EDUCATION – Warriors One Love Community Centre (interview)

onelovewarriorcentre

Warriors One Love Community Centre is an educational and community space located near Arusha, Tanzania, that provides courses for free. The Centre was founded with the intention of supporting orphans and destitute children by Lwanda Magere, frontsinger of the Warriors from the East reggae band in 2010. Currently, the Centre is led by Samuel Chege Ngari (his interview). The following is an interview with Lisa Lombardo, who does public relations and donations work with the Centre. For more info, check out http://www.onelovecentre.wordpress.com

lisalombardo

1. Share a story involving Warriors One Love Community Centre.

I personally as a German did not spend that much time in the centre directly. I just got in contact with it when I was volunteering in a hospital close to Moshi and made friends with the nowadays leader Blackgzas Dadi. However, my times there always have been short, I can share that the centre to me was and is kind of a second home. During my one year in Tanzania I was in need of help and became very lonely while being so far away from my German home, family and friends. That was when the centre gave me a new home, friends and nearly something like a family – Thanks for that!

2. What is Warriors Community Centre? How did it start?

In 2010, Lwanda Magere, frontsinger of the Warriors from the East reggae band, founded a centre for orphans and destitute children in Arushas suburb Kimandolo in the north of Tanzania. The Warriors One Love Community Centre represents a place where children and young people have space to meet, to practice sports or to get tutoring, with the aim of giving them assistance to be independent and educated people who are in charge of their own lives and able to return something to the society later on.

In 2012, Blackgzas Dadi became the head of the project and now leads a team that has taken on this task and is committed deeply in it. It is a mixture of talented and dedicated artists and volunteer teachers and tutors, that all have been working with children for years. Many of the members of the centre were brought up as orphans or street children and want to help children in similar situations now. Also former volunteers from abroad, like me as a German who worked in Moshi for one year, and international supporters are part of the project to form a melting pot of cultures, talents and impressions in order to ensure learning on many levels, as it gives a stimulating environment and a variety of inspiring teachers. Thus the children become part of something to be proud of and discover their personal talents. School fees have not to be raised.

Right now about 60 children and teenagers receive the program, which provides them games, sports, computer classes and an afternoon program with tutoring. Of course the centre is an English medium school to improve the language skills. The program allows the children a lot of freedom, so that they can discover their strengths and talents and learn to take responsibility for their education and their future.

blackboard

3. Where are you guys located? What is it like for people growing up in your communit(ies)? What kinds of struggles do young people face?

Me myself I was born and raised in Cologne in the west of Germany. Cologne is a very big city, where you can meet many different people and have a lot of different cultural offers. That’s where I moved back to now. I grew up in a small family with my younger sister and finished secondary school two years ago, so that I am now able to study medicine. I am very thankful for all the chances I have got in my life, because even in a country like Germany there are people suffering. We have big problems in our education system, which means that the government is not able to offer the same proper education to everyone and many young people have problems to find jobs that are well paid so that they could found a family. That’s the hardest task for many young Germans, I think. So like I said I am very thankful for my family and the education I got.

However, the centre itself is located close to Arusha in the north of Tanzania and the struggles young people are facing are similar to the German ones: A bad education system and insecure and low paid jobs. That’s where we want to become active and educated the youth of our community properly.


4. What is “community”?

To me community is the connection of different people around one place. This place can be bigger or smaller, starting in a house and family, growing to a town or city or being a whole country or continent. The aim of community to me is sharing. Not only material things like food, cloths or water but even time, knowledge and love. The important thing of a community is that everyone is part of it – if he likes to be or not – the young and free as well as the old and wise. That’s how sharing works, cause everyone, doesn’t matter what he does, knows or earns, has something to give and to teach.


5. Does the centre have a “philosophy of education”?

To me the centre’s philosophy first of all is that education should be offered to everyone. It should not depend on age, family background , religion or money. That’s why our program is for free. The other thing is, that education for us not only means maths, history or English, but also different types of art and practical skills. We want to offer a place where young people can discover themselves, their talents and strengths and where they can learn how to be part of the community and give something back to it. That’s education for us and the philosophy leading the centre.

lessons

6. Talk about the project of integrating Tanzania/Germany and other countries as part of an international education.

The plan is to have volunteers from abroad – Germany and other countries – and later to go on with exchange programs for students and teachers. During my own time being a volunteer in a Tanzanian hospital I came to discover that the “view abroad” and the changing of perspective is necessary to open your mind to the world and find yourself in it. Furthermore in our world and time it’s important to understand each other and to get closer without to mind about country borders. That’s necessary for reaching a decent and honest society and world. And I hope to be able to offer this mind opening and interconnecting exchange to our students and teachers soon.


7. What kind of services does the centre provide? How can people join Warriors Community Centre and benefit from the services it provides? Are the services provided reserved for a certain age group?

At the moment we have a tutoring English program for young children and for the older ones an English and Computer course as an extra training after they have finished school. We are about to build more practical courses thou: We will have courses for Carpentry, Tailoring and Art workshop, because we want our students to first express themselves and second earning practical skills for making it easier to find a job. Even nowadays all the students that finish the computer and English courses found jobs in town soon, which we are very proud of. Other steps will be an Internet Café and a vegetable garden and snack service. Even there the students will earn skills which they can make use of for the rest of their lives. At the same time all our workshops can be used by community members to ensure their income and vegetables will be given to families in need. Of course, as the centre was founded and is leaded by musicians music plays a role in everything to and we hope to be able to offer a practical music class soon.


