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Benga artistes all smiles as concerts kick in

By Boniface Gikandi | Dec 30th 2021 | 2 min read

Githuki wa Nyokabi performing at Golden Dreams Grill, Murang'a. [Boniface Gikandi, Standard]

After two years of no live performances due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leading Kikuyu musicians are back on stage. 

The Benga artistes are fully booked for weekend shows in Nairobi and other towns in the Mt Kenya region. 

 In Murang’a County, The Golden Palm, Nokras Riverine &SPA, The Golden Restaurant and Maka Villa Resort Club have held many live shows since the eve of Jamhuri Day.

In Nyeri, some entertainment spots that held live shows include Joy Greens Entertainment Park and Starbucks Club in Karatina.

Popular musician Mike Rua held shows at Joy Greens, attracting hundreds of revellers.

This week, Githuki Wanyokabi will be playing at Nakuru Rhumba Grill while the king of benga, Mike Rua will be at Maka Villa Resort and Jogoo Kimamia Hotel to mark the end of the year festivities.

At Golden Palm at Kenol, Mopero band crew Fleshly Mwamburi, known for his Stella Wangu hit, will be entertaining the guests.

Across the region, more musicians have been booked at Nanyuki Simba Hotel and the Murang’a Stanley Havens, where musician Peter Kigia wa Esther will be performing.

Githuki said many musicians have not recovered from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are much better as compared to last year when the economy was badly affected by Covid-19. Many of the hotels could not afford to pay the musicians,” said Githuki, a journalist with a popular vernacular radio station.

Njau Njoka of Golden Palm Hotel said the hospitality sector had supported the musicians by giving them platforms to market themselves.

“The silence experienced in the hospitality industry in the last two years was a blow to the music industry, but we hope there is a bright future,” said Njoka.

Martin Wanjiru of the Golden Dream Grill said the restaurant owners were struggling to pay the artistes because their establishments were equally affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We are sharing what we are getting, although the number of patrons in the facilities remains low,” said Wanjiru.

 Epha Maina, the Chairman of the Talented Musician and Composers (Tamco) Sacco, said the resumption of live weekend shows was a relief to the organisation. 

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