Clash of giant at East Africa vibes gig

Friday August 5 2016

Erick Wainaina

Erick Wainaina 

Dar es Salaam. The last time he was in town it was a full house at a sold out concert and on his return Oliver Mtukudzi promises to offer more of the same treat that has seen him traverse the World.

It promises not to be any different this time around as the tickets to the show have become one of the hottest properties in city.

The veteran Zimbabwean who boasts of a collection of over 55 albums will be joined by other high profile names in East Africa’s entertainment industry such as Eric Wainaina from Kenya and Jemima Sanyu from Uganda.

The concert that takes place at Nafasi Art Space, also features other artistes such as Slim Emcee aka Herman Kabubi, a spoken word artist from Uganda and the Cocodo Band, Wahapahapa Band and Ze Spirit band, Zuhura Seng’enge and Carol Anande both from Tanzania.

But as the norm has been prior to this concert that has attracted attention from almost every corner of the country Oliver “Tuku” Mutukudzi and Eric Wainaina will host a workshop for local 20 local artistes.

But as we wait eagerly for these artistes for the annual East Africa Vibes Concert, the question is what do they bring to their adoring fans?

Tuku as he is fondly known by his fans is no stranger to these kind of stages in a career that spuns almost four decades, not even age seems to slow him down.

With his husky voice, he has become the most recognised voice to emerge from Zimbabwe and onto the international scene and he has earned a devoted following across Africa and beyond.

He also incorporates elements of different musical traditions, giving his music a distinctive style, known to fans as Tuku Music.

Mtukudzi has had a number of tours around the world. He has been on several tours in the UK, US and Canada to perform for large audiences.

Eric Wainaina is equally no stranger to the Tanzanian ears whose music has been largely influenced musically by international artists such as Papa Wemba, Youssou N’Dour, Lokua Kanza and Paul Simon.

His career was launched with his debut album,Sawa Sawa, in 2001. Wainaina’s music is a blend of Kenyan Benga rhythm and East African guitars, with some modern harmony.

His notable releases include ‘Kenya Only’, a song that instantly made him Kenya’s favourite modern musician.

After the 1998 terrorist bombing in Nairobi where over 200 Kenyans lost their lives, ‘Kenya Only’ was adopted as the unofficial song of mourning, receiving extensive radio and TV airplay nation-wide.

Wainaina returned to the top of Kenya’s musical agenda after he released ‘Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo’ (‘Country of Bribes’) in 2001, a song that launched his crusade against rampant corruption in the country. With the chart success of ‘Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo’, Wainaina received international accolades.

Transparency International Kenya supported him as an artist who would help educate people on the negativity of corruption, appointing him an ambassador.

Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo which was an anthem for anticorruption was not so highly appreciated in all quarters, however, with the government of the day putting up resistance to it by refusing to air it on KBC.

In one instance several attempts were made to keep him from performing at a national event, the Kenya Music Festival, including intimidation and attempts to switch off his microphone.

Following the suspicious death of Father Anthony Kaiser in 2000, Wainaina was commissioned by the Mill Hill Fathers in 2003 to write a song about this.

This gave birth to ‘Ukweli’, a call for justice despite efforts that were being made to cover up the true nature of Father Kaiser’s death, which was reported as suicide despite strong evidence to the contrary.

Jemimah Sanyu on her part is a Ugandan musician, performer, producer and voice coach. She manifests spectacular vitality on stage with a remarkably very strong voice.

Jemimah, a two-time Diva Awards nominee, started doing music professionally in 2007 when she joined Gryace Records.

Sanyu experienced a meteoric rise as a music star of infectious Afro pop melodies and dance music majorly because of her incredibly strong live, wild performances and voice.

Back in Kampala she hosts a music night dubbed “Jemimah Talks” accompanied by her band UNIT 446.

These three supported by a range of artistes will definitely be a force to reckon with at the second East African Vibes Concert.

Jemimah was one of the divas chosen to perform at the Divas’ Junction alongside veteran singer and one of Afrigo Band’s lead vocalists Rachael Magoola, Solome, Rita Sabiiti, Naava Grey, Maureen Rutabingwa and Sandra Suubi.

She mesmerized the audience by dancing atop tables, a stunt known as a ‘Bebe’ after Bebe Cool did it at a Miss Uganda beauty pageant event.

Jemimah Sanyu has graced several stages outside her country, entertaining people. She has performed all across Africa with many of her shows being Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.