INTERVIEW – Flamez Mshamba Mwenza

Flamez Mshamba image
Flamez Mshamba Mwenza is a member of the hip hop duo, Washamba Wenza, hailed as “the next K-shaka.” Washamba Wenza are based in Dandora, recording with G’Ganji records in rongai. His music can be found on reverbnation and youtube.


Where are you from, What was it like growing up?

am from Nairobi kenya grew up in dandora estate which was mostly known for violence and drug abuse. growing up was kind of tricky trying to avoid the violence and drugs and still maintain the hood respect from fellow peers.

Sheng

nimetoka jiji la nai kenya. nika grow esto yenye i likuaga na vurugu and mihadarati.kukua kwangu ilikua nakshy kujaribu to lenga mizozo na mihadarati na bado ku imarisha heshima kwa marika zangu

What kind of hustles were people involved in?

the normal 8 to 5 jobs, touting, drug peddling stealing and various uncalled for hustles.

Sheng

kama kawa works kutoka 8am to 5pm kurandaranda, kuuza mihadarati,uizi na mengine mengi licha ya kutafuta..


What does hip hop mean to you, What made you get involved in Hip Hop?

hip hop to me is an intelligent movement aimed at inspiring and uplifting people
through real life experience found in the deep lyrics and that’s basically why am involved.

Sheng

Hip hop kwangu ni movement ina iam ku inspire na ku-uplift wathii kwa realife expression kupatikana kwenye mistari ya undani na ndio manan najuhusisha na Hiphop.


What do the words ‘kazi’, ‘vijana’ and ‘mshamba’ mean to you?

kazi is occupation one does in order to earn a living.

vijana is the youth who are the majority

mashamba is a hardworking individual who doesn’t have limits..

Sheng

kazi ni ni jobo yenye msee udunga ndio ajiokole maisha.

Vijana ni mayouths ambao ndio wengi kazika inchi

mshamba ni yule msee hua na bidii na hana mipaka


What is ‘politicking’?

politricking is the nonsense that the politicians keep blubbering about and actually doesn’t help anyone but themselves in particular.

Sheng

politricking ni upuzi ya wanasiasa ambao wana jichochacha ilhali haisaidi yoyote bali hao wenyewe.

What is “mental slavery?”

it’s the state where someone has locked himself in some kind of mentality based on either lies or some foolish ideologies that he/she is fed or has been learning.

Sheng

ni hali ya akili ambapo unapata mtu amefungwa na utumwa kwenye akili,iko based kwa udwanzi na ujinga ambozo tumejazwa kichwani ama kusoma.


Can you say anything about the youth drug problems in Kenya?

it is becoming worse as the days go by since the people responsible for stopping are the ones dealing behind the scenes.

sheng

haliinazidi kuzoroteka an kua mbovu zaidi masiku zinvo enda na wale ambao wanahusika kustopisha wengine ndio wawe kwa scene.


Who/What is promoting violence, who/what has lessened violence?

promoting —- / —- lessened violence

unemploment — kukosa kazi —- peace forum—mikakati za amani

drugs —kutumia mihadarati —- hood to hood campaign–mita kwa mita kampaini

politicians — wanasiasa —- music—mziki

insecurity — usalama —- non govermental organization–ma N.G.Os

lack of information/education– kuto soma


How are hiphop artists making money from their music today?

basically from shows, selling CDs and coming up with clothing lines as a way of branding yourself and also advertisement.

How do politics and your own personal values impact your work?

am always going against negative politics in my line of work so as i inform/educate my fans about the evil this guys can bring if you allow them to

Besides rappers, who else do you see “doing” hip hop, other artists, dancers, graffiti artists, activists, hustlas, etc. ?

everyone seems to be doing HipHop in one way or another from the streets hawkers, the fans, the pirates, bloggers, social sites and no forgetting the haters am just grateful for the love.


Name your favorite musical artists, who are you listening to sasa ?

Kendrick lamar, sue timon, mohjay, emc, kambi halali, Kalamashaka, Nafsi huru, anga zetu

What are some obstacles you have encountered during your involvement in the hip hop scene(s)?

lack of airplay from major media houses, false promises from promoters when they call you for a performance, lack of proper management, financial issues among many more.

Why do you think there aren’t as many femcees?

they lack proper guidance since male rappers are always trying to take advantage of them, and also due to the belief that male is superior to female, the case of inferiority complex.

How have women contributed to hip hop in East Africa?

majorly, since every hiphop artist came from a woman, as they say, behind every successful hiphopper there are women involved. Though there are not so many femecees the role they play behind the scenes is way bigger than one can imagine


What can you say about the Mau Mau kambi, are there any similar community hip hop projects helping young people today?

I got my inspiration from the senior members of the camp when i started, later became a member, learned a lot from my peers and the seniors, something that still happens till now. The other project so far i know of MAONO TRUST in December and slum sanaa in HURUMA.

What type of community organizations, informal or formal are helping vijana in East Africa leo?

