As the going comes again, our own material keeps on producing quality stuff in the region. No doubt, the more than two, three and more in the music industry and showbiz, Christian, Lovi, Richrich, and Alpha are the Longombas. After releasing several albums and winning Kora awards, just to mention but a few Chaguo la Teen awards saw them winning yet another award.
Their dance thing and ever changing type of tracks clearly indicate that they are miles ahead in the industry. Having been born and brought up in Kenya they have all the reasons to be proud of. This is clearly demonstrated in their involvement in social activities which include advertisements ranging from tracks and video clips. And on the other hand Gutuka Campaign and Chora Bizna initiative fostered and founded by the Ministry of youth just for the youth.
Christian a key member of Longombas believes that there is more in store and not just more but quality stuff. He says that Lovi being out of the country doesn't mean that Longombas are done yet. Lovi who's out in the US does his part then mails via the net and the thing is done for a track. Christian says that Lovi has bee a big deal in the family aside music.
'Kidude' the album is just yet to come out in a very near future and here Longombas are getting deeper in musicology and a step from Dondosa, Shikamoo, and the rest. Music will never die; fighting crime using music it is a guarantee that crime is won. A good example is when Bob Marley's songs made a shape in Jamaican politics.
A side being icons in the industry they are set to release an album titled 'Ningana' after the set album. This Ningana thing means shake and not just shake but shake orderly. The album has taken a step from the last album and artists like Gido of Samawati and Susan Kibukosia have contributed emensly to see the album become a success. The album has taken six months and enough tracks are out. They have not been aired in media because most of the occasion their tracks are played, enjoyed, pirated and by the end of the day nothing in the pocket.
Longombas greatest urge is for media to support the industry just like in Tanzania and Uganda. They would also love to see a ministry of music this will create job opportunities to youth who everyday indulge in crime and drug abuse not forgetting being exposed to HIV / Aids risks.
Their first album was a lesson to attend to mistakes and make a step ahead. Somebody should have sent this as an advice from our mother to think critical before any advances. Richrich is based in Tanzania though born and raised in Kenya. He believes that almost every one out there expect to see Celebs especially in the industry to be driving heavy metals but looking back at the Celebs there is a life behind Celebrity suit which involves taking care of the family, pursuing a career and other attentions. Though it's hard to make a name, top layer artists tend to support up coming artists at least to reach some height in the industry.
The government should come in a more signified angle to attend to matters relating to youth and music. Christian laments that media to some extend can make things change
Once there is no close relationship with artists and practice their profession where most of them write to sell. A good example of reshaping the Kenyan showbiz is by getting a hint of how Bongo T.V does their thing 'Bongo T.V never plays Kenyan Music, they play Bongo to promote their upcoming artists'. In a way creating a job opportunity 'they all want to listen to either Juma Nature or professor J'. Richrich says.
Society by all means will support the very local artists just like the way Genge is widely supported from Calif to the rest of the country. Alpha is the youngest in the group and having had a touch and taste of Kapuka. Back in Tanzania top layer Celebs preach 'Jitahidi utafika' while in Kenya '...geuza shati, geuza trouser na bado haufiki ' so who among the two recipients is likely to be proud of own showbiz? A question not yet answered.
Christian as the name goes is one religious dude and believes in the Christian virtues of which he believes has seen the entire Longombas generation make great strides. He does believe that Kenyan music is big deal outside Kenya especially in the West people adore the music. The day today pull downs are our own brothers and sisters in the industry who expects you to compete with Jay-Z and to some extend wouldn't give you respect compared to our neighburing sister countries. A good example is Kampala, they have made Chameleon their J-Zee 'he is a King' Christian says. To some extend we are not good people, always thinking to compete. Instead of supporting our own thing.
In the piracy section, we will cross-oceans, climb mountains but without reducing the prices for CDs then piracy will continue getting pregnant.
The Longomba brothers are leading the change on HIV awareness with their new single 'Vuta Pumz'. Caroline Nyanga finds out why they and other artistes are dropping 'party' songs to get on message
For a long time local musicians have been accused of churning out lewd lyrics in songs like 'Keroro', 'Manyake', 'Kamata Dame' and 'We Kamu Remix' just to name a few. Unlike their bongo flava counterparts, who sing about real life, Kenyan musicians have been seen to glorify sex and booze, a trend considered by parents and a section of media to be bad influence on the youth. To a large extent, their songs can be said to have continued to promote drug use, alcohol consumption and premarital sex, despite the fact that HIV/Aids continues to wipe out a generation.
But people want to hear more than just music.That is exactly what the Longombas are doing with 'Vuta Pumz'.
