Kikuyu benga musicians of yesteryears from Gatanga, Murang’a county are worried they are losing music production endowment to counterparts from Subukia, Nakuru County.
Gatanga constituency is considered the cradle of Kikuyu music, having churned out the most, respectable musicians but lately other parts like Subukia are swiftly taking over their specialty.
However, Gatanga artists are uniting to ‘fight’ back for their pole position and dwarf Subukia, presently their closest competitor.
Gatanga Night event organised by area leaders and musicians and held at Carnivore Restaurant on November 9 last year (Video below) was a climax of a talent hunt programme to nurture upcoming artists and bring back the roar.
Veteran musician Kariuki wa Kiarutara told Gikuyu Bulletin writings are on the wall but they are upping the game to stand out again.
“We are the pioneers but if we are not keen we will lose the big name to other areas. Music is like wind, now we are gradually losing to Subukia and don’t be surprised to hear even another place has overtaken Gatanga” Kariuki fears.
Peter Kigia, also a veteran singer from Gatanga says area artists took a divergent trajectory after then MP Peter Kenneth exited local politics and with him went dream to unite and cultivate musicians.
“Kenneth’s successor was disinterested with our artists. That’s why for six years Gatanga Night was dead. Artists went separate ways and nobody was there for upcoming talents. We have not been interacting as should be but now we are on track to correct what went astray. We have re-awakened Gatanga. Subukia will not wrestle us down” says Kigia.
Gatanga MP Joseph Nduati says plans are to make the event bigger with more shows and music production studio.