8. As there are no school fees, what kinds of creative ways are you guys fundraising to keep the work of the Community Centre going?

We hope to open the internet café and snack service soon so that the centre sustains itself. Otherwise even the Warriors from the East band is supporting the centre, when they are earning with CD selling or concerts as well as German donations. Me myself I am organizing a charity concert in Germany and am still searching for regular supporters.

class

9. How does Warriors Community Centre provide education? What are the facilities and resources you guys have?

kelvinteacher

At the moment we are still depending on donations. We got a few laptops and a desktop computer and were able to build a computer classroom and outdoor classroom as well. Our teachers are volunteering in teaching, which means they are working for free, which we would like to change soon, so that it’s easier for our teachers to stay with us and to build up their own lives and families.

samuelngarichege


10. How long does it take for a student to complete an English or Computer course at the centre?

At the beginning the English and Computer courses were about one year, however, in the previous years we had to face the challenge that many students had to leave the centre before graduating. We found out that this happened due to the fact that one year is too long for being involved in additional courses only and the students were forced to move out. For making it easier for the students to finish our program we would like to intensify and at the same time shorten the English and computer courses down to six months.

11. The centre offers English and Computer courses. Does the centre help provide young people with employment? What kind of employment do graduates find after completing their courses?

We have been very successful in helping our graduates to find an employment. Most of them are able to work in Internet cafés in town through which they can take care of themselves.

garden

12. How do you see sports and the vegetable garden fitting in with the overall project of the Warriors One Love Community Centre?

We see the human as a whole thing. It’s not only body OR mind, it’s always body AND mind, and we believe that only a mind in a healthy body is able to learn. That’s why we want our students to know about how to treat themselves through the right use of food, herbs and plants and how to increase their strength through sports. The other goal of the garden is, that the students learn how to provide food for themselves and their families.


13. What is the role of music at the centre? What kind of arts training is available?

At the moment we are planning to have a practical music class, because we believe in music being a way of expressing yourself and influencing your environment. Furthermore we will have an Art, Craft and Jewelry workshop, Tailor workshop, Wood and Metal Workshop always on the one hand for our students to express themselves and to build up their creativity and on the other hand for getting practical skills for being employed easier.


14. How can people assist Warriors Community Centre in providing services? (How can people work/volunteer at the centre?)

We are looking for motivated volunteers from just everywhere who have finished any education which they want to share with our teachers and students. Mostly English teachers, ICT teachers or trainers for our workshops are needed.

Contact information

Projektleiter – Head of project: Samuel Ngari Chege

blackgzas@gmail.com

+255 764 603664

Spendengelder und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit – Donation and public relations: Lisa Lombardo

lombardo.lisa@web.de

+49 2302 1719897
+49 173 4670117

Administration: D. Tamino Böhm

tamino.boehm@gmail.com

+49 157 37256504
+255 759 840781

15. How does the centre aim to motivate in young people?

Through arts and sports and the contact to many different role models we are trying to open our students minds. We want them to understand that they are in charge and responsible for their own lives and that they can build any future they want to have if they are just working and believing hardly. When young people understand this, what they mostly do, the best motivation is growing.


16. What does hip hop mean at Warriors One Love Community Centre, Why get involved in Hip Hop?

Hip Hop or music in general is first of all involved through our teachers and the surrounding of the centre: There are artist living, teaching and practicing everywhere so that the students are influenced by that and they come to discover music as a way of expressing themselves. Otherwise we are planning a practical music class that offers a space to the creativity and personal initiative of the youths, cause it’s in our believe that Hip Hop and other music is able to express feelings and thoughts of a human being and to influence the whole society around the artist and we want our students to become in charge of new influences.


17. Does the centre have access to public space(s) for events?

There is a small place for events in the centre itself and many contacts to different people in town through which events could be planned.


18. Does Warriors One Love Community Centre provide health education and/or health services? Does the centre advise or otherwise support members of the local community in regards to seeking medical care? (Does the centre have any health organization partnerships?) How are health services accessible to members of the community?

Unfortunately at the moment the centre is not able to directly take care of health problems, but as I am becoming a doctor it is one of our future plans. Otherwise like I said before we try to show a healthy way of life through the vegetable garden and food to our students.

graduate


19. What kind of opportunities are available for women at Warriors Community Centre?

Women are as welcome as men in our centre – as students as well as teachers. Like I said before: The philosophy of the centre is that humans should be raised in equality, so there is even no difference for us between women and men.

20. How have women contributed to Warriors Community Centre?

Half of the teachers I came to know in the centre have been women – and new ones are always welcome!

21. Does the centre engage with the Government of Tanzania in any way? If so, how?

Right now the centre is not engaged with the government and even in future our freedom is important to us. That’s why we want to become a NGO (non-governmental organization) and not a governmental program.

22. How can people learn more about your organization and projects you are involved in? Talk about any organizations the centre supports or is partnered with.

centre

The easiest way of getting in contact with us or information about us is our blog and homepage www.onelovecentre.wordpress.com . That’s where you get any news. We are working on founding a German partner organization, but also this one will be represented on our blog.

Contact information


23. How can people support Warriors One Love Community Centre (please include contact info.)

We are looking for volunteers and sponsors who ensure the rent for the house and help us with renovations. Also we are looking for donations such as computers and material. Any ideas and interests can be shared and we can be contacted (in English, Swahili, German or Spanish) through onelove-centre@web.de

Contact information

centre1

Thanks a lot and stay blessed.

