On a chilly Tuesday morning, Nairobi is just waking up with thousands trickling back in after a whirlwind Easter Weekend.
Along Chenza Lane on Moi Avenue, a group is congregated outside a boutique –not admiring the gowns in the shop but listening to music. Samson Kule, is a street guitar player.
His wide-brimmed hat, navy blue and white jacket, denim jeans and white shoes give him a cowboy look. This helps cement his preferred taste of music- country music.
“I prefer performing music that does not discriminate against any ethnicity. Country music in particular speaks to the heart and is not against any community. I also sing popular songs to draw people,” says Kule.
He explains that he avoids singing local music since Music Copyright Society of Kenya will accuse him of plagiarism.
His favourite artistes include Michael Jackson, Kenny Rodgers and Enrique Iglesias. In Kenya, he idolises the boy band Sauti Sol. The vocalist and guitar player is a full-time street performer who boasts a 79-track printed playlist.
He performs every day along Moi Avenue, outside the Nation Building and at the Kenya Archives.
In a day, he says, he makes approximately Sh1,500. The highest he has ever earned is Sh3,000. Kule, 27, the fourth born in a family of eleven says he learned his Swahili from Congolese. “I used to sell fruits at the Uganda-Congo border where I picked up the language,” he said.
He decided to settle in Kenya and was accommodated by his cousin Edward Shiundu, who is a coffin maker in Huruma. Having saved up some cash, he bought his guitar and set himself on the path of being a street performer.