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Long live Unbwogable! Wamlambez is just a passing cloud



Every 20 years or so, a cultural spat ensues between two generations following each other. In our times, the song Wamlambez by the group Sailors marks the spot for the clash. A tweet from @WarariJK provided the spark for the disagreement as it claimed that Wamlambez is a bigger street anthem than Unbwogable, a comment perceived as a blasphemy of the highest order by the generation that danced its way into a new political regime with Unbwogable.

Wamlambez rode on the power of social media to garner two million YouTube views in just three months.

In the same fashion, the Twitter handle @sakanasaoli16 hailed the prominence of the new music group Ethic as higher than that of Sauti Sol, an award-winning afro-pop band.

A similar uproar followed, pitting Millenials vs Generation Z.

Just how big are these new music groups?

We use three measures of influence to determine the facts.

The undoubted crown holder of YouTube views in Kenya is Sauti Sol. Since 2014, the music group has had at least one of their songs feature on the top 10 most viewed Kenyan music videos every year (see graph below). In specific years, Sauti Sol’s music contributed about a quarter of the top 10 music videos views. Notably, Ethic’s two music videos Lamba Lolo and Position never made to the top 10 most viewed music videos in Kenya for 2018. The videos garnered 3.6 million and 3.7 million views, respectively.

The gospel musician Shiro wa GP closed the top 10 list with the song Irema, with 3.8 million views.

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In 2019, Ethic’s new song Pandana has so far amassed 3.07 million views, while Sailors’ Wamlambez has 2.9 million, as at June 9. Assuming each of the two groups retain their fan base throughout the year, we expect the number of views for each video to peak at about 3.6 million, lower than the top 10 music videos at the end of 2019.

There is a chance of a random event significantly increasing the viewership of either of the two groups. Nevertheless, comments on secular music video happens within the first few months of a song’s release, according to data from YouTube Rewind on the top 10 Kenyan music videos. Commenting correlates with views, hence most YouTube viewership occurs within the first few months. However, gospel music gets more comments over time. It shows gospel music has a higher shelf life in comparison to secular music (see graph below). We, therefore, expect, Ethic and Sailors’ music to have a short shelf life.

The only accurate measure of success is survival. If a musician appears on the top chart for a few years, there’s something about their music that makes it big. Examples include Christina Shusho, Eunice Njeri, Willy Paul, Nyashinski, and Sauti Sol. Other musicians such as Alicios, Elani, Daddy Owen, Akothee, Naiboi made it to the top 10 list only once in the history of YouTube.

Ethic and Sailors are yet to make it to the top YouTube league and are highly unlikely to do so this year, so the jury is still out on the popularity of the two groups on YouTube.

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Perhaps the most successful Kenya music of all time lays with the late Ayub Ogada. In 1976, the Afro-Rock group Black Savages, consisting of Barrack Achieng (bass), Job Seda (a.k.a. Ayub Ogada) – percussion, Noel Drury Sanyanafwa (drums), Jack Odongo (keyboards) and Gordon Ominde (Golden Simone) – guitar, recorded the music Kothbiro.

Kanye West has sampled the 1976 version of Kothbiro in the music titled Yikes, Jim Jones and Rick Ross followed suit and sampled the music in State of the Union. Pop Buchanan also used the same tune in his rap song I love My Ancestors.

Sampling (Using a portion of a sound recording in another) tells a thumbs up of sorts of a musical composition by fellow artists.

Possibly the second-most popular Kenyan music by sampling ought to rest with Dunia ina mambo by The Mighty Cavaliers. Eric Wainaina and Just A Band did renditions to the song. Neither Wamlambez nor Ethic have any sampling to date.

Melody delivers the principal part of the harmony in any piece of music. Producers hunt for melodious tunes in various music to provide rhythm for new music. It’s hard to tell whether Wamlambez’s melody presents an excellent beat for sampling.

The influence of music goes beyond dance and listenership. So popular was Unbwogable that it influenced academic studies into the definition of Kenyan English. Several other studies characterised the role of music in political change, with Unbwogable as an example. It was the first-time pop music in Kenya featured prominently in academic studies. The duo of Gidi Gidi and Maji Maji were later appointed as Messengers of Truth by the UN-Habitat.

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Other musicians who excelled beyond their music include Kalamashaka, who wrote the music lyrics to the famous PSI condom advert Sema Nami in 1999. It was the first-time sheng featured in a high budget advertising campaign in Kenya. Over the years, Mercy Myra, Winyo, and Eric Wainaina have contributed their music and vocals to the advertising industry. So far, Sailors and Ethic haven’t made an incursion in the advertising industry – an alternative validation on the popularity of any musician.

Away from adverts, the movie industry provides an alternative avenue for an artist to spread their influence. Three Kenyan musicians have had their music featured in Hollywood movies. Bamboo’s track Compe, and Kalamashaka’s Ni Wakati joined the list of soundtracks to the American motion picture Primeval in 2007. The 2014 version of the song Kothbiro sang by Ayub Ogada featured in the film Constant Gardener. Locally, the famed Kenyan 1990s detective TV series Tahamaki featured the song Dunia ina Mambo as the opening and closing theme music.

The fame of Wamlambez and Ethic seem bound to a subgroup of the Kenyan population – how big they can become is still a matter of rolling the dice.


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VIDEO & PHOTOS: Vera Sidika steals the show with bare bottoms at Tanasha’s baby shower



Kenyan socialite Vera Sidika stole the show at Diamond Platinumz and Tanasha Donna’s baby shower after showing up skimpily dressed.

The well-endowed socialite was the center of attention at the event, after leaving little to imagination. Vera arrived donning a skimpy outfit of a white bikini combined with a see-me-through fish net and sandals.

Many of the guests at the only invite event appeared distracted every time their eyes caught the glimpse of the Kenyan damsel who was accompanied by her Tanzanian boyfriend Jimmy Chansa.

Video and photos of Sidika’s outfit soon went viral on social media with many castigating her wardrobe choice.

Tanasha Donna

When Vera got a chance to speak at the red carpet, she said she turned up to support her “sister” whom she has known for half a decade now.


“I have known Tnasha for about five  years now and she is my Kenyan sister and when she said you have to come to my shower I said yes. And she being a first time mother I wish her well and I know Diamond and her mother are very supportive,” said Vera.

For years, Vera has maintained cordial relationship with Diamond and hardly misses his events.

Vera once hosted a bikini party organized by Diamond, when the singer was dating Uganda socialite Zari Hassan.

by Nairobi News

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Overnight ‘Mugithi’ planned ahead of De’Mathew’s burial on Saturday



In efforts to remember and honour fallen Kikuyu Benga musician John Mwangi Ng’ang’a, popularly known as John De’Mathew, Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has sponsored a music show (mugithi night) on Friday before the singer’s burial on Saturday.

The event, according to the county boss, will give DeMathew’s fans a chance to remember him by playing all his music.

In efforts to remember and honour fallen Kikuyu Benga musician John Mwangi Ng’ang’a, popularly known as John De’Mathew, Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has sponsored a music show (mugithi night) on Friday before the singer’s burial on Saturday.

The event, according to the county boss, will give DeMathew’s fans a chance to remember him by playing all his music.

In his career spanning over 30 years, De’Mathew had produced over 50 albums.

He died on August 18, 2019 after his car hit a trailer-truck near Thika’s Blue Post Hotel.


Artistes drawn from Mt Kenya region will also attend the Friday event which will be held at Golden Palm Hotel in Kenol town and which will go on for the whole night.

Fans of the late musician have also formed a WhatsApp group where they are pledging goats which will be slaughtered during the event.

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According to Governor Wa Iria, the event will remind the Agikuyu people of the life and times of the late De’Mathew whom local leaders regarded as a seer or a Kikuyu prophet.

“We want to remember him by listening to all his songs which play a major role in uniting the Agikuyu community as well as advising and entertaining our people,” the governor said.


According to the governor, the De’Mathew was the bona fide leader of the artistes from central Kenya after the death of Joseph Kamaru last year.

“The late was not your ordinary musician. He took the mantle from the late Joseph Kamaru and as a matter of fact, it is only after Kamaru’s death that a sacco was formed and De’Mathew was appointed to be its chairperson,” the governor said.

Mr Wa Iria was named the patron of the musicians’ sacco known as Tamco Sacco and was instrumental in its formation and operations.

The governor has lauded De’Mathew’s leadership saying seven months after the sacco was formed, they have been able to buy land in Kenol town at a cost Sh8 million. He said he will continue working closely with the artistes to ensure they realise their dream.

The sacco was launched in January this year at Thika Greens in Murang’a where President Uhuru Kenyatta, the governor and other leaders sent their contributions.

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During the launch of the Sacco, Mr Wa Iria advised the artistes to put more emphasis on investments than offering credit services to their clients to prevent the society from collapsing of as has been witnessed with other similar ventures in the recent times.

During the sacco’s launch, the late De’Mathew said they intended build a recording studio, commercial shops and conference rooms where members will be benefitting from the proceeds on monthly basis.

“We have been mocked and laughed at but we are determined in joining hands and growing together so that never again shall we be seeking fundraisers for the hospital bills and burials of musicians,” he said.

DeMathew will be buried on Saturday at his ancestral home in Mukurwe, Gatanga in a ceremony where the President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders are expected.

BY nairobinews

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VIDEO: Tanzanian woman wants to be President Uhuru’s wife but Kenyans online are not amused



It appears Tanzanian singer Rehema Chalamila popularly known as Ray C infatuation with President Uhuru Kenyatta is not going anywhere anytime soon, if a picture she has shared on social media is anything to go by.

In the photo, the sassy songbird is captured wearing a revealing bodysuit with fishnet stocking while posing near a pool.

“Future Mrs Uhuru!jah love!,” the photo is captioned.

Predictably, the post has attracted great interest from the online community.

“Jamani huyu ashindwe kwa jina la Yesu, Juzi ukitembelewa na malaika akakutia ufahamu, Leo,” said reymsemo.

“Hivii ni wewe juzi ulieongea maneno ya kiroho hapaa mpka nikajua Umeokoka!!!?” asked wilkins_ms.

“Not our president… we love our first lady,” commented roselynatema.

“Ray C all reckless. She’s ready to risk it all,” said ayuma.

“Uhuru wetu wa Kenya ama mgani?” asked stacy 254.

“Haki ringtone apoko anatusumbua atahitaji jiko. Si umchukue tu,” suggested angel_johnson.

Ray C publicly declared her “undying love” for President Kenyatta last year while on a music tour in the country.

She claimed that Mr Kenyatta was the ideal husband for her and this has added to her love for Kenya.


by nairobinews

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