Tagged: swahili

SONG TRANSLATION – This Is The Life – Skobo, Ananda, & Washamba Wenza

This is the Life (translation)

Translation provided by Smallz

also, check out the Skobo Fugee Collection, for more of Skobo’s music.


Vas 1, Smallz Mshamba Mwenza:


Me hukuona natoka Soo ndio mwaa nikukiss baby/pia nataka kukuona daily, iko on air kile umeseti / sikuskizi kama uko shady

Nikistand out weh umeketi / nikiblak out weh ni mlevi, ju unaown 16bars ..wanahop kukill verse instead ya kukip it live kwa chapter, na ukihook food 4 thought hii jeshi inaimanga vifaster

Always nikinyesha weh unameza hii flow, me ni smallz weh ndio HIPHOP, unafaa makofi ya Kilo, juu nimeshiba weh ndio mwiko sa nameditate thru hii product ya kiko..

Vile weh ni m’fat Jo na techniques za Puerto Rico, umefanyianga the people, wengine off stereo, hawa majaba chai, wanasmile na mimi ju imewadia ile time, switnes in its prime, addicted ka ghetto crime..

Umenifunza kutema maswala, kujiexpress vile mawaza, kubaki REAL kwa LEAGUE, Kikazi kutenga mafala

Pia nastick hapa nitek teachngs ka Lession, wameinsist kuwaplease kutek teachings kwa Lesso, hawakugusi leo ju unasound mKesho, the Future,the promises, the proccess of being, MUSIC itself. kama ni Hiphop niko safe, hizi zingine siskizi, speakers gon dizzy..the more unaget closer hapa the more naget feelings..


-[in refferance to HIPHOP,] evrytime i hear a hiphop sound, its time to rush n embrace it,.whatever it has to offer is on air, i aint gon listen if it’s shady,

– sum artists just want to ‘kill’ it in a verse instead of teaching, entertain..keep it live in that chapter..n also Hiphop is never lame,it got ’16 bars’evrytime even when am high..

HIPHOP does evrythng, i only meditate on what it brings onto the table..n i meditate on this product of the pipe..when i spit, Hiphop swallows my words thru the instrumental.

HIPHOP gives a FAT beat, comparing it to Fat Joe of Latino bakground.. Other artists go off it at times tho..the beat kills the artists’ works if they dont DELIVER.. Its now my time, switnes in its prime..  Hiphop got me addicted lyk GHETTO CRIME.

It gave me a perfect way of how to express my thoughts n feelings.. Now am able to remain, stay top and REAL,just like Real Madrid on their League ..and with my works, not to work with fools.


I promise to stick to Hiphop 4ever.. to take teachngs like in a class lession..other artists choose to take teachings from a ‘leso’, [swahili word for the clothng women wear with teachngs written at the bottom of it.]. So if its HIPHOP Then am safe, aint gving it up 4 other genres ..stickn to it’s promises for the future..


Translation provided by Judge BlackDuo and Lness



vas 2 – Flamez Mshamba Mwenza –

…..what i feel i will write wether is wrong or wright though not a sent i will cast the first rym on the mic. First flow no track cash flow no works less more chase more i acknowledge its a fact. I am giving you knowledge in dozes u can call me a doctor. I AM FEEDING MASSES with vases u can call me a padry. If there is a bad situation to be broke is a sin without a job its very dangerous. hastling is not fare. Stil camping with the boyz like the brazilian coach and this mascles are ready to full fil my jorney. my talent is a free gift thats why i dont pay douwary ..If its earning u are giving then you are dresing and feeding nations. I am not doing music coz of fame its the love in every instru ..after math is a birth worht words coz this vas has mo teaching than you can find in school MWEMBEEMBE sound like empty debez so lets make noise as we bowll is the focus


vas..3 [Skobo]

…the wispers of wind this are the voices in my mind guardian angle is with me i mean selasi nasi. it Genessis book of the bible and kuran words still runing teach one bless one is to earn..in the hood is acardemy where we learn. how to go through love is a must like a fog[blunt]. I am day dreaming at night sleep walking listen i street talk the word. Remember the streets is where sir Jah lives early bird on the sun remember God when thingz are sah and it will be ok. This is the extra muzikah focus in Afrikah. Pleasure dont mix with biz bro u cant manage to fix this is the son of man on the crussifix THUNDER all over suden there was dark SCOBO FACE NEVER FADEZ U KNOW


Translation provided by Mohjay:

Flamez vas:

