Tetu Shani and Ciano Maimba, the guys he praised for delivering great sounds and wondered why they were not at the pinnacle of music stardom.
Ayub Ogada is one of Africa’s epic musicians, his music is widely appreciated mainly because of its deep cultural nuances and experience, he is well known for traditional music treated with the sound of the Nyatiti.
Ogada dusted off his beloved Nyatiti and boarded a flight from his current place of residence in Kisumu to Nairobi for what would be a thrilling performance dubbed Prescription Live held at the Alchemist Bar. The event organized by DJ Eugenio Battoli, showcased some of the distinctively imperceptible musicians that would include; Tetu Shani, Ciano Maimba, Lucky Birdi, Kechi and the EA Wave collective among other musicians leading a musical major renaissance in Kenya.
Ogada-also an actor-would as expected impress the crowd some of whom had come to witness the man who rarely plays at Kenya’s major performances but whose music and legendary status has remained intact for over two decades. Ogada’s prescription came in the form of his mastery of the traditional 8-stringed instrument Nyatiti.
The 60-year-old’s performance lifted the spirit of the crowd, his warm voice draining the noise from the bar with authentic African cultural music, Ogada sat on a chair ordained with his signature hat, army-green shirt, a leather poach hanging on his neck as jangling anklets rhythmically complimented the Nyatiti with an easy tap of his feet. His intimate and laid back approach resonated aptly with the atmosphere that spoke of music; an exchange of vibes and echoes of the string.
Ogada, whose compositions are mostly in his Luo tongue, rode a different horse at Prescription Live, mingling freely with the much younger generation, characterized by restless eyes, inquisitiveness and short attention span, he would crack jokes and throw in a smile as he taught the audience a bit of his lyrics and in unison response they sang along to some of his compositions in utter beauty. As his performance died down, the well -travelled performer stirred it all up with the classic ‘Kothbiro’; used as a soundtrack for the move ‘The Constant Gardener’, much to the delight of the crowds lost in the majestic music.
The perfect performance and interlude by various DJs made the night a worthwhile liberating experience. Prescription Live was an example of a show that proved organizers knew what the audience loved and at the same time appreciated the legends in music.
Prescription Live event begun in December 19th 2015 at Juniper’s Kitchen in Nairobi, the first show was a DJ performance of seven hand-picked DJ’S who provided musical prescription to listeners enjoying barbecue.
The Prescription Live show was a levitating new experience with the prospects of becoming one of the most important shows in Kenya, as Ayub Ogada who was clearly moved by performances from the young gifted artist quipped “the value of music is in its appreciation”.