Sunday, January 11, 2009

A night of Orutu

The beat, she kicks
the strum, she twists
the song she turns
she flies

he beats she kicks
he strums she twists
he sings she turns
the shoe, the heel!
the skirt, the flaps,
the arms , so bare, they wave
the waist so light, so flighty

the pace is up,
the song is hot, the trance is on!


Ok I run out of words to describe what went down yesterday at the kings restaurant. the masters of Orutu music , Kenge Kenge were at it. Their infectious music brought this young delicately dressed girl to the dance floor. Initially I didn't think she was even meant to dance to such kind of music she looked rather exotic but when she started all others stopped to shamelessly stare at her. She fused in like the goddess of the music and the musicians loved her, giving her each beat, each strum of the orutu , the flute, the horn, the drums. Her partner stared on with half a smile on his lips. He looked a little worried like someone who had spilled grain at a place with many roosters against the better advice of the wahenga and yes the vultures at the restaurant looked at this little bird with raw lust , she was like part of the music. The guy couldn't take it anymore and pulled his sweet heart away!

Kenge Kenge has remained my favourite group for this type of music. In fact for me they are the leading luo traditional music group. Their style is unique and authentic. The lyrics are poetic and deep with many clever lines (also called pakruok in Luo) Yesterday though I heard a number they have done in English in praise of Obama. It was lovely rendition of luo beats and tune with lyrics in English!


  1. Wow, thanks for sharing, these guys are great! Is their CD available in Nairobi? Do they have a website with their schedule?

  2. There CDs are available in Nairobi. From what i learn't yesterday, they have a contract to perform at the Kings Restaurant every Friday and Saturday for some time

  3. Thanks, will check them out. There is a video of one of their songs on YouTube.

  4. OD, you just had to. Why do i have a feeling you were one of the vultures? Glad Kenge Kenge are back, I'd missed the orutus and horns, drums and all. Thx for sharing, now I know where my Fridays will be leading. Min Hawi

  5. karibu Min Hawi but you can rest assured I wasn't one of the vultures coz I would have been able to see them!

  6. Yaani the way you described it!

    Just wish I was there to enjoy the music and dance.

  7. Jowa! Your vivid imagery really brings it alive. Thanks man! Really makes me miss home.


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