Day two: From Sirisia to Mabuyole Falls

Monday, February 19, 2018:  Woke up early and drove to Sirisia to record the band Namatete. The band was founded by Weput Khulu Namatete in 1992. He and his friends gradually made instruments and learned to play them while taking care of their cattle. By 1992 they were good enough to call themselves a ‘serious’ band.   The founder started by playing the Lituneu. His brother joined him for a while and brought the Shirili, the single stringed instrument similar to the Orutu.   After 23 years his brother formed his own band.   Weput Khulu Namatete (Samuel) then recruited new members and the band has stayed very active and prosperous, playing in the Tindikiti style. The play at hotels, festivals, weddings, funerals, etc..

In terms of instruments they have:

  • Luengere:   Drums
  • Eng’oma: Drums
  • Litungu: Strings

They performed the following songs:

  • Kuzula Ni Bora: This is a song that emphasizes that prevention is better than the cure. The singer takes us through many illnesses to argue there are ways to recognize the symptoms but there are also ways to prevent these illnesses.
  • Malaria Inaua. This literally means, “Malaria kills” and it is about understanding the symptoms and seeking the right treatment. The pills that help with headache may kill you if you have malaria.
  • Ukimwi Huuwa: This literally means ‘Aids Kills’ and is a very rich song about how brutal AIDs can be and how critical it is that you avoid it.
  • Endika Yange: This is a song that uses the bicycle as metaphor for a lover.
  • Raha (Wedding Song): Song about weddings.
  • Oche Kombe.   This is about all those that die living together.
  • Influences: We then had an influences session with Fadhilee playing Oche Kombe with the band.
  • We did a second influences again with Oche Kombe.
  • We then had a Magic Moment with just percussion from the group.

We then travelled to Lugulu to record  Plus Wafula. We were in a stone quarry to record them next to Mabuyole Falls.  Beautiful but hot.   We were recording Webuye International Band.   They played in the Tinkikti style. The group was formed in early 2000, when founder Webuye Juakali was a backup singer for separate band. In 2009 he became the main singer of the band. It has the following instruments:

  • Shirili (Single String instrument)
  • Litungu: multi-stringed instrument
  • Chisasi: Shakers
  • Luengere: Rattles
  • Eng’oma: Drums

They played five songs:

  • Walunywa: A song about the local brew
  • Aburende: You need the right person in power to get what you need
  • Omuinda: Share your wealth and good fortune with generosity.
  • Liloba: The soil ultimately takes everyone away. You will return to it.
  • Ekombe: Heaven. In the song, someone goes away to heaven.

From there, we retreated to our hotel in Bungoma.   Pretty hot in the quarry, so Tuskers brought relief.

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