OPINION – “My take” by Mwas Mahugu

YOUTHMAN OPINION AND TAKE (KENYAN ELECTIONS)
By Mwas Mahugu

[The views expressed here are those of the author]

It has been show time for politicians last year and early this year, for Kenya to decide who was to lead Kenya for the next five years. Not only to lead but also to show the world what our society is made of, our leaders reflect the kind of people the Kenyan society is.

Who ever came up with the phrase “better the devil you know than the angel you don’t” know must have made a terrible mistake, if it was to be taken with Kenyan society in mind.

For the former he or she can be devil reincarnation with a lot of fury, while the angel, far from being a dangerous situation, might turn out to be real, with all associated angelic qualities; good economy, social system and governance, but the devil has nothing new. You know all in and out and that it’s the same fats cats running the state, the forest is still the same and it’s the same monkey jumping from one tree to another; there are those people who have been running the state since independence. Nevertheless we have no choice, only to choose the lesser evil among our pre-formatted leaders.

Anyone who thinks we did not need a new government and new crop of leaders, is a beneficiary of impunity and has survived and perfected the system of corruption. Our state can be compared to a big ship, which had grown infected with the one party system. There was a divide between the civil servant and the people, but more importantly the haves and have nots. A new President is ushered in but before the real changes trickle down to common mwananchi, five years are over and it is time for general elections again. Heaven-sent promises become order of the day, youth employment, better health services, education, the list goes on and on.

President Mwai Kibaki has made a tremendous achievement, improving the infrastructure, communication, health and education. The economy has been advancing at unprecedented rate but still, in his tenure corruption scandals had become part of the Kenyan entertainment scene, like a series which continues everyday: People watching the evening news, Kenyans are still not able fully utilize agricultural output, unscrupulous traders grew rich from selling seeds packed from a backstreet under the watchful eyes the system, a big percentage of cereals consumed in Nairobi come from other East African states, still the movements of the goods among the East African states has been a menace, this is due to unfavorable trade barriers, custom duties and bureaucracy.

The strong and energetic youth struggle so much to get into the job market, reason being, the universities are churning new graduates every year but only a small fraction are absorbed into the job market. The much publicized youth fund made the top guns millionaires. The process was tedious, an organized group of ten youths were given 50,000. But this were mere formalities, so the same institutional corruption took shape with civil servants forming briefcase youth organizations to siphon the money. The big joke was when thousands were recruited and employed under the Ministry of Youth to clean the rivers and slash grass all over Nairobi, which they did in large numbers, I witnessed this with my own eyes. The organizers ran away with the loot in broad daylight. The youth demonstrated –they littered the streets of Kayole in 2009, with the soil they had loaded in the Lorries. Newspapers later published how the youth fund had been misused.

I visited Ministry of Industrialization situated inside Posta next to Nyayo house, with a unique project; to see if there was a way my business idea could be incubated to grow and employ many youths. I had borrowed a leaf from the China government with their cottage industries, after discussion I told the Official to stop crap and politics and tell me the real situation. The man told me yes, they have millions in the fund available but to get it out was a real headache and every year moneys go back to treasury, and sometimes it is transferred to other Ministries; my point is how do we industrialize the country when this type of a ministry is a paper tiger?

Paper-Tiger-Sculpture

The defeated man admitted how he was among the six Kenyans who went to study about intellectual property in Israel, but it has taken years to reach where he is, but more importantly he is just an image. He tows the line of his masters, and the prevailing situation works for dark forces. He finally told me this country has its owners. This climate prevails in all major government organizations. If you are a normal citizen you have to beg to be served or give a bribe. So my point is it does not matter who takes the presidency, since the President becomes the captain of a leaking ship, but the cabinet around the President always assures the big gun all is fine and running well until media luckily uncovers one of the big corruption scandals, among thousands, that has been escaping the public eye.

We needed a new Government under a new party, T.N.A. managed to offer their followers hope, with their slogan “I believe” and “tunaweza” slogan, encouraging teamwork. The digital team has formed the Government with the Supreme Court, nullifying the results, and declared Uhuru Kenyatta as the fourth President of Democratic Republic of Kenya. I was involved in The T.N.A. party from the nominations to elections in Embakasi, the poorest of the poor bought into the idea of “we believe we can” and they took all the promises the politicians gave as with Gospel truth acceptance. The party nominations were marred with irregularities. I was introduced to this World of propagandas and I learnt so much. The winners of the party nominations were not the best leaders, they were the smartest in this dirty games of politics. Forget the leaders with good policies; it is the best storytellers who stole the shows. They promised heaven, like biblical Moses- Manna from heaven was in high supply, dishing handouts like they were pulling them from a vending machine and when the tap runs dry they sprinted to the infamous Riveroad to print fake cash. I once received a cheque, I banked it at Equity and I wanted to get half of the amount before the three days maturity, since I needed cash badly. This was my branch I had done this type of transaction before.

After pleading my case and humbling myself like an angel the bank manager came and told me “we cannot process the transactions, politicians are issuing banking cheques and your drawer is not our regular customer.” I was defeated and I left cursing the so-called politicians.