MAONOO TRUST-based in dandora is basically helping every type of talent from football, acting, singing, instrument, rapper,etc and its free to join. SLUM SANAA based in Huruma and also does the same thing. SARAKASI TRUST based in ngara helps artist trough workshops and giving them the platform to showcase their talent.

Could you describe some positive things you have seen hip hop communities doing? Whether it is artists sharing resources, a place to stay, getting linked with work
etc.

a lot from teaching young upcoming rappers, sharing links with producers promoters etc. offering people a place to stay when moving from town to town during hustle, uplifting and changing young talented streets kids (CHOKORA) and many more.

What hustles are you working on now? is there such a thing as hip hop jobs? ama only hustling? (Talk about any of your projects, musical or otherwise)

event organizing apart from the recording which i almost do daily since i have several albums that are to be done by the end of this year. merchandizing from cds to t-shirts just to get the extra cash.


What are some of the obstacles/problems facing young people in Kenya today (zote, Lodwar to Dando to Westi?)

unemployment, lack of proper education(illiteracy), poverty, misguiding by political leaders


How are you interacting with artists across the globe and also particularly in East Afrika?

mainly through the internet, social media, and emails. some come visit and i make contact. share and download forums


What sort of positive things do you see happening with young people in Kenya?

the youth are becoming more aware of themselves and their worth. guys are taking on projects and supporting each other in their endeavors.

How can people learn more about your work, music, performances and projects you are involved in?

through the internet and media houses

flamesmshambamwenza(face book)

washawenza fan page(face book)

http://www.reverbnation.com/washambawenza

flamezmwenza(twitter)

washamba wenza (youtube)

flamezmwenza@gmail.com 0708447861

Mistariz [lyrics]

song title: man eat man society

Ayo…siwezi stroll gizani juu ya wasi wasi haijuani

ka si patrol nashuku napza gongan na thegi

tafauti yao ni merit kawaida wo hutapeli

unyanyasaji maarufu na unakaki wa undugu

napo jaribu jimudu nasulubishwa na uchungu

matanga daily hakukosi kuna biashara kwa coffins

wanakeshanga na moshi ketepa ganja na coffee

kuchange mkwanja hawachoki wamedosika na ngomvi

robberies na gunshots orbutuaries kiabo

motutuares ni busy pia ni habital ya inzi

ni hard hi task si passy ma vigilant ndwio sisi

kile nachunga silence na kwa shida zangu ni petty

lately5 murders ni plenty so niko rada na jeshi

ile ni close ya mbali na ile sielewi kwa jumla

ni paranoia nadhani so msijali i say forever

charity and burning na hawa mati hatutaki.

song: title sigh

verse

me ni source ya mizani misdtari skiza wasia

me ni force the third reason hope kwa kila missionw

me ni hiphop si utani iki check

frsh nai bless

za mic takes si waste lazima food for thought

me ni melodwwy remedy cure ya troubles

tragedy pia ni me uki walk na utalk evil

saouti ya my people na si ati fight ni sample

me ni symbol of streanth role model to many

they say the best are chosen na kumature ni process

ever ready kutake out any type ya misfit

as miss feet six deep fu ali miscount the physics

double double ka discount ndio hizi samples huibuka

me ni ile era erro hukuland kwa terror msela

na vile era area main occupation ni terror

ju ya hela wera bambanya mshamba hachoki ngangana

mahory hodi bishanga maoni ukihoji hutishanga

song title do you see

verse

ni never too late ever serching sipotezangi

wakati daily running mwanaspoti na kile nacheza si kati

kama ni party politricking fikra zao sifuati

na burn ubinafsi na wa sanif ka ketepa kwa umati

the parable of wheat and takes ma snitch na soare

kubonga ka ni truth ni dare ni crystal clear

fighter me wa kila evil brighter days ndo future niko

lighter burdens better life focus iko far from prison

reasons ni a better season ni ati kuna meal kwa jiko

shelter clothing basically pia ni get kufeed the needy

juu ni wa greddy wana speedy kisa ni taki ya usherati

kuna traffic ya hawa wanafiki reason haki haipatikani

kidonda ni ndugu unchungu hua tamaa ya kupona

uhuru lazima ushuru ju hawa mandugu vinyonge

ni ukoloni mambo leo na ati kaburu ni jirani

ama your honey ni ngumu kwa mnyonge kuprosper


biography

flames mshamba mwenza ia a hardcore hiphop rapper

mainly focusing on an inspirational and uplifting music.

born in october 1986 was raised in mainly in dandora nairobi

and abit in mombasa during the early childhood stages.

started his music career back in high school and late

after school teamed up with sue timon did a couple of songs

and then later together with smallz lethal formed washamba

wenza which are currently considered as the next kalamashaka

the future for flamez and washamba wenza looks bright

for its passion motivation from real life issues and the

determination to show a better world that drives him.

Asante sana,

Interview conducted by Mohjay. Questions by Kevlexicon.

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