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Ohangla now moves from Eastlands to Westlands

ARTS & CULTURE
By George Orido | February 3rd 2019

The year 2019 has come with a rich bouquet in the entertainment scene, with Ohangla coming out of its Eastlands closet to the Westlands middle-class in Nairobi.

Next Saturday, Ohangla meets Benga for the first time at the largely bourgeoisie Galileo’s Lounge on Waiyaki Way when Prince Indah rocks the ultramodern stage with Ohangla beats and the quintessential DJ Marto Sibuor spin the decks with Benga rhythms.

It will be a major coup for Ohangla that has evolved from a largely peasant and rural “hip-hop” to a relatively modern Rumba tune, attracting a huge urban following over the years.

But it is also a vindication of the fact that many authentic Kenyan musicians have attracted big followings in their spaces as opposed to the Western-aping youthful musicians who try to compete with the American hip-hop at their own game.

Prince Indah aka Janabi will pioneer the grand entry of Ohangla into Galileos Lounge that has been in the forefront promoting local talents in their entertainment stable.

The Weche Hera hitmaker will have his fans on their toes as he belts out those serenading tunes that speak more to the heart on matters love, passion and romance.

In Weche Hera (Love Matters), he heaps praises on his sweetheart Betty NyaKisumo for her love for him.

The love is so deep that he reflects on the travails of seeking her, including frequenting her neighbourhood in a way that mad e him look like a herdsman.

Her beauty is exotic and is as elegant as a princess, he says.

“Heartbeat na mama ma miya mor, ahero gi chunya (My heartbeat who brings me happiness and who I love beyond words),” he sings, adding that love moves mountains and breaks impossible barriers.

His other songs with Malaika Band include Zena, Adeka Engineer, Nyar Kisumo. Just like in many modern-day Ohangla beats, the songs employ seven drums, shakers and a keyboard.

Great night

Ohangla’s entry into Galileo Lounge is significant and signals the meteoric rise of the genre since its inception in 1912 when Jack Nyadundo revolutionised the hitherto traditional tunes from the monitor lizard skin-based long drum into what it is today.

Jack was later joined by his brother Tony Nyadundo, who with Kidi hit song, made Ohangla an easy part of the home and disco entertainment stable.

Other Ohangla musicians who have come to join these pioneers in popularising the music packaged in the Rumba beat and commanding a huge following today include Emma Jalamo, Osogo Winyo, Otieno Aloka, Odosh Jasuba, Onyango Mayienga, Alex Wuod Chiga, Onyi Papa Jey, Onyango Alemo, Ibra Wuod Martha, Tabu Jakoyugi, Atobo Konaka.

“At Galileo, we have been promoting local art and talent, including dancers, musicians, DJs and our own indigenous music,” says the Galileos Lounge proprietor Richard Ngatia who promised Rumba and Ohangla lovers a great night on Saturday.

It will be a dream come true for Prince Indah who several years ago survived a grisly road accident in Kisumu with a fractured collar bone.

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