INTERVIEW – BlackGzas aka Dadi

BlackGzas aka Dadi is an emcee from Ukoo Flani Mau Mau and Moshikali. You can find his music on East African Tunes, soundcloud, and youtube. For sure, you need to check out Ushapotea.

UPDATE: 29 August, 2013: New Video from BlackGzas, “Hata Kama” ft. Dr Jahson & King Dito

UPDATE: 31 March, 2013: Check out some of the community work Black Gzas and Warriors From the East are doing in Tanzania at Warriors One Love Community Centre.

[Kevlexicon made typographical edits]

UPDATE – March 16, 2013. Check out BlackGzas and Ghetto Grade Warriors From the East new music video “Voices of the Ghetto” Download the mixtape.

• Kevin Teryek Kusini

i would like to send u some interview questions if thats cool,
give people a sense of what life and hiphop is like in kenya

October 4
Blackgzas Dadi

dadi is my nick name which symbolises the street code name of dandora
in short we call it di n blackgzas is a reflection of the savior of
the world.. Though now i relate it to hip hop n the society where i came
from or every ghetto..

o The place i come is called a ghetto aka dandora… Filled with
drugs, prostitution.. Crime, robberies, murders.. But most of things
happen for a reason. 1 is lack of proper livin condition..
2 is a place also known as the Hiphop city… It’s the place which
pioneered the music industry in kenya.. •

October 4
Kevin Teryek Kusini

o yeh man, asante for takin the time. If I could suggest, tafadhali,
give some details…maybe try to paint images of people and
life in the mind’s eye, like when you rap. sawaz, bro, good stuff,
tho, thank you.

Blackgzas Dadi

o Okay let me try.. Though im gud at narratin n not with writtin…
Life Mine Is a very long story but I’ll try to b very brief, was born in
a hospital knwn as pumwani maternity n luckily cos this is one of the
best government hospital n its not 4 he rich but 4 the middle class you
know what i mean but whereby the society i come from majority could not
even afford it at that tym. N it’s in the midle of different estate or
ghettos around nairobi @eastleigh, pumwani also knwn as majengo, california,
biafra n ziwani sorounding the hospital. Located near the city.

N at that tym my parents were both stayin in dandora the hip hop
city.. N my father was raised mostly in the city the place called
ziwani thats where their father was coz he has 2 sis n 2 bros. N my mother
im not sure about her but i know her mother was livin n the majengo area
n i forgot starehe but also is the constituency which carries all the
mentioned ghettos surroundin pumwani maternity..

N growin up at about
5yrs my parents broke up reason thought of religion. my dad family
christian n my mum muslim n from there a new journey began.. My dad
didn’t hav money or a good job he got employed at the kenya cooperative
creameries k..c.c bcos of his talent in football so that he could play
4 the company’s football team…

Kevin Teryek Kusini

o sawa bro, thanks. Yeh mon, this is good..

Blackgzas Dadi

o One day it was night n I was in taon n it was a day that richie spice
had come to nairobi for a concert n dude as you knpw the reggae vibe in
kenya n it was around 10pm n there i was waitin for matatu to go home
since I wasnt goin to concert n there came these guys wantin to rob from
me n you knw what they told me that I’m lucky since they reached near me
n saw that i had rasta they told me that they’re hustlin n they didn’t
hav money to go for the concert so they want to rob n i gave them
inspiration tho i dont know if they went ahead to do what they think is

But thats 1 way that music has changed my life n changed others
who listen to our music ukooflani maumau.. Most youths are caught up
in the struggle an end up doin those kind of tingz.

Kevin Teryek Kusini

o sawa bro

17 hours ago
Blackgzas Dadi

o Life as an artist is hard you know, its a struggle cos there are many
obstacles n i guess its not just music but iv learned everythin in life
although we all dont go thru the same path.. Sam get it soft sam get it
ruff.. But to my side God is great i haven’t really reached that place
but am strivin on, movin on, i dont knw how long but am playin my
part.. Right now am with the warriors in Tanzania n we r launchin a
joint project we hav done together fusion of hip hop reggae n dance
hall.. Album called voice of the ghetto yu can check it on the n we launchin it this fri 12th then hopefully
God willin, in the end month we should b in Ethiopia we hav been invited
by the crown prince himself grandson to his majesty


9 hours ago
Blackgzas Dadi

o Ukoofani maumau has really been my n many’s mentor up to now I’ve
learned a lot in the music industry n life it self n am still learnin.
But there are still obstacles at the moment we need at least 2 or 3
videos to promote the album.. N you know the price of video shootin here

Kevin Teryek Kusini

if you wanna talk about your experience, what you know
about how the youths are living so that they have to do that and what
rastafaris have done to build positive relationship with youths. That
could really turn into something if you say more.


2 hours ago
Blackgzas Dadi

Yeah… so wen we started we formed a group calld Moshikali n
it consisted of me Gas n Zakah now in Wenyeji n the name came from the
biggest dump site in Africa, based in dandora, n everyday you would wake
in the mornin and it was filled with this big cloud of smoke from the
burnin of garbage n we were also advocatin for this bcos it was a
health hazard to the locals n the surroundin ghettos..we did our 1st
single called “ushapotea” meanin “ur lost” n it received good airplay from
the local stations that was back in 2000 n there were only 2 fm
stations in kenya.

about an hour ago
Blackgzas Dadi

o N it managed to get us small gigs n at that time rasta had a negative
image bcos reggae in kenya that time was a violent music people was not
listenin to the mess n so when put dread locks as the ukoofalni maumau
which was mostly inspired by the freedom fighters we [brought] another
picture n bcos we were doin positive mess in our music n the youths
started relatin with the vybe n so we changed the youths by showing
them who rasta is really. like is about consciousness n it took a while b4
people understood us. N so later on everybody in the group Moshikali
went solo after doin some different tracks together. N here we are
still the struggle continues.

