Legends of our peoples and how they blend and add value into our daily lives is most inspiring. The story of the famed seer Gor Mahia belong in this category. But even more important is the role of story tellers since time immemorial. We must be forever thankful to their existence and the enrichment they provide. Last night I watched and listened in awe to one such man. Ndugu Mike Awillo, co-founder of the great band Known as Jamnazi. I enjoyed the artistic courage and mastery of Awillo and found complete fulfillment.

For those who may not remember, Awillo burst into the Kenyan music declaring for all and sundry that ‘ I Am Not Sober!’ Later he eloquently described the ownership of clan DNA by narrating what his grandpa passed on to him:

‘Niliambiwa, na babu yangu, Suba suba utapata bwana siwako!’

He goes ahead and describes the daily retinue of spirits as:

‘Unene? Unene ko kalo

Min Omolo kaNyunya….’

But it is the song that is credited to maestro guitarist Ong’goro that I salute the musical brilliance of Jamnazi. The lyrics challenges the departure from our long held traditional values. Well composed and exceptionally packaged and delivered, the song punches the solar plexus with might.

Another jar of Nang’Nang’ to Awillo, if you please…

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