How will the Jubilee Coalition integrate the five millions plus who voted for CORD, the people in the streets to the ghettoes around the country who went on rampage burning and looting, after their party lost? They experienced the strong and long hand of the government, which is sometimes brutal and ruthless in name of keeping peace. What will happen if Jubilee Coalition fails to honor the promises they made? And these masses who voted for both parties join forces? Already power and food prices are escalating, how many rivers will common citizens cross before they reach Canaan, the land of milk and honey? Kenyans have been yearning for a messiah, someone to give them hope and lead them to prosperity. If they realize their chosen leaders are not honest there will be a revolt. The “us” and “them” attitude, which comes of treating citizens as consumers, might arise.

Internet age is here, citizen journalism through the blogs and social media feed us with news even before a newspaper editor sits on his computer to edit the stories. A major transformation is taking place right now in our society. None is more subtle, yet explosive, I think, than this first the mega shift from institution journalism to citizen journalism. Innovations in communications and computer technology are accelerating the pace of change by collapsing the information float. We are moving from centralization to decentralization, we don’t need strong leaders but it is our democratic system that can create a strong and viable society. Strong leadership is an anathema of democracy. The cyberspace which is a general medium invites participation. It is the set of orientation points by which we find our way around a bewildering amount of data, it brings “virtual reality,” it makes interaction of one or several subjects who are spatially dispersed to “come together” share information and sometimes make love to each other though they are separated by thousands of kilometers in real space.

There has been a silent revolution of the mind of Kenyan youth through music of the likes of ukooflanimaumau and hip hop emcees. This is not the generation to deceive and play politics. They have a discerning eye and access to information, and they will crucify politicians in broad daylight. The music and other forms of art are double edged sword, sound of violence and peace at the same time; African peace militants, from the images, the instruments, to the poetry.

Fact is: in the majority of African states, politicians have been giving people their minds and not their hearts, and by entering Parliament they end up chasing their dreams, and run our institutions like country clubs. Gone are [those] days, the information age is here. Leaders deliver, or run for dear life.

The future is not for parties “playing politics” but for the measure conceived in the largest spirit, pushed by parties whose leaders are statesmen not demagogues, who love not their offices but their duty and their opportunity for service. We are witnessing a renaissance of public spirit, a reawakening of sober public opinion and a revival of the power of the people. Politicians must stop running office like their country clubs; they should put aside their capitalist ideas and ideology. To concentrate towards achieving their people’s goals, not their own dreams and fantasies. Last but not least, I wish to congratulate His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy President His Excellency William Ruto.


Written by Mwas Mahugu
9th march 2013
Time 3.12 AM

INTERVIEW – Evano Shezol O-MWAMI WEAR

1

Evano Shezol is a rapper and O-MWAMI Wear hip hop clothing entrepreneur currently based in Kahawa Wendani.
You can check out his music on Soundcloud, Youtube, and Reverbnation. He’s also on Facebook and Twitter @amicusmuzikae
and @omwamiwear.

1. Share some of your mistari and talk about where they came from, what they talk about, what inspired u to write them.

First, My real names are EVANS ANYANGA, my stage name is , O-MWAMI WEYAR (EVANO SHEZOL). now 23 years old and here are some of my mistari drawn from one of my songs….

..>>>kwa hii usanii I got a doctor of philosophy…/ speech niki-make utaskia tu makofi…./ niko biz daily kusaka hizi pesa…./ nauza omwami wear hadi sokoni comesa…/ siwezi wekwa coz najua kuwekana…/ olukano olukano mi nazidi kuwakana…./ kuna madem walidinda kuni-show there age…/ sahii nashangaa tu venye wame-age…/ najua motto si nguo utaomba mtu…/ omwami wear si nguo itashika kutu…./

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

I was born in kakamega county in a place called butere….where the Kenya railway ends……but I was brought up in kahawa wendani estate, in nairobi.… I was raised in an averagely stable family who gave me the best education to university level at the university of Nairobi. Am a proud holder of a bachelor of commerce degree in finance… though my parents don’t support my music, I appreciate them for supporting me indirectly by taking me to school. My mum taught me how to be responsible and to work hard in everything I do to succeed.

4


3. What kind of hustles were people involved in?

Small businesses and small scale farming as a source of food.

4. Can you talk about your clothing line, Omwani Wear? How were you able to begin to produce the clothing? Who do you have working on the designs? What have you learned from this process that might help other young entrepreneurs?

Hhehehe…. Omwami wear started as a joke… I didn’t know it will reach this far… I mainly started it to be able to finance my music in case I don’t get employed. After the university I joined accesskenya for internship, the little money I was paid I used it to start the line.

I print and brand my tee shirts, jampers, hoods, ladies tops, spaghetti tops, etc at authentic imprints located in kahawa wendani., under graphic designer BEEBO and Julee shine. I have learned that it takes patience and hardwork to succeed in anything, the way you interact with your fans and customers brings good will to the business. Accepting criticism and having positive self esteem adds more value.

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

Its means a bunch. I can’t do without a studio and a producer. I have to clear my voice like every time I visit a studio-its my source of revenue. I flow in any beat on this earth but my flow remains hip hop in nature. Hip hop completes me, its makes my day, I love hip hop music. Music Is my talent, I was born with it in me, that’s the reason for my involvement.

8

6.
“PROJECT PUNCH is a music and recording project where artists contribute 500 bob each time a recording is announced and come up with a song which we record. It doesnt end there, i and my producer market the song to our ability but the duty is in the hands of the artists to create a network i.e they market the song to their respective fans or friends hence increasing the fanbase of each artist. The project aims at bringing out new talent. Artists who are talented but have never even visited a studio or have financial constraints..”

