, yet we took advantage of the time at location to do a detailed interview with Wilbert.

Popularly known as “Chapa Ilale”, after his biggest hit, Wilbert started playing the litunguin 2005 while he was still in school. After he completed school. He started playing locally at weddings, funerals and other functions with his group. They left their home village – Michimeru in 2007 and settled in Bungoma town, doing day jobs and playing in local pubs at night. In 2009, they got the opportunity to go to Nairobi and recorded the first album entitled “Khabere Wefwe” after a song dedicated to Luhya heros. He also talked of his friend and benefactor John Kapanga who sponsored his second album entitled “Chapa Ilale” and recorded in 2011 in Kisumu town. Since the title song of this album, Wilbert became ery famous and started getting invitations to perform all over the country. His group added dancers, a keyboard and a drum-set, as they started making their livelihoods out of music alone.

DAY 4 – Tuesday 20thFebruary 2018

As we waited for the recording team to set up at the Santa Maria Resort, we started the morning of February 20thwith an interview with Fadhilee Itulya – our Influencesartist. Born in 1988 in Kakamega town in Western Kenya, Fadhilee’s first experience with music was in the Church choir, where he played the keyboard. He fondly remembers how his mum had found him playing with his dad’s guitar and taught him the only three cords she knew how to play. From there, he picked it up and continued to teach himself the guitar. In 1996, his family moved to Nairobi and by the time he was in high school, he was playing the guitar at any occasion and learning from any player he would encounter. After completing high school, Fadhilee spent two years doing construction work. He says that was the time he dedicated a lot of time to his guitar playing skills and volunteered as a music teacher in a school in Soweto slums of Nairobi. Passionate about the work with kids, he used to compose songs on children rights and protection.

He then joined Nairobi University and studied International relations for a year. However, by then he felt he was already too deep into music – rehearsing, gigging, teaching private guitar lessons, song writing, etc. His parents disapproved him dropping out, but he persisted and felt that he was reaching more people through his music. In 2008, he auditioned for the Spotlight on Kenyan Musicproject and met Ketebul for the first time. By that point, he had not identified with any musical style. He started thinking of style in terms of consistency rather than labels in the last three years or so. The song he competed in Spotlight with was called “Jawabu” and was a social critique of the political system in place. He was specially impressed by an old man from Western Kenya who played the litungu. Fadhilee loved his style and felt like it was “his first music lesson”.

After Spotlight, he really invested himself in writing music and had to reflect on which one of those songs was his sound. He did many collaborations and became very selective with the music he puts out there. He was working with Kijani Inc. and Provoke Studios. When asked about it, he commented that Ketebul Music seemed “too serious, too professional” and he was not ready for them. In 2011, he joined the Umoja Cultural Flying Carpet – a residency program funded by the Norwegian government that brought together performing artists from all disciplines from Norway, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania & Kenya in a 14-day creative camp. This experience gave him a very wide perspective in music and he “discovered that his style of music was actually world music”, too wide to be placed in one musical style or category.

This marked the end of our interview with Fadhilee, as Wilbert and his group – the Bungoma Roots Bandwere ready for recording. We were able to record five songs, including his biggest hit “Chapa Ilale”.

From Bungoma town and the land of the Bukusu, we moved to the Kingdom of Wanga. In Nabongo location of Mumias sub-county (Kakamega County), we met Mumias United Group led by Francisca Oduor. Established in 1997, Mumias United is a folk group that presents traditional music and dances of the Wanga. The Wanga (AbaWanga) are a sub-group of the Luhya people famous for their historical Kingdom. The Wanga Kingdom was the most highly developed and centralised kingdom in Kenya’s history before the arrival of the British and the colonialization of the area. Today, the Wanga, who live mainly in Kakamega County, retain the Nabongo as their cultural monarch.

The Mumias United Group cunts 38 members and refers to their style of music as imbira. This is based on a percussive and wind instruments ensemble, which contains the following instruments:

  • ISUKUTI – a set of three one-skin drums, originally from Isukha and Idakho Luhya communities;
  • IKENGELE – metal ring struck with metal stick;
  • ISIONGO – a clay pot used as percussive instrument;
  • ING’OMA – a generic term for two-skin drums;
  • LISANDUKU – a box shaped percussive instrument;
  • TSISALA – two sticks percussive instrument;
  • MANYANGA – rattle made out of bottle tops;
  • SHIMUKA – shakers made out of gourds.