Kile nafeel na write, whether ni wrong or write, though not a saint, I’ll curse [cast?] the first rhymes kwa m.i.c., fast slow, no track, cash flow, no works, works, less more, chase more, naku-acknowledge in fact, nawapa knowledge in doses, unaeza niita dokte, nalisha mases verses uneza thani ni padri, ka kuna hali ya hatari kukosa mali ni dhambi, kukosa kazi ni hatari juu hustle si halali, nimedunga kambi na wachezaji ka ule coach wa brazil, na hizi muscles huwa tayari, tena ready ku-influence safari, kipaji ni free tayari na hatufiki bei ya mahari, ka ni riziki unanipa unanilisha unanivisha, sifanyi mziki juu ya sifa uwa ni mapenzi kwa kila instru, aftermath uwanga birth otherwise juu verse, imehold more teaching uwezi pata shuleni, mbwembe mbwembe empty debe, uwa ni kelele kwa wingi vigelegele, sherehe ndio twa focus aiisee


What I feel I write, whether it’s wrong or right, though not a saint, I’ll curse [cast?] the first rhymes on the mic, fast slow, no track, cash flow, no works, less more, chase more, I acknowledge in fact, I give knowledge in doses, you can call me a doctor, I feed the masses verses you might think it’s a priest, if there is a dangerous situation then if I don’t have wealth it’s a sin, lacking a job is dangerous because hustling is illegal, I’m in the camp with the players like the coach of Brazil, and this muscles are always ready, and they are ready to influence the journey, talent is free and I can’t even pay the dowry, if it’s my right then remember you are not the one who gives me my earning and you don’t feed me nor clothe me, am not doing music because of fame, it’s always love in every instrument, aftermath it’s always birth otherwise because the verse, has held more teachings you can’t find in school, talking, talking empty shit, is always a lot of noise like applause, celebrating is what we focus, I say


Skobo vas:

Mawhispers za wind, hizi ndio voices kwa mind, Guardian angel yuko name, I mean, sela Selassie ni Genesis, somo la Bible na Quran word, kwa mouth inazidi run, teach one, bless one, ndio earn, mtaani academy, tunazidi learn, jinsi ya kuishi, upendo lazima ka moshi, na-daydream, usiku na-sleepwalk, listen niki-street talk neno, kumbuka, izi mitaa ndio sir Jah ukaa, early bird kwa saa ndio sasa, kumbuka, Rabuka, kukipambazuka, mambo itakua mzuka, hii ni extra musika, makinika kiafrica, pleasure usimix na biz bro, huwes mek kunifix mwana adam kwa crucifix, blunder, thunder, mara giza jinx, skobo paints, never failes [fades?] you know,


Whispers of the wind, those are the voices of the mind, the guardian angel is with me, I mean, sela Selassie is the Genesis, reading of the Bible and the Quran word, in my mouth it continues to run, teach one, bless one, then earn, the streets academy, we continue to learn, in ways we live, love is a must like the smoke, I day dream, tonight, I sleepwalk, I listen as I street talk the word, remember this streets is where sir Jah lives, the time of the early bird is now, remember God when the sun rises, African pleasure, don’t mix with business, bro, you can’t make it to fix me, the son of Adam, to crucify, blunder, thunder, or even darkness, skobo paints, never fails [fades?], you know






EDUCATION – Warriors One Love Community Centre (interview)


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


+255 764 603664

Spendengelder und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit – Donation and public relations: Lisa Lombardo


+49 2302 1719897
+49 173 4670117

Administration: D. Tamino Böhm


+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.


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.


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


Thanks a lot and stay blessed.



Qama is a hip hop artist working in Nairobi. You can watch his music videos on his youtube channel, stream and download his music on soundcloud and reverbnation, and connect with him on his facebook page or on twitter.

UPDATE: 10 October 2013.
New music from Qama, Ace Tha Don & Voodooseller – Safari.

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

Huu mziki talanta kuikuza kama ile maisha safari
Panda shuka mingi kwa hii fani kibaharia kwa bahari
Mi ni nabii kama yule mtume japo sikuzaliwa kwa jori
Records everyday noble ari kiWangari na nobel
Kwa ajili yako tu tunacheza kwetu bila kutuzwa,bila label!
Am so able kama kingo mafungu mingi shinda kitabu ufunuo
Mafunzo vast knowledge bahari on a soul searching mission
So leo kama jana nimefungua kibanda ndo nipate my portion
ya tis money
na scarse ni hizi senti hard kupata kama kubusu nyuki upate asali
Maskio leteni kwangu ni wape elimu mi ndo kaisari
Kuniskiza mkiwa low kunicheza mkiwa na chore kuwaliwaza panapo majonzi
Kuwapunguzia mawazo na kuwapa matumaini baada ya dhiki faraja
Baada ya dhoruba jua lita waka kuwapa raha
Ningekua kigoli kwenu ningekua namba moja
Kila uchao kwa uso zenu naacha tabasamu lililofana
mtanicheza kanisani mtanicheza kwenye mazishi,kwenye densi
Hospitalini kisa na maana mi ndo dawa

This are my lines of a song called ”Music.” in the lines am relating myself to a prophet yet I was born in no manger, [talking about] the many challenges that come with nurturing this talent. We (artists) try so hard to educate people in vain just like the prophets but we still give hope to people in times of joy, sorrow… that after the rain the sun will shine and that’s (my music) will be played when people are doing chores, in funerals, in church…its just music.