Tafadhali, talk about Project Punch. What inspired you to take this step to help out young artists? Who else is involved?

>>>it came to mind late 2012, when I decided to involve myself in charity. But the bible says God helps those who helps themselves, I had to introduce a small fee 500/= for the artists at list to get involved in the contribution for the project. I thank O-MAE and CHRIS MUTHAMA the producers who have made the project to succeed… they understood my initiative and agreed to help.

Even me myself I was taken to BASSLYN RECORDINGS by LA-BALAA, who introduced me to o-mae. I could not have reached this far without the help of this two guys. I could take long before paying for the whole song but o-mae used to understand, and I thank him for that. As a way to give thanks to him I decided to start the project to market the studio to artists and at the same time assisting the artists to get access to studio.


7. You have worked with O-MAE Basslyn Embakasi. Av found his beats to be spectacular. What’s it like being in the studio with such a talented guy?

It feels great and it’s not a lie he is talented when it comes to hip hop beats and mastering of the vocals and the songs in general. He is understanding, I guess because he went through the same challenges in the music industry. He will always tell you if your flow is up to standards ama kama haitoshi mboga. Generally he has supported me a lot , he is out to help artists succeed in the industry.

8. How do you see hip hop artistes making money today?

through selling albums and mix tapes. Selling t-shirt merchandise etc. looking for or being invited for performances and shows . part of the Kenyan audience is biased, they tend to go for dance shows or where kapuka or genge artists are in attendance, and that affects hip hop music. Most hiphop artist use the money they make in investing in businesses that will add stability to their art.

11

9. “Wakenyawazalendo, tunataka peace, amani everywhere, amani everywhere”


““the clock is tic-tic-ticking while this people politicking…all they think about is their pay day, tribalistic, animalistic, cannibalistic, -type people, tryn to make me hate another for their own sake, but for my sake, I preach peace, no violence”

You’ve recorded a peace song, “Amani Everywhere.” What is your hope for the young people in Kenya? What local institutions do you see helping the cause of peace?

Yes…. We did it on our third session of project punch recording, and it stood out….many people liked it and we were proud of our work. Our leaders should be involved fully in bringing the people of Kenya together instead of dividing the nation. The youth should not follow the negative directives given by their leaders to participate in violence and looting. We want peace, love and unity to take this country to the next level. NGO’s , the government of Kenya, a small group of politicians, artists,civil societies and other institutions just mention a few have been on the forefront to run peace campaigns about a peaceful Kenya and I appreciate that.

shoe


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

I don’t like politics… the first time is when I did a song for musalia mudavadi and we were never appreciated to our expectations. We were given too little that it never made an impact to my life. I do music as a career and my personal values add value to it, i.e the way I interact with my fans, the way I appreciate them , it all adds goodwill to my art and talent.

13

11. Besides rappers, who else do you see ‘doing’ hip hop, other artists, deejays, dancers, graffiti artists, activists, hustlas, etc. ?

I have worked with authentic imprints in kahawa, they do branding both customized and design. They also do graphics, they design banners. I have also worked with deejays e.g dj tiky tosh who is now based in nakuru, dj birb G – the deejay in KU, deejay joe mfalme, dj deno, dj brooks, dj sixs, dj godson, dj gibo, just to mention a few.

As a summary I appreciate every one that has added value to my works of art. I also appreciate my producer o-mae, chris muthama of chris music, and those sales representatives who work for me under omwami wear e.g lox de chiz, jurrassiq baqs, eknah, o’ryan, Clinton obare just to mention a few. Other artists I biggup khaligraph jones he is the artist to beat now!!!.. xtatic, washamba wenza, wenyeji, kalamashaka…. Yaani haya wasanii ni wengi… I can’t mention them all. Biggup.


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

I listen to myself a lot and I cant lie about that! Just to improve my art. I listen to every artist on part time. Sina favourite. Am not choosy I appreciate talent and I listen to every link posted on my wall.

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

My greatest obstacle has been my parents, they don’t appreciate me doing music, but I appreciate them for giving me education hence investing in my talent indirectly.

9

14. You have supported female artists. Talk about working with Laikkah (the gal featured on “amani everywhere”)

She is talented, she is good in rapping in English, she is both a slow and fast female rapper and I appreciate her for adding flavor to my music. She is also an artist. Anasoma art KU. I have also worked with ruthie wuthie and liz hailz. Am yet to work with more in the near future.

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

Maybe they are shy. Some lack seriousness, some fear being taken advantage of by our producers or male mc’s so they lay back.

16. How have women contributed to hip hop in East Africa?

Women have proved to men that they also can make it in this industry which is full of challenges. They are an icing to music. They make fans want to listen to your music again and again. They complete the industry to be precise.


17. What can you say about any community hip hop projects helping young people today, that you know of or are involved with?

I didn’t want to get involved in them coz every artist was doing them that’s why I started a different project, ‘’project punch’’, to help young upcoming artists, to be informed and to fulfill there dreams. But I support any artist who is out to help the community as a whole.


18. 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.

mixtape1

I have seen artists visiting children homes, giving their donations of food, clothes and money.
Artists have visited disadvantaged communities, slum dwellers etc. and have been involved in cleaning of the environment and interacting with them, playing football with them, sharing meals with them etc.

