Tracing The Roots Of Benga

You cannot sing African music in proper English – Fela Kuti

Now, more than 40 years later, it might be difficult to imagine that Kenyan Benga music was associated with freedom fighters in Rhodesia’s Bush War (the Chimurenga) in the late 1960s through to the late 1970s. In the fight to end white minority rule for the soul of a new Zimbabwe, the homeland of a black majority, Benga music embodied the liberation spirit. The music of D.O. (Daniel Owino) Misiani, George Ramogi, George Ojijo, Collela Mazee and Victoria Jazz is what Zimbabweans in the 70s in rural townships stamped their feet and swayed to in the hope of a new future for Zimbabwe.

What Happened To All The Serious Jokers?

I grew up at a time when it was impossible to go through life without picking up a nickname. The name was never a compliment. It served only as a reminder that no one was above a good roasting.

There was a guy in my high school called MC, short for MC Hammer. Not because he was a good dancer, a fashionista or had a way with the ladies. The back of his head protruded outward like a hammer.

One day someone observed, “This guy’s head is shaped like a hammer, he should be called MC Hammer”, the boys laughed and MC became one of the most popular guys in school because he did not take it personally.