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

I got roots in Kenya and Uganda..In Nairobi I rep 87 and South C. I dint grow up in the city, life wasn’t that easy being brought up by a single mother but in way we always pulled through I guess its by the grace of God.

3. What kind of hustles were people involved in?

There were many hustles it depended with an individual. Others used to play football and get [paid], others sell drugs like opium, sell phones(second hand), buy and sell clothes, even sell pirated music.

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

Hip Hop is a genre of music that involves the rhythmical creation of beauty through rapping. According to me though it is a culture of how we live and relate to one another eventually expressing it through poetry, pictures, art, and dance.

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

Kazi means work, vijana-youth, mshamba is this person from the village who comes to the city, also some will refer to mshamba as one who has no idea of certain norms or routines.

6. What is ‘politicking’?

It may refer to the drumming of political support especially if one is a politician.

7. What is ‘mental slavery’?

I think it is when people hold on to false beliefs, which in many cases they are made to.

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

Drug problems among the youth in Kenya [are] greatly influenced by peer pressure or idleness, or trying to be ‘cool,’ some do it out of life’s frustrations.

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

Many, at times violence is triggered by politicians especially when they divide people along tribal lines 😦 The people themselves have quit fighting because they noticed it just brings self-destruction. NGOs too have tried to sensitize the communities against violence.

10. How are hiphop artists making money from their music today?

Artists are making money by selling their mixtapes, lps, merchandise like t-shirts, going for shows….

qama mwanzo mypa genesis

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

Politics affect my music in one way or the other, in turn am forced to speak against the social ills in the society which come with bad politics.

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

Graffiti artists, dancers and some deejays.

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

aint stuck on one artist or particular artists but people who make good and timeless music which anyone can relate to. Let me name but a few; kendrick lamar, Lupe fiasco, Immortal technique, Jay Z, Snow goons, Washamba wenza, Xcalibur Shahidi, Ace the god Apollo, Nemesis aka man njoro, Kimya Miyaki….I cant name them all.

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

Mostly its financial challenges like money not be available all the time for a quality production both audio and visual. Also some media personalities who dont relate to Hip hop intentionally dont play the songs you give em.

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

Maybe because the hip hop scene has been dominated by male artists some femcees shy off to stand for what they believe in.

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

😀 giving birth to this amazing artists around.

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

I know of Hip Hop for peace which is usually organised by G’Ganji records and The Bus Radio, Sarakasi Trust also organize a couple of events at the Sarakasi Dome [in] Nairobi.

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

The greatest of all is that mental support artists give each other and the hope they give to the society through music..I’ve seen people relate to music with a positive message or situations similar to theirs.

19. 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)

Am finalizing my debut album called Mwanzo Mpya (Genesis). Also planning for more videos starting next month and marketing my music. Hip hop as genre of music can be taken as a job which pays if only the house is in order.

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

Mainly its peer pressure, drug abuse and for the less fortunate I think its is the poor living conditions at home.

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

I have done some collaborations with two; Madish from South Africa and EMC from Tanzania. In Kenya I have featured a couple; Smallz Lethal(Washamba Wenza), Kev Mamba(Washamba Wenza), Latisha aka Laty, Mo, Xcalibur Shahidi, Kuru GB, Chacha…

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

Young people nowadays have learnt to appreciate whatever talent they have and the society has [embraced] that.

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

Ill be posting my tracks online www.soundcloud.com/qama-1 or on www.reverbnation.com/qama

people can also like my fanpage:www.facebook.com/QamaKE or follow my twitter handle for updates @Qama_KE
my facebook account is http://www.facebook.com/mahlon.quintine.1
People can also search my videos on youtube ‘Mwanzo Mpya‘and ‘Shilingi‘ or subscribe to my channel ‘qamamusic

24. please give a brief bio of uaself.

Born in the late 80’s,been doing music for nine years but my peak was this year [2012] where I had to take music seriously and express maturity in content. I basically do hip hop and spoken word in Swahili, English or a mixture of the two but you’ll notice most of my tracks are in Swahili. I find it to be a beautiful language. My inspiration is derived from the life we live, the people I interact with, issues in our social setting and the dreams I have. Music is the soul’s therapy that’s how I see it.

