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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Goodbye my Musa Juma


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Musician Musa Juma (left) of Limpopo International band entertains fans during Guinness 250 Celebrations in Kisumu.  Photo/JACOB OWITI
Musician Musa Juma (left) of Limpopo International band entertains fans during Guinness 250 Celebrations in Kisumu. Photo/JACOB OWITI  
By ESTHER MACHARIA (emacharia@ke.nationmedia.com)  (email the author)
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Posted Wednesday, March 16 2011 at 18:33

It was with shock and sorrow that I and most Kenyans including those in the Diaspora received news of the death Musa Juma. Arguably Kenya’s biggest Benga maestro, Musa Juma passed away on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 at 5pm in a Mombasa hospital and within an hour news had spread across the country like bush fire.
I first came in to contact with Musa Juma at a club in the heart of Dandora called Awendo in the early 2000 where he performed every weekend. Being a big fun of Rhumba and Lingala I got in to the club out of curiosity to see this ‘Zaire’ artist who was performing in a slum area.
I soon found myself returning to Awendo frequently. Thoroughly soothed, only later did I realise that the singer with a silