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Long live Unbwogable! Wamlambez is just a passing cloud

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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.

by nation.co.ke


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Entertainment

Remembering Pepe Kalle 22 years after his death

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Arrangements are in place for fans and counterparts to next week mark the 22rd anniversary since the death of Congolese musician Pepe Kalle Yampanya.

The burly baritone voiced singer who collapsed and died on November 29, 1998 in Kinshasa will be remembered as one of the entertainment greats with his Grand Empire Band.

Most of his fans will remember him for some of his popular tunes like ‘Roger Milla’: (dedicated to Cameroonian soccer legend Roger Milla), ‘Moyibi’, ‘Pon Moun Paka Bouge’, ‘Bitoto’ and ‘Amour Pedre’.

Notably, he recorded several collaborations with his long-time counterpart Nyboma Mwandido, who lives in Paris, France. Both had performed together in the early 1970s in Kinshasa.

Though there are no special shows arranged due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some of his former band members including the Kinshasa-based Lofombo Godo will dedicate online shows to him. Lofombo, who is a bass guitarist and producer, also had a stint with the Delta Force band.

Most of the former band members of the Grand Empire Bakuba settled in Europe after Kalle’s death. Among them were Papy Tex (of the ‘Kanda ya Nini’ hit song fame), Elvis Kunku, Ebuya Doris Djuna Mumbafu and Kinanga Boeing.

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Back home, fans of Pepe Kalle will also recall his efforts of incorporating dancing midgets like Ayilla Emoro, Jolie Bebe and Dominic Mabwa in the   stage act of the Empire band.

In Kenya, fans of Pepe Kalle will remember the many tours he made to Kenya from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.  Among the towns he performed include Nairobi and Kisumu.

Meanwhile, The Oyster Bay at Valley Arcade in Nairobi will tomorrow host the Acoustic, Brunch, Bubbly and Jazz show. It will feature special performances by

and Aaron Rimbui.

For the two seasoned afro Jazz musicians, it will be an opportunity to showcase their latest and earlier hit songs. Atemi is known for some of her songs like ‘Someday’, ‘Nairobi’, ‘Imenibamba’ and ‘Kama We’.

As for Aaron, who specialises in the piano and keyboard, some of his popular songs are ‘Simama’, ‘Hafungi Macho’, ‘Karibu’ and ‘Freedom’.  The show starts at 11am and ends at 8pm. According to the organisers, all Covid-19 safety protocols will be observed during the show.

Event has been sponsored by Classic FM and Smooth FM, in conjunction with Oyster Bay. Entrance is Sh3,500 per person (Inclusive of Brunch and Champagne).

Meanwhile, veteran Ohangla musician Tony Nyadundo will next Friday perform during a special Ohangla show at the Treasure Gardens in Kilimani, Nairobi (Opposite Kilimani Primary School).  Nyadundo’s hit songs include ‘Ndoa ya Machozi’ and ‘Isanda Gi Hera’. It will be a welcome back show to his fans after a long break. Show starts at 2pm and ends at 8pm.

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-Nation.africa


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Jacque Maribe: I suffered two miscarriages before I got my son

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Former Citizen TV news anchor and media personality Jacque Maribe says she lost two pregnancies before she got her son Zahari.
Zahari’s father is comedian Eric Omondi.
In an interview with True Love Magazine, Ms. Maribe said she battled infertility and suffering miscarriages was tough for her as she did not know what was wrong.

What made things worse and what made the media personality think she would never get a child was a disclosure by the doctors that she had suffered from the septate.
A septate uterus is a deformity of the uterus, which happens during fetal development before birth. A membrane called the septum divides the inner portion of the uterus, at its middle.

The condition was to be fixed through surgery but luckily she did not go through it.
“We were lucky we found out earlier so I was told I had to undergo surgery to get rid of it and give ourselves a period and wait and now the baby would have at least enough space to carry to maybe 30 something weeks and don’t have to get to 40. I remember I panicked and I said I’m not gonna do this,” she said.

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“It took a while, I can’t remember how many years it was and every day I used to pray and ask God ‘what is too hard for you? I don’t have to have this surgery if you want you can make that thing elastic by whatever miracle but just make it elastic, create space.”


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‘I’ve cried to you countless times,’ Chiki pens letter to man who helped her meet Bien

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Bien Baraza’s wife Chiki Kuruka has for the first time revealed that she met her husband through a friend, Emmanuel Jambo.

Chiki showered Emmanuel, a celebrity and award-winning photographer with love, thanking him for being the best friend one can ever have.

In a length post, the fitness coach-cum-radio presenter wrote,

A story of friendship. Dear @emmanueljambo, You are the force behind so much of what is my life. You introduced me to my husband, you drove me for hours to find my dog, you found us our house. I have cried to you countless times, and laughed with you even more. You are to me, the definition of goodness in this world, and to say I love you doesn’t even come close to the admiration I have for your heart, the respect I have for your soul and the excitement I have for the blessings that will certainly come your way. Happy birthday to my brother, my friend, my family. More Whiskey, more awful dancing, and more picture perfect moments to come. ❤.

By Mpasho.co.ke


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