Now everybody listens to reggae even in the uptown society which was not in some few years back.. N most of the youths hav changed especially from the ghettos by knowin that you can do what is best with ur talent… And from there music scene in kenya has become big in different categories but it all started from hip hop..


about an hour ago
Blackgzas Dadi

o So personally i decided that i want to do live music with a band n
thats y am here in tanzania bcos in nairobi you knw live music is not
much heard especially with hiphop. with the wariors now we want to do an
east african tour but still we r trying to look for sponsors, then also
we can start lookin for festivals abroad maybe from next year.

a few seconds ago
Kevin Teryek Kusini

o great man, that bit about the origins of ‘moshikali’, the group w u
zaka and gas, and it was named after the burning garbage in mtaani,
really poetic and political stuff man, i love it. The part about the
misunderstood rastas is great too man, yeh, now we are on to something. Asante sana bro

9 hours ago
Blackgzas Dadi

o Yeah how r you kev? Hope ur doin well.. Then personally it being a
long road when we as maumau did the album called “kilio cha haki” meanin
“a cry 4 justice” which was a project supported by the dutch people n it
feutured rha godess frm NYC, USA. it was a big breakthru n it also
featured other artist from eastlands. N was also initiated by yike
youth initiative kenya an n.g.o

the name ukooflani mau mau became big.. N from that project we got a computer and a good microphone 4 recordin n the supported by kwani we managed to set up our own studio, Andaki records which chizen brain was the producer n from that we did the “Dandora burning” album, but things dint go well bcos of poor managent n
from that tym it was a big lesson to me that as an artist bein in
a group can really samtym cost you if ur not careful

…n by this i mean that i personally was waitin for my
tym to come cos at that tym i was a solo artist but dint hav a clear
vision as a solo artist.. So i wasted or i did not see the
opportunities around me n men the name at that tym was a passport to
anywhere.. You know.

But i was just also in a difficult situation i didn’t hav a place to stay so sometyms i used to sleep at the studio with chizen brain n johhny of kalamashaka. we were all homeless me, my aunt who i was livin with had kicked me out of the house dint hav no job so even gettin food was a big problem.. N luckily or i dont know what to
call it, but i call it a blessin my girlfriend got pregnant n she didn’t
hav work she was livin with her friend so i was playin daddy’s role
with no home had try to provide for them until my son was born, still in
in the same situation.. So i was confused deeply lost my focus…. Men
i stop there cos we r rehearsing right now I think they r all waitin for
me … Badae i continue pamoja

2 seconds ago
Kevin Teryek Kusini

o wow, man. that’s intense. what did you find uaself doing day-to-day?
this is gud stuff, man. thank you… I
remember u said you used to do construction and work only to get
enough money to eat to keep you strong enough to keep working. Tell us
about that manzee, wowowow!

• Blackgzas Dadi

• Yeah i thought that music isnt payin n i was about to give up in search a way that i first go make some money then i do music. But it wasnt easy cos the construction work doesn’t pay i found out that i would do that for life cos it was like hand to mouth you get the pay today n spend the money the same day for food n could barely save then i thought of how hard we worked the whole day in the sun sometimes carryin sand to the fifth floor of a buildin in a sack on the shoulder n men when yu reach home yur tired n just sleep..

• I worked for lyk 6 months n didn’t hav any extra money besides payin the rent n meals. i almost at that tym got crazy n i asked my self did God create me to do this with my life n im not sayin that it’s bad to work as a construction worker but myself i thought of it as colonization, cos we worked buildin after that the beneficiary is the owner of the house in case you get sick or injured in the place of work nobody cares, no insurance cos its a day job n it’s not guaranteed that tomorrow you will get to work again they decide to stop, you cant do anythin… And that nothin was promised

• Blackgzas Dadi

• So i decided to stop. [I’d] rather struggle with makin my dream come true which up to now im on my way.. N i moved from kitengela n went to live in Kayole coz Kitengela is far from town Nairobi n the transport was very expensive n as you know, the music industry the studios are all in nairobi or a little far from the city n after that, that’s when we linked with Gas [Fyatu] to open the distribution shop Sauti Sahara [Voice of the Sahara]… I cant tell how we managed to pay the shop it was a mystery n hustle too but from being paid from the construction work 250 KSH we raised 80000ksh just for startin the shop. it was hope for many artists n was a big challenge. imagine how long i would hav worked at the construction to get that amount of money.. Miracles do really happen yeah… Unity is strength cos it was a light though it got harder that after, almost a year payin the rent of 15000ksh every month …

• in january i shuld b startin a new chapter.. N i came to Arusha cos i always wanted to play with a band n do live music… I had worked wth the warrior durin my last vists in tz n now we launched the voices of the ghetto album on fri in arusha it was a gud launch n this fri we will b in moshi.. N the strugge continue we aim tourin east africa first coz on the 2nd november we r invited in Ethiopia for the shammaball, thats the day when king Sellasie was crowned so the crown prince of ethiopie invited us you can listen to the Voices of the ghetto album on n tell me what yu think.. We av fused hip hop n dance hall n reggae.. Incase yu need mo info let me knw… Tuko pa1 ukooflani maumau still strong being represented now all over the world you know Kama is in the states Roba of wenyeji is in france..etc so its a blessin. Peace

Kevin Teryek Kusini

• bless, bro. indeed, now you’re telling me good stuff for the youth to know, I feel. yeh man,



One comment

  1. Pingback: EDUCATION – Warriors One Love Community Centre (interview) | Hip Hop Kambi

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