A group of musicians from poor backgrounds are conquering the world and proving that talent goes beyond riches or poverty. The percussionists recently charmed Queen Elizabeth II who told them not to stop inspiring the world. KIUNDU WAWERU speaksFor Slum Drummers, only a few years ago, a trip to Nairobiâs CBD was a dream. The percussionists who lived in the slums near the cityÂ could not even raise fare ofÂ Sh20.
But today, members of the groupÂ are hobnobbing with the high and mighty around the world.
They recently sang for the Queen during her Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Buckingham Palace, London. After the performance the Queen shook their hands and urged them not to stop doing their music
âDonât stop. Continue doing this.â
The queen had probably been moved by the unlikely story of the Slum Drummers.
The group of 13 percussionists who hail from Kawangware, Waithaka and Dagoretti rose from humble backgrounds to the top. Some were street children while others lost one or both parents.Â
And in lifeâs mysterious ways, as they rummaged the dumpsites for scrap to sell for their sustenance in earlier lifeÂ â which they still do today but not for sustanence. They rummage for items they use to make musical instruments.
Slum DrummersÂ recycle materials like tins, used cans, spoons, sufurias, plastic drums. The result is the kind of music that you hear, without having seen the instruments and you marvel at the unique sound.
Add their lyrics are laced with message of hope to the thousands of vulnerable children, a warning about crime, drugs and awareness on HIV and AIDS.
One of the first members Joel Muiruri says they were rehabilitated by AMREF, and the music project kicked off.