The sprawling Eastlands Slums in Nairobi City is home to Kenya’s urban slang popularly known as ‘Sheng’, housing a majority of Nairobi’s population, the slums are or have been home to many of the top Kenyan artists.
It is from one of these ghettos Kenya’s top sheng Poet, Shengspeare AKA Teardrops hails from. Shengspear is a coinage from the name Shakespeare and the title of the poet’s first album. Teardrops, Launched his second Album Made in Eastlands on Saturday 29th, April, 2017 at Nairobi’s Alliance Française.
The launch highlighted the strides the artist has made in the field of poetry with his landmark sheng puns, metaphors and unrivalled poetry writing skills the poet has more than earned the respect of Kenya’s entertainment scene.
The event also witnessed the largest gathering of Kenya’s poets. Performers include the likes of El Poet, G-cho Pevu, Flow flani, Virusi Mbaya, Nemesis (Man Njoro), Mumbi, Murathe and Kennet B. The performers entertained the audience with intoxicating wordplay, thought provoking sarcasm which in more ways exposed the vulnerability of a pretentious society.
Musicians like Fadhilee Itulya of the Fadhillee’s garage and Mandela of the Sarabi Band were also present to lend some musical vocals to an evening that was as most would say lit! The poets charged while the audience surged creating an earth-shattering showcase- a pastiche of the Spanish corrida de toros (running of the bulls).
Teardrops born Mark Joshua Ouma is a household name in Kenya performance industry. Born in Nairobi, the poet would find a home in Nakuru where he grew up. After the death of his beloved mother he relocated to his home village in Oyugis, a town near Kisumu City where he studied and obtained a certificate in Electrical Engineering. Armed with his academic credentials, Teardrops would move back to the city where he practiced his vocation for a short while before launching into the entertainment scene thanks to the Nokia Don’t Break the Beat auditions, 2013. He has graced various stages including Kwani Open Mic, Slam Africa Poetry among others.