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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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Mercy Masika calls out on Gospel artistes who have derailed the quality of gospel music



Gospel singer Mercy Masika has deemed today’s Kenyan Gospel music as none inspiring and business-oriented, unlike some years back when singing for God was more intentional from a religious perspective.

Taking the matter to her Instagram page recently, the singer poured her heart out, stating today’s Gospel music has declined in quality, which undercuts the sole purpose of ministering to audiences. “The reason much of today’s music lacks inspiration and memorability is that people have blurred the lines and turned it into too much of a business,” she captioned.

The mother of two explained that some Gospel artistes often fail to remain true to their purpose of creating music. “It takes moral courage to remain true to inspire, impact and be true to who you are called to be,” Masika added. She went further to reiterate that music takes time to pay; she advised the younger generation of gospel musicians to remain authentic and avoid being led astray for monetary gains.

“Music often takes time to pay, but when it finally does, it pays very well. There’s a confidence that comes from being true,” she concluded. The award-winning musician could have been passing on a deliberate message to gospel-turned secular artistes who quit gospel music for greener pastures.

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A while ago, controversial artiste Bahati defended himself as to why he left the gospel music scene for secular. In an interview, the artiste revealed that the gospel music industry is “rotten” and has always been criticized for being controversial. Bahati said he no longer felt welcomed in the gospel scene. However, the singer made it clear that leaving the gospel industry doesn’t mean his faith and belief in God has been compromised.


“I was fought a lot in the gospel industry, but I knew I was not doing gospel music for the people; I was doing it for God. I have just separated myself from the gospel industry for a while but not from God. Christ and the Lord is my personal saviour,” he said. He added that his songs are meant for his audience who listen to secular music and those who love gospel music.


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TV host Joyce Maina denies dating DJ Mo: “I’m not dumb to post a married man”



Switch TV’s Joyce Maina has refuted rumours of her having an affair with renowned DJ Sammy Muraya alias DJ Mo.

There have been allegations about the two being together but Joyce has labeled it hearsay and fake news.

Sharing her side of the story, the TV host shared messages on her Instagram Stories asking if guys thought she was dumb enough to post pictures of a married man.

“How dumb do you think I am to post a married man (not that I’d ever be with one) on my IG,” she wrote.

Joyce found the news hilarious adding guys just mistook a person that was holding her, in a trendy photo, to be DJ Mo.

“Fake news is actually hilarious. So you guys went from not knowing what the man looks like (you just have a blurry photo that makes him look like a shadow), and now all over sudden its DJ Mo? Lol,” Joyce added.

The TV girl must have found the news hilarious and wondered why people would want to tarnish her reputation with such allegations.

Size 8’s take on cheating

Back in 2017, reported on a story where Size 8 claimed that one should be ready to forgive the other when he/she cheats in marriage.

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Speaking during a recording of their vlog, the singer said that partners should always be ready to forgive each other in a relationship even when cheating occurs.

“And whoever says they cannot forgive, that is a root of pride,” she said. “Who tells you cannot do that?”

She told her fans cheating shouldn’t be allowed in marriages but in case it happens, couples should find a way to get past it.

“So when your spouse cheats, remember you cheat on God all the time but God forgives you. So forgive your spouse,” she added.


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Eddie Butita leaves The Trend after 5 years



It is everyone’s prayer to see their friends and neighbours succeed in live and move from one stage to another one, on a higher level.

The aforementioned is the same when celebrities or people we have supported passionately thrive in their careers.

Eddie Butita leaves The Trend after 5 years

Eddie Butita was a panelist at The Trend for five years. Photo: UGC
Source: UGC can say the same about Churchill Show comedian Eddie Butita and his fans on their relationship over the years.

The comedian on Friday, September 18, triggered mixed emotions among his fans after announcing his exit from popular NTV show, The Trend.

In an Instagram post seen by, the comedian said he was ending his 5-year stint on the show as a panelist to start another exciting journey in his comedy career.

Butita who has been a panelist on the NTV show that airs every Friday, thanked Larry Madowo who believed in him and gave him his first ever show.

He also thanked Amina Rabar and other crew members for being an integral part of his growth on TV and being great to him for all the years they have worked together.

”It has been five years of a good ride on the trend #TTTT it all started with just a one appearance and became a permanent job. I would like to thank Amina Abdirabar and the panelist team for being more than collegues our time together was worth it I learnt laughed and changed a lot that I was able to. It is time to give chance to other talents to get an opportunity to grow and shine with greatness,” he wrote.

The comedian also used the opportunity to thank NTV’s management for giving him a chance to work with the broadcaster.

”Special thanks to NTV Kenya for the opportunity we are still together in this journey. Thank you Larry Madowo for believing in me and giving me the first chance to be on the show the rest was history. Big thanks to my fans, I have got more in store for you this is just the beginning of another Chapter in my Comedy Career. Adios el tendencia,” he added.

His exit from The Trend came just a day after he broke the internet with a charming birthday message to his lover, Mammito.

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