Dressed in elaborate costumes, the group displayed two traditional dances (imbiraand isuna) and sang six songs orchestrated in a soloist and choir response manner typical for national folk music festivals and competitions. We also recorded Magic Momentsfocusing on percussive instruments only and an Influencesimprovisation with Fadhilee.

Our last session for the day was scheduled to take place in a nearby village of Mumias sub-county. Here we met Richard Ometi, a head teacher of the local school. Music enthusiast and trainer of choirs, Mr. Ometi presented to us Matungu United– a group of students focused on what he called “authentic African instrumentation”. It was in fact a series of folk songs from various Luhya sub-groups performed to an instrumental background of various instruments, some from other communities of Kenya, others recycled or improvised. To our disappointment, the accompanying discourse and instruments nomenclature provided, as well as the style of Imenti’s solo singing were neither authentic nor excelled musically. We however recorded the session in full awareness of the fact that the ethnomusicological value of the content does not merit archiving nor dissemination. Thus, once again, we were reminded of the importance of recces and vetting of groups before confirmation of recording.

 

DAY 5 – Wednesday 21stFebruary 2018

The fifth day of recording, we started our musical journey through Kakamega County, the home of Isukha and Idakho Luhya sub-groups. In Bukobe village, Shiseso sub-location of Ikolomani sub-county, we visited Julius Itenya and his Super Phoenix Band. Founded in 2000 by Mzee Jacob Luseno, a famous Luhya guitarist, the band plays omutibo, a popular Luhya guitar music style. Often described as “dry-guitar”, this characteristic music style was originated by George Mukabi in the 1950s. It is characterized by a unique plucking technique, which reminds of litunguplaying and results in a rich sound coming out of one or two acoustic guitars only. Using two guitars one lead and one rhythm, a water dispenser drum and vocals only, the group performed for us six original compositions. Among them, the popular hit composed by Luseno in 2006 entitled “Mukangala”. This inspired Fadhilee to join in and we recorded “Mukangala” Influences. Fadhilee also shared one of his original compositions called “We don’t know”, which we recorded in two versions, accompanied by Itenya on guitar only and accompanied by his back-vocals.

From the home of Julius Itenya, we proceeded to Shinyalu sub-county – the home of isukuti dance. This popular Luhya traditional dance and its’ unique percussive style was originated by the Isukha and Idakho sub-groups that reside in that area of Western Kenya. Internationally recognized and inscribed, in 2014, on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, isukutihas become a cultural identity marker of the entire Luhya ethnic community. The first isukuti group we recorded was Matende Cultural Isukuti Youth Group, founded in 2006 by Johnstone Asutsi and based in Amalemba location of Shinyalu. We recorded a session of vigorous dancing at another popular Luhya identity marker – the Ilesi Crying Stone monument. Played in a set of three drums, the isukutipercussions are made out of a specific local tree species (mukomari) covered with molitor lizard skin. They are identified as follows:

  • ISUKUTI ISATSA – the main drum, largest in diameter, described as father of the family (maintains the main rhythm);
  • MUTITI – two drums of smaller diameter:
  1. MUTIBO – middle sized, descried as mother of the family;
  2. SHITITI – smallest in size, described as son.

The set of three drums is always accompanied by TSICHENJERE, the metal ring common in traditional music ensembles of Western Kenya and with a horn called EMBATI. Finally, Matende group also includes a SHIRILI one-string fiddle. We recorded eight traditional sukuti songs, which were presented in categories according to the occasion they are usually performed at – notably bull-fighting (Mayo) songs, funeral (LWIKHULU) songs, wedding (SHISELELO) songs and circumcision (SHISHEBO) songs.

Unfortunately, our daily programme was cut short by rainshowers.

 

DAY 6 – Thursday 22ndFebruary 2018

On Thursday 22ndof February, in the interest of time, we set up a recording station in a friend’s compound in Ilesi town (location) of Shinyalu sub-county, Kakamega. We have decided to record several groups at that location and optimize our time in the land of isukuti.

The first group we recorded was the popular Imachina Cultural Isukutifounded in 1997 by David Andole Ashihundwa. Similar to Matende, the group presented a series of isukutisongs accompanied by vigorous dancing and grouped in categories corresponding to the occasion of their performance. Once again, we recorded bull-fighting songs (mayo), wedding (shiselelo) and circumcision (shishebo) songs. This group also presented songs linked to shiremberitual, a characteristic burial/memorial ceremony organised upon death of a community hero.

