We are going to discuss some very serious business in this post. The problem is that it is bound to upset many of you see-no-evil-hear-no-evil-on-the-coalition faithful dear readers of Kumekucha. Kindly bear with me, my brothers and sisters. It is all nothing but the truth. I have checked and cross-checked my facts and I have confirmed all the sensitive information.
But fortunately, I am not some heartless brute, so to make “the medicine” a little less bitter and unpleasant to take, I have tied this article to African music. I am sure most of you folks out there in the Diaspora love African/Kenyan music and many folks back home too. So do I. My all-time favourite is a Les Wanyika song called Nimaru.
I have a fascinating tale to tell you today about how a hit song destroyed a soul and I was there to witness some of the destruction as it was happening, so I can tell this story first hand.
In my view the late Omar Shaban, of Les Wanyika better known as Prof Omari is the best rhythm guitarist to have ever walked the shores of
Actually Prof Omari and bassist Tom Malanga (both Tanzanians playing their music in
To launch the group, they needed to head straight to the recording studios and release a hit. And the song had to be a hit if the new group was to survive. There was hardly time to come up with something new, so Prof Omari dug out an old song that he had composed together with George Kinyonga of Simba Wanyika before he left. The reason why they did not record the song was because it was too similar to another Simba Wanyika song that had been recorded called Diana. That song was Sina Makosa.
Sina Makosa released in 1979, became the smash hit that Les Wanyika and Prof Omari are best remembered for. I watched as the flood of money that poured in from the song completely destroyed Prof Omari. He womanized excessively and he took to drinking more and more potent whisky. Eventually it slowed down his fingers on the guitar.
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