I listen to Tony Nyandundo. He is GOAT. I listen to the Kalenjin Sisters. They are GOAT. I listen to Katitu Boys. They are GOAT. The song Msenangu, in as much I dont understand the lyrics, it makes Pressmen band up rank as GOAT. I appreciate cultural diversity and in most cases, it is highly visible through music. How can I forget another GOAT-Sukuma Bin Ongaro!!
- CDM Kiratu
CDM sings in this song:
“When I dream, I dream with you. And when I sing, I sing for you…. But a time will come, and you will regret. You will pause and cry. You will cry, but I will be gone. Long gone…” sings CDM Kiratu. In my research, I have found out that the climax “Seeiyaaa” which is common with John De Matthew was a creation of CDM.
- Queen Jane
As her name suggest, she was the queen of Kikuyu music. She focused her music on calling wayward men and sought to straighten men to their natural calling of responsible human beings. In this song “Nduraga ngetereire (I have been waiting for you), Queen Jane demonstrates how no man should take for granted a woman’s love!
- Albert Gacheru
Gacheru’s album “Mariru” must arguably be the best-selling album in the 90’s! It was loaded with songs that became instant hits across the country.
In one of the songs in the album-Mariru-Gacheru explores the wonder a woman is!
“Wee no we urirukaga ngoro yakwa igathie Leave. Yaratha, igathua gwatuka gugathera no ndire ndona ungi tawe (Your beauty makes my heart go on vacation. The sun rises. The sun sets. But my love will never leave)
Gacheru must have been ahead of his time. In the 90’s, he wrote the song “Nindaguteire” which calls out women who only love men for material benefit or #Sponsortings. He describes sponsors as:
“Kimuthuri gitungu muno kihuata nyongu”
- Peter Kigia
Sing song ‘”Reke Tumanwo” will forever be etched in the minds of many for the humor and catchy lines. For example: “Weka turungii iii bila sukari, woce kana wocwe ti uhoro” or “koro ndi hinya ingiagutandika nginye ugunde unjathimure ( If I was strong enough I would beat the hell out of you, so much so that every time you see me you would sneeze)
Kigia also gave the world the best dedication to anyone called Njeri. A song that caresses and romanticizes the Njeris of the world. Tag a Njeri:
Musaimo has a passion for “ruriri” or the community; not for political expediency, but for the survival of the Agikuyu. The song “Gwatai Ndai” is a lecture to all Kikuyus to pause and take a sobering assessment of where the community is headed. He sings:
“Marika makiriganira; gutire mwana na nyina. Nao andu othe makiigana o ta magego ma njau. Tatuiria wone gutire muthuri umwe utathahithetie” (We no longer have peers and age groups. Today you cannot tell the difference between a mother and her daughter. Look at our men. All of them have committed sins and cannot make sacrifices on behalf of the community)
- John Ndichu
John Ndichu had a rare talent of writing songs that evoked a lot of emotions. His song “Thina wa Ndicu” is a reminder that even when one is walking or a river of shadow of death, there is hope. Definitely you need this song in your playlist. Even if you don’t understand the words, this is a song that will in a way lift your spirits.
- John De Matthew
My mom had a friend called Nduku and every time she would pay us a visit, I would sing the song “Nduku” and its glorious lyrics! “My dear Nduku iii my dear nduire ngumicaga (My dear Nduku how have I missed you!!).
- Joseph Kamaru
Kamaru has been around for a while and during this time he has created music that will forever be an asset to the community. He does not sugar coat what he thinks is wrong in society. A great historian Kamaru is! My favorite song is “Wendo wa Cebe Cebe”
- Wainaina wa Kiandege
The first time I ever heard about a “Luo” it was in the song “Gathoni.” The song created in my mental sheet the image of a Luo-very caring and with a human touch. It took a Luo to preserve the life of a young Kikuyu lady who wanted to commit suicide! How sweet!
“Utuku ngoro yakwa ihuraga “krururu kruru..namo meciria no ta Githiii..”Kriri kroro koko” “At night my heart beat sounds ‘kruru kruru….” And my mind oscillates like a posho mill “Kriri kroro koko”
Another masterpiece from Wainaina has to be song Kanicy!!!!! A song dedicated to conniving women. Great song especially when you are aboard Bukinya and nearing Salgaa on your way to Eldama Ravine!
- Makibi James.
Makibi, I argue, is the master of Kikuyu lyrics. He has a way with the language that he embeds seamlessly in his music. When I feel I need lessons on my mother tongue a Makibi playlist is enough to remind me where I belong. His songs are also conciliatory and unlike many musicians, touch a broad range of social issues.
This song is a counsel to young men. It’s laden with proverbs and wise sayings. I hope our youth can all get the message: “Mahoya ni irio cia mwetereri. Gutire wienjaga igoti” meaning pray and be patient. And we have to learn to co-exist because no man is island.