Asante sana,

Kevlexicon @hiphopkambi

Update – 24 January 2013 Check out Qama’s new track “Something you need to know” feat. Kev Mamba and Smallz Lethal of Washamba Wenza.

INTERVIEW – Kitu Sewer The Poet

kitu sewer image

[Note: Kevlexicon made typographical edits in some places]

Kitu Sewer’s music can be found on reverbnation and youtube.

Please give a brief bio of yourself

kitu sewer straight from the land where the sewer spilt from its channels till he met the pioneers n became the poet one of a force to reckon all thanks to God. Went mute for a while, now back again like never left the saga continues.

Where are u from, what was it like growing up?

I’m from the sprawling east lands estates namely dandora in Nairobi. Born and raised there for the better part of my life. Growin up was tough, just as u expected, hard but i have no regrets having the street education the hard way aaah!

What kind of hustles were people involved in?

Everyone was caught up in anything that could bring something on the table, though most lived hand-to-mouth. Some died while trying to live beyond their means.

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

It’s a means of expression of the pressures of the modern time that the youth of today go through and of course it’s my life. I have been an artist since mama’s push. I just found myself in it. I can’t recall a specific start point. It came naturally.

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

—-kazi means work like –makin a livin
vijana is the youth, though it mostly sounds junior in the sense that u still struggling
mshamba means native lands –or u could say farm lands dependin on how u wan to express it, the ‘m’ is possessive

What is politicking?


What is mental slavery?

Dependency on something that u have been indoctrinated to due to systems put in place by a selfish elite. It then translates to being a staunch follower of things that u think that you must be aware of yet they really don’t make your life any better. Ni kama vile hakuna mtu anataka kuitwa mshamba ju hujui ways za west.

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

–it’s funded by people from higher places involved in politics with business interests

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

–mental slavery n ignorance–of rights -lack of education –the list endless–of lessening i could say arts cos violence is a result of idleness and art is creative thus if u are busy, though at most times we are just preoccupied, you cant find yourself being used as a foot-soldier in the battle of thrones.

How are hiphop artists making money from their music today?

sales though its hard to get a large ready market
sponsorship from well wishers –not enuff –mixtapes are like dinosaurs maaaan!
shows, clothing lines
endorsements –sellouts –all depends on ones own perseverance n smart thinkin. It’s a jungle down here

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

–I’m blind to what doesn’t concern me n concerned with what people turn a blind eye on

Besides rappers, who else do you see doing hiphop, other artists, dancers, graffiti artists, activists, hustlas etc?

you just named em all except djs, and of course the people around me all that positivity and negativity brings around purpose

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

Biggy, Nas, Bushman, Dezaree, boot camp clique –a lot of mighty culture n bushman oooooh! Bob u know who! n Dennis brown man the list is endless

What are some of the obstacles encountered during your involvement in the hiphop scene?

The fact that u can hit n still find it hard to sell, especially in Kenya. finding distributional channels is scarce

how have women contributed to hiphop in East Africa?

–or rather where would it be without them as much as there are mishaps lets not forget it’s one of the biggest business enterprises in the world so u can imagine how many salespeople, managers, customers, CEOs, directors… and the fact that women outnumber men in population statistics

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

— Mau Mau still remains one of the best that mentored many a talent that still rock the scene.
It was a platform that inspired n still continues to do so.
There are other projects, for example, I’m right now workin with a group of youth from kitengela who happen to be talented mcs and still are multi talented in other lines of art

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

The music n actin industries have proved quite well as way of makin a livin

Could u describe some positive things you have seen hiphop communities do? Whether its artists sharing resources, a place to stay, getting linked with work etc.

I’ve seen hiphop societies makin an example n influencin hopeless young pple from idle minds to creativity. As u know an idle mind is a devil’s workshop and this is the biggest rehab so far cos it need no distinction

What hustlers are you working on now? Is there such a thing as hiphop jobs? ama only hustling? (talk about any of your projects, musical or otherwise)

—–I’d rather u see them, keep n touch, actions speak louder. of course got ma addresses— books, spoken word shows comin

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

Like i said most of it lack of education n self realization thus being easily led to violences by greedy selfish gain motivated politicians.

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

Through the internet n I’m lookin forward to spread this sheng / swahili rap further

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

Shunning of tribalism and the homeguard mentality [Note: Homegaurd were people armed by the colonizers to fight Mau Mau during the struggle for Kenyan independence]. Youth are givin way to new ideas and joining the civilised world

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

If its the music it’s all over the internet. Am in the final stages of working on a website whereby the general public will be able to download music, share ideas on socio-economic, environmental issues etc. u will be among the first people to get this info.

Asante sana,

kitu sewer 2