"It's no secret that many people and even musicians are losing their lives to HIV/Aids," says Lovi Longomba. It's high time us musicians use our position as role models to educate others."
Unlike the Longombas, a majority of artistes still maintain that singing 'party songs' is based on honesty on about what happens among the youth. They, however, insist that they don't practice what they sing.
'Vuta Pumz' describes the complicated relationships between young men and women and how they are often mired into more lies.
"This song is meant to create awareness among everybody else to enable them lead a moral and righteous life and avoid being hypnotised by a persons charms and looks," says Lovi.
The Longombas say the song explores the need for each of us to be careful with the decisions we make in life, that in most cases are bound to land us in big trouble.
"We want to educate and sensitise people on HIV/Aids so that they can learn to accept and care for those infected and affected, while at the same time taking control of their lives." They add that the song took them only two hours to write.
"We knew the song would work for everyone the moment we visualised it," says Christian.
The duo's new direction might finally land them their long - awaited recognition in the Kisima Awards.
Although they are without doubt energetic secular stage performers whose infectious music and stage-craft has got even the most icy audiences to shake off their inhibitions, the duo say they have never been nominated for the Kisima Awards. They see the snubbing of hits like 'Dondosa' as a conspiracy theory.
"It's unfortunate that there are people in the music industry who don't consider us Kenyans and, hence, they will do anything to bring our efforts down," says a bitter Lovi. Christian adds that they were born and brought up here, but there has been a misconception about them being Congolese. I ask them the rumours doing rounds that they actually bleached their skins.
"Nay man," says Lovi looking very perturbed indeed. "Why would we bother doing so when our mother is a half-caste (half white half Congolese) and our late father was a light - skinned Congolese man?"
This is not the first time the duo have had to respond to criticism. In 2003, Tanzanian artiste Professor Jay accused them of stealing his 'Makofi' song. The Longombas see this as a ploy to finish them through bad press.
"Let me clarify one thing," says a stern Lovi who is also the song's producer. "We never stole anybody's song nor are we close to doing so." Professor Jay, Lovi explains, did a song by the name 'Makofi' which has a similar name to their 'Piga Makofi' but has different beats and a different message. The Longombas further point out that it is not unusual for artistes to do songs based on the same theme but this doesn't mean that they are the same.
It seems their theme of the moment is HIV/Aids awareness and they want other musicians to follow the same path. "Although Aids is real, it's unfortunate that there are personalities in the local celebrity circles and many other people out there who don't seem to care about it judging from their manner of conduct," says Christian. They say the words of the song came to them after getting fed up with the going-ons around them.
"We realised we had to do something about it. By putting the problem in the form of music, we felt we would be better able to reach out to many people. Besides, we wanted to establish a reputation for keeping people dancing to our music right from the start and thereafter having something to think about when they return to their homes."
En ce week end du sidaction, je vous rappelle de vous protéger car il y a déjà trop de gens et d'enfants dans la monde qui sont contaminés.
Quelques une des principales raisons de la transmissions du VIH/Sida
La culture, la position officielle de l'Eglise et les nombreuses fausses idées qui circulent, telles que « le préservatif c'est un truc de Blancs, une stratégie pour empêcher les Noirs d'avoir des enfants », « les drogues et l'alcool tuent le SIDA », ou encore « pour se débarrasser du SIDA il suffit de le transmettre à quelqu'un d'autre » vont non seulement à l'encontre de la contraception mais incitent aussi les séropositifs à transmettre leur maladie ! Les tabous qui entourent la sexualité sont un obstacle de plus à l'information.
Le nombre d'orphelins et d'enfants vulnérables porteurs du SIDA est très élevé. Les orphelins n'ont souvent guère d'autres choix, surtout dans les villes, que de vivre dans les rues. Ils vivent d'expédients et n'ont ni estime d'eux-mêmes ni perspective d'avenir. Leurs préoccupations étant basées sur le court terme, ils ne se protègent pas du SIDA et ne s'en inquiètent pas, soit par ignorance soit par inconscience, car les symptômes n'apparaissent qu'au bout de longues années.
La dépendance économique de la femme est un autre facteur de propagation de la maladie car l'homme a le pouvoir de décision sur les pratiques sexuelles du couple (contraception, fidélité...). Pour celles qui veulent gagner leur indépendance, la prostitution est parfois une étape obligatoire mais 55 % des prostituées sont infectées.
De nombreux séropositifs ne désirent pas faire les tests de dépistage de peur d'être rejetés par leur entourage et parce qu'ils ignorent que la maladie peut être prise en charge. La méconnaissance de leur état fait d'eux un facteur de propagation supplémentaire.