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

Most of them we interact through the social media, we share ideas, we do collabos through emailing. Its great they appreciate my work and I appreciate theirs to build the east African community. We also create a mutual friendship that promotes peace, love and unity.


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

Engaging in community development projects,.
Entrepreneurship , and businesses.
Political leadership and other forms of leadership.,
Technology and innovation.
Engaging in safe sex


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

I stay in kahawa wendani along thika road. I have two mix tapes so far each with 12 songs- ‘’a total of 24 songs’’, which I sell at a fair price of 200/- per copy. Here are links where one can find my music.

> Reverbnation
> Soundcloud
> Youtube
On facebook 1 2 – @evansshezol
@evanoshezol
On twitter – @amicusmuzikae
@omwamiwear
Email – shezol@yahoo.com
Omwami254@gmail.com
PAGES;

>OMWAMI WEAR (gaffenation music group)

>Evano shezol-the comic rapper.

>O-mwami evano shezol, ceo omwami wear and project punch recordings.

23. please give a brief bio of uaself.

am Kenyan artist born in Kakamega county and raised in both Butere district and Kahawa,Nairobi area…..My love for music started way back in primary school at St. Peters Mumias boys,..where i spent most of my evenings composing poems and coming up with my own graffiti designs.

3

My dream came into reality in high school at moi forces academy(MFA)..wen i discovered i could rap and not only write poems..i became the king of rhyme scheme in the same institution and that motivated me alot…it also strengthened my talent and music became part of me…it became an art from ma heart….its my passion and i love music than anything else..

I started my recordings at Basslyn Recordings,Embakasi..under management of Brian O’mae…(producer B.) While at the same time taking a degree in business (B.COM) at the University of Nairobi…..at the moment am also working with Chris at Chris Musik…and i appreciate the value the two producers have added to my talent.

Am also running a clothing line, OMWAMI WEAR, in partnership with Lox de chiz, an artist at chris music. Am also working on my third mix tape , and a couple of videos. Thank you.


Asante sana,

@hiphopkambi

2

ART – Ephrem Solomon Tegegn

Political Games

please give a brief bio of yourself.

Ephrem Solomon Tegegn

P.O.Box 25081, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Cell +251911458137, artephrem@gmail.com
(You can also find him on facebook , read his profile on tumblr, and check out some galleries (Tiwani Contemporary), and 1, 2, 3,) albums, Untitled Life, black and white chairs, Traditional Ethiopian and Folk Art 2, known family id photo, homesickness, Equality +Progress …flies, known feeling, ) You can also see his interview with the BBC.


Profile

I was born in Addis Ababa in 1983. I finished high school and went to art school in search of my childhood interest in art. I graduated in graphics art school. I am inspired by sociopolitical feelings concerning human and natural life. I believe any life composed of two colors that are black and white. Sometimes I paint on themes that reflect on my personal life experiences, things that happened to me in the past and my future vision. Painting to me is like writing my diary. Sometimes I paint on themes that reflects my personal life experiences, things that happened to me in the past and my future vision. I have often felt torn between what feels like a number of driving personalities. Although my work could almost always be described as objective or realistic, my aims never stay fixed to any particular point on a broad spectrum of intent.

Unknown Life One 2012 (Woodcut & Collage)

Sometimes I feel a strong need to make paintings that are unapologetically descriptive of what is immediately around me: Views of the city, the people I know, familiar hallways and spaces, or elements of nature that appeal to me. Other times, my work depicts a different kind of reality; one that is highly fictitious and free of the limitations of the ‘truthful’ recording of my own experiences. In these paintings, motivations might come from outside my surroundings. People, places, and objects, becoming reflect deeper political and personal narratives.

pic4 collabo

Common to the various types of work I engage in, is a deep commitment to the traditions of descriptive painting. In a world where newness has become a value in and of itself, I am more moved by the compliment that what I am doing technically feels like something from the past, while embodying something that is currently relevant.

pic5

I choose black and white colors to describe some idea of life. I use a chair to express the past, present and future deputation. I also use slippers to represent the society. Both chairs and slippers depict our residence. We often do not see the presence and equality of those chairs and slippers in our home. I also question their legality. Those chairs and slippers main problem are how they perceive power and their enormous number.

Society versus Government Two 2011

Please share a story with us about one of your works, that inspired you to produce it, how it came together, etc.

One of my couples of works, among them, disclosed a solemn reflection on a story about a widowed woman who owns a local drinking place that is located in the middle of market in sululta, 20 km away from Addis Ababa. On my visit I found myself drinking along with local merchants who had come in from the market for a drink. During this time I became fascinated with the various conversations that were taking place in this local drink called Tela drinking small bar. Many of the conversations were based on the current state of the country and as it related to the people’s daily life.
As in my early works, I have often used slippers and chairs to reflect stories of fragments of society that are often marginalized or voiceless. In this essence, to challenges of the everyday person who is juxtaposed between the past and the future. In this sense, I have put into a plan of exhibiting “chewata” exhibition which is the concept that I relate to the game of survival in a reality that is often not necessarily hospitable to the changing dynamics of the country.

Society versus Government One 2012

1. Where are you from, what was it like growing up?

I am from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. And, like the parts and parcels of my society my growing up was like any part of the country with its economical political, social and cultural or religious values.

Unknown Life Two 2012 (Woodcut & Collage)

2. What kind of hustles were people involved in?

In the specific description of the current hustles of our society, the people it seem, concentrated its intention on the difference between the past and present of their daily life in relation to the skyrocketing price of commodities, which are vital for daily living.

3. What does art mean to you, what made you art getting involved in producing art? What influences/ inspires you?

Art to me is a mirror that reflects the whole styles of our daily life. I started art starting from childhood’s experience in elementary schools.
I was inspired by own photograph put in a paper as compared to within a mirror.

pic1


4. What are your feelings about are and public space? Where would you like to see more art?

My feeling of art is that it will have more public space opportunities when art is exhibited in an unusual place/unusual time; being put for the entertainment, information and education purpose for instance: the pictures and texts put in the wall of toilet, garbage places etc.

known feeling


5. What is ‘mental slavery’?

Mental slavery can be put in other words by stating it with its equivalent terms “mental imprisonment” or it is an occupation of a mind state of thinking to think that some one is unable, or not capable of, transferring from one state of mind to another state of mind. This is, one is imprisoned with the thought that already cannot perform any thing, though the person is capable of performing.


6. Do you have a philosophy of education?

My philosophy of education may be different from many. That is education cannot be that way that abolishes poverty or cannot be vital for the fulfillment of our daily necessity. For example, we can see an illiterate farmer who is capable of feeding his family and surplus to feed his society without education. Therefore, this farmer though he is in no way paroled to education, he can satisfy his daily need, food; without the supply of education.

7. What kind of concepts do you find yourself engaging with in your works?

Most of the concepts within my works are socio-political concepts.

8. Are there elements or subject matter(s) do you find yourself returning to? What elements or subject matter(s) are you eager to explore next? Does this influence the materials you use?

Yes, there are some elements I am planning to return, my task into the art of flies. I would like to explore this within an experiment.

fly


9. How do you see artists making money from their work today?

Usually speaking, today it is getting better from the past but, generally speaking many artists do art only for the sake of art, or satisfaction, therefore the money earned from art is though much, little is earned.

revolver

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

My personal values of my art are related to politics, as daily lives of society. This politics is depicted from my art is the right way and to the point without going around the bush.

pic3

11. What are some obstacles you have encountered during your involvement in art communities? What advice would you give a young person creating art?

Influences from politicians who try to make turn my subject matter into other arena, and lack of freedom to express, — sincerely fearing their threat.


12. What can you say about any community art or activist projects helping young people today that you know of or are involved with?

There is none I know personally.

13. How are you interacting with artists across the globe and also particularly in East Africa? Talk about any collaborations.

I have a lot of experience of interacting with artists in East Africa particularly from Kenya and UK in the global sphere. We meet together personally and correspond messages so as to share ideas with one another.

IMG_6908


14. What sort of positive things do you see happening with young people in Ethiopia?

The positive thing I realize form young people in Ethiopia is, as compared to my past, there are promising things of change in their day to day life.

lion juda

15. How can people learn more about your work and projects you are involved in?

Through exhibitions & workshops

IMG_6915


Thank you for your time
Kevlexicon @hiphopkambi

INTERVIEW – JUDGE (BlackDuo)

msela2 - judge

Judge is an emcee from Dandora. You can find his music on reverbnation, soundcloud and his videos on youtube. He is also involved with a peace movement, HipHop4Peace, that encourages young people to resist violence.


1. Yoow, Judge, give us a history lesson, where did it all start? Talk about the success of Black Duo, the “Rap kwa MIC” video, and projects you have been working on since then.

-Big up to everyone who is reading this I go by the name judge a member of a group called black duo. Blackduo is a group of 2 mcz judge and mo phat we are brothers same mother and father YEAH..
-We did get the intrest of doing hiphop in the year 1998 after the Swahili sheng explosion from kalamashaka
-RAP KWA MIC was our first video which was a suprice to the industry first underground video to be nominated I n kisima awards for the best hiphop group in Kenya
-ten years down the line still people going crazy any time a dj playz the song
Or any time I am on stage WOW what more can I say it’s a classic

judge3

2. Tell us about your new album. What concepts are you working with, who’s featured on it, what’s different about this album, what producers are you working with, when/where can we get it?

-my new album is called alfajiri ‘ARISE’ after the post election violence in 2007 I was inspired to work on an album to elevate and to give hope to Kenyans through music
-the different about this album was the concept/message direct punch line I did try to balance the lyrics simple Kiswahili for the massage to prevail
1.ukabila ni sumu-tribalism is poison
2.umoja ni nguvu-unity is strenth
3.haki iwe ngao-justice be our shield

-ALFAJIRI was strictly produced by mandugu digital/amrose akula and pius aloyo you can get my new album in any store in Kenya or www.mdundo.com


3. I understand you helped organize a march of youths from Kibera to Town and from Town to Kibera, wearing the tishos, handing out CDs, and freestyling, you even got some news coverage. You mentioned you wanted to create a “POSITIVE A TENSION,” echoing Martin Luther King or something. Tafadhali, talk about your project, HIP HOP 4 PEACE, how it started, what’s it has done, it’s goals, what you are currently working on, and how interested young people can join.

-HIPHOP4PEACE is a movement for every one not only hiphop artist because hiphop is a culture of peace love and unity and this is exactly what the world needs not only Kenya.
We started this movement late last year with a few volunteers coz it was just for the love no one was paying or getting paid for the job so at first it was hard for people to join the movement but after the news coverage we did get a good explotation of our movement. Now, slowly, people are joining the move ment to bring peace back home ALIVE
for hiphop4peace my contacts are +254 727 908 535 or email judgesolo@yahoo.com

4. Share some of your mistari and talk about where they came from, what they talk about, what inspired u to write them.

-mziki ni kama kusali-music is like a prayer what ever your tongue normaly comes real for example 2pac was talking on how he will die in his songs surprise that how he died
most of my inspiration comes from what is around me and that’s nature the good and the bad things I have gone thru


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

-I was born in dandora raised in ziwani were people smoke a lot of weed to release the pressure according to the situation they are in even if u listen to my first single I did get the inspiration from ziwani
it was either u go hard or home if u can make it in ziwani u can make it any where


6. What kind of hustles were people involved in?

-It was all about drugs to make a living smoking and selling weed plus miraa khad

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

-hiphop to me means life because I have seen hiphop saving and maintaining peoples life

judge2

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

-kazi means job vijana means youth man and mshamba some one who does not understand the swag

9. What is ‘politicking’?

-Man eat man society because of politic every one is bizzy hyping his tribal leaderz

10. What is ‘mental slavery’? Do you have a “philosophy of education”

-ukoloni mambo leo under paid

judgegroup


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

-drug is a problem in the whole world not only Kenya but for example the problem we do face is because of idling, joblessness, lack of education

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

– I cant say who is promoting violence but I can say what is promoting violence
Eg. poverty, tribalism, hate spich’


13. I hear some young people say Mandugu Digital has become a sort of monopoly in terms of big hiphop production in Kenya. It is difficult for young hip hop artists to make money off music in Kenya. What are your feelings on the availability of opportunities for artists to do high quality production/work? What advice would you give young artists about being able to make a living off their work?

-once you are good every one will like to work with u know for those who will not have a chance will always have something to say or blame it on the situation

-yo young artist are not making it international because of the quality of the music. most are trying to take a short cut in the industry without doing a proper research.
When they realize their music is not being played they start to blame it on people who are doing it the right way
-tha advice that I can give young artist is to stop complaining or to wait for some one to help them and be part of the solution

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

-what ever speech a politician will make a thousand life are depending on it

judge7


15. Besides rappers, who else do you see ‘doing’ hip hop, other artists, deejays, dancers, graffiti artists, activists, hustlas, etc. ?

-hiphop is more than just doing it’s a life style that many people live but not all recognize example..models-hiphop walk, politician-who speak and walk the truth,
And soldier who are fighting for freedom all that is hiphop


16. How do you stay connected? Beyond the social media we are familiar with, what helps you stay linked to all different kinds of organizers and artists? What skills have you cultivated as a hustler and a professional, that you feel have helped you maintain a presence in hip hop over the years?

-performing different places getting involved in other projects like hiphop 4 peace movement, visiting schools talking to new generation to hear what they expect from us
for hiphop4peace my contacts are +254 727 908 535 or email judgesolo@yahoo.com

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

-kenrick lamar , kitu sure, and my self


18. What are some obstacles you have encountered during your involvement in the hip hop scene(s)? How do you successfully navigate the politrix?

-hiphop is a drug that u can use or abuse its like a double edge sword that many people are getting cut in the hype

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

-ladies like money and the music industry in Kenya is very dry


20. How have women contributed to hip hop in East Africa? What was it like recording “Msanii” with Lness?

-msanii was my first single to work with a femcee it was featured in a album called “kilio cha haki” a compilation of underground mcz. the song was recorded in nairibi and mastered in Amsterdam

-working with lness was a great opotunity to elevate and promote the femcee world


21. What can you say about any community hip hop projects helping young people today, that you know of or are involved with? (HipHop4Peace and others…) How do you think hip hop has changed from when you started with Black Duo to now?

-hiphop project have been helping the community even those who don’t know what hiphop is. example P.A.U. pamoja amani upendo a hiphop movement that involves every one not only artist
in Kenya hiphop have moved steps forward having new graffiti artist ,breakdance, mcz
-when I started hiphop very few cat were in the game because the competition was very serious them dayz it was a dream to have a chance to record because there were no studios
-this round every one is a rapper and a producer ….lol

22. 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.

-I have seen hiphop community organizing workshop to educate about a situation in the society or even raising a voice to those who are voiceless, sometime even sharing a place to stay for example if I want to work with distance relative

23. 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)

-kibao kaka there are many jobs in hiphop u just need to open your eyes I belive even seling your own machadise eg. Cdz t shirt caps etc that’s a hiphop jobs

judge4


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

-lack of employment, drug abuse, nutrition, tribalism, politics etc

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

-net working, traveling, sharing the same stage, exchanging contacts after performing


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

-uniting to speak with one voice, positive movement, haki iwe ngao


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

-u can be connected in my movement through face book, twitter or reverbnation
Both I am using the name judgeblackduo.
for hiphop4peace my contacts are +254 727 908 535 or email judggesolo@yahoo.com

28. What directions do you see the future of hip hop headed, both in East Afrika and globally?

-hiphop is a spirit that no one can kill so the [future] is bright


29. please give a brief bio of uaself.

My name is frankline otieno Milan aka judge born in 1984 my first album was kumekucha followed by alfajiri MUSIC IS THE KEY TO FREE ALL MAN KIND WHO BELIVE IN PEACE LOVE AND UNITY


Asante sana,
Judgesolo