As we waited for the next group to arrive and set up, we recorded an acoustic session with our Influences artist – Fadhilee Itulya. He played for us four of his original compositions: “Mama”; “Shombo”; “Umbeba” & “Wango”, as well as talked about his experience of Signing Wells.

We recorded two more smaller groups, led by locally famous musicians: Eric Shitakha and his Balozi Band on one hand and Benson Muhitsi’s isukutigroup on the other.

Shitakha’s Balozi band had basic Luhya instrumentation, notably usingshirilifiddle and several idiophones (metal ring, rattles, etc.), while Muhitsi plays theisukutidrums in a style simultaneously authentic and original for his mastery and virtuosity on the drum. These two played a large number of popular Luhya folk songs and marked the perfect end to our stay in Isukha land.

 

DAY 7 – Friday 23rdFebruary 2018

On the seventh day of recording, we moved to yet another county of the Western region of Kenya – Vihiga County. Here we were welcomed by Philip Isilia, our contact for the area who is himself also a musician. In Emativini village of Ebubayi location (North-East Bunyore), we visited Mzee Rueben Mahindu and his group called Omutibo Benga. 56-year old Mahindu was taught music by his grandfather. He founded Omutibo Bengain 1979 and ever since has not stopped playing. Today the group consists of 8 elderly members. They refer to the Bunyore folk music they play as sebomusic. They use two acoustic guitars and combine them with other instruments blending traditional Luhya music influences and the popular Luhya guitar genre omutibo. These include:

  • EFANDA – an empty Fanta bottle scraped on with a metal stick;
  • EKENGELE – metal ring struck with metal stick;
  • LISANDUKU – a box shaped percussive instrument played with a wooden brush;
  • MUTUNGI – a water container used as a drum;
  • EFURIMBI – a metal whistle.

Mahindu, who was noticed for his extravagant 1970s disco style outfit, and his group of elderly musicians played for us five original compositions. We also recorded an Infuencessession with Fadhilee on one of the guitars.

After Omutibo Benga, the same location was used to record Isilia’s group called Dot Com Sukuti. Originally from Ebunangwe village in the same area of Vihiga, this is a much younger group founded in 2008. Their interpretation of Bunyore folk music is somewhat different, involving more instruments and fusing influences from various regions of Luhya land. They refer to it as amarengamusic and fuse the following instruments:

  • ACOUSTIC GUITARS – a set of two guitars;
  • EFANDA – an empty Fanta bottle scraped on with a metal stick;
  • EKENGELE – metal ring struck with metal stick;
  • ISUKUTI – they used a set of four sukutidrums of different sizes.

It was interesting to note the differences between the isukuti drums they used and the ones Isukha and Idakho Luhyas use. Notably, the main difference was the fact their isukutiwere made with cow skin, whereas the ones in Kakamega must be made from molitor lizard skin. Another significant difference was in the way they referred to the various sizes of isukutidrums. Isilia’s group refers to them as:

  • SUKUTI NGALI – the main (father) sukutidrum;
  • MATIAPA – the middle sized sukutidrums (mother); they use two;
  • ESITINDI – the smallest sukutidrum (son).

After recording five of their songs, Fadhilee was once again inspired to join them and record a rendition of “Omukoye Kwanje”, a song celebrating one’s individual talent.

From this location, we moved further in North-East Bunyore area to Ebusamia location. In Muilulu village, we were taken to the local Chief’s office. In the Chief’s compound, we recorded Muyonga Traditional Dancers, a group of Elderly men who showed us authentic Bunyore traditional sounds and unique costuming. The group was founded in 2007 by Alphayo Esipira, counts ten members and performs at local cultural festivals and community celebrations. Their instrumentation, props and colourful costumes were very interesting to observe and discover. They used:

  • SHIHULI – leg rattles;
  • EFIRIMBI – a metallic whistle;
  • OLWIKA – antelope horn aerophone;
  • LIKHANGO – another aerophone made out of a reed attached to a wild goat horn;
  • MUTINDI – flat two-skin drum played using two wooden sticks.

Their props included spears (lifumo), shields (esikhumba), fly whisks (mukia) and clubs (eskong’o). They were wearing hats and tops made out of leather, leaves and feathers, and most original skirts which were in fact recycled umbrellas. We recorded five songs by Muyonga Traditional Dancers.

The last session of the day was recorded at sunset in Ebwiranyi village of Muhalahala location in Emwaya sub-county (Vihiga County). Here we recorded Ebwiranyi Senior Band, a large group of 20 members started in 1992. The Chairman of the group is Evett Nabule Aore, however their mentorand one of the oldest members of the group is Mzee Joseph Oliro. In their 30-minutes recording session, the Ebwiranyi senior Band played five songs, some of which were composed in Kiswahili, others were old Luhya folk songs. They were using the following instruments:

  • ISUKUTI – they used a set of three sukutidrums of different sizes;
  • ING’OMA – two-skin drum played with a wooden stick;
  • EFANDA – an empty Fanta bottle scraped on with a metal stick;
  • KENGELE – metal ring struck with metal stick;
  • OLWIKA – antelope horn aerophone;
  • ISHIRILI – a one-string fiddle;
  • MANYANGA – rattle made out of bottle tops.

We also recorded Magic Momentswith acoustic guitars only and one of their songs with Fadhilee, notably “Oh Mary”. We left this last location late and in good cheer, as two chicken were brought to us as a farewell gift.

 

DAY 8 – Saturday 24thFebruary 2018

Our last day of recording was reserved for the legends of omutibo– popular Luhya guitar music. For this purpose we set up our recording studio at a homestead of Peter Akwabi’s father, notably in Ebuhonga village of Kisa location (Kakamega County). Our host for the dy Akwabi was the first to play with his trio – nephew Muhammed Akwabi on the Fanta bottle and on the eng’omadrum, and his brother Sylvanus Anyangu on the second guitar and other bottle (ichupa). Author of over 250 sings, Akwabi started playing the guitar in 1956, although earlier as children they used to play similar homemade instruments. Since 1960s, he “hasn’t stopped doing the same”. We recorded the following six songs from Akwabi’s repertoire: “Tabu za Risafu”; “Lusafina”; “Uchukuzi wa Sasa”; “Vipusa Shuleni”; “Maisha ya Mjini” and “Kifo cha Mukabi”.

In the second set, we recorded Fanuel Amimo of the Butere Sharp Shooters Orchestra. Born in 1947, this elderly man hails from Shianda location of Butere sub-county (Kakamega County). With age, he unfortunately lost his sight but still as ever before continues to play omutibo. Raised in a family of musicians, Amimo started playing in early childhood. H recorded his first single in 1964 with David Amunga as producer, in a studio owned by Andre Crawford and Betty Tete. His second record was produced by Sammy Osere for Lamore record label, while his third song led to his fall out with Polygram records in 1974. After that, he started producing himself and established his own label entitled African Beat. We recorded five of Amimo’s well known songs: “Safari ya Magadi”; “Ndeshera Omwana”; “Harusi ya Leah”; “Omwana Yenyanga Nyina’ and “Rosa Nokhwebwe”, accompanied by Akwabi’s band members. His guitar plucking technique was extremely interesting to observe, as it reminded us of the various litungu players we had seen in the past two weeks in Luhya land.

Yet another legend of omutibomusic is Shemtube. Born Shem Andayi Lundu, Shemtube is the founder of Abana Banazarene group and one of the locally most popular musicians. Accompanied by Wycliff Omwoha on efanda; Ateyu Kwoma oning’omaand main vocal and Brown Amukhoye on second guitar and back-vocals, Shemtube played some of his greatest hits. These included “Mrembo Sofa”; “Amukhoye aa Tupe”; “Grace Mpenzi”; “Mary Ondiso” and “Agneta Mama”. We also recorded an Influencessession with Fadhilee joining them on the third guitar.

Finally, the last session of SW Western Kenya fieldtrip was recording Johnstone Mukabi, the son of legendary George Mukabi, founder of omutibomusic genre and one of the most prominent figures of Luhya music history. Travelling from Eldoret town, Johnstone arrived to the set late and upon arrival immediately sat behind his guitar for recording. Although he arrived alone, he did not have a difficult time composing a band, as all present members of other groups know his father’s songs. So, Johnstone sang some of his father’s greatest hits, songs that any Kenyan can easily identify with: “Kweli Ndugu”; “Mtoto si Nguo”; “Sengula Nakupenda”; “Kunywa Kidogo” and “Watu Wanasema Uongo”. Fadhilee’s reaction to this last session was worth the wait, as he discovered the author of “Kweli Ndugu”, a song he had done a cover of years ago. Therefore, we recorded one last Influences with Fadhilee playing the song alongside Mukabi. The day was closed with a photo session ringing together all the great names of omutibomusic, a truly unique sight.

 

DAY 9 – Sunday 25thFebruary 2018

On this day, we travelled by road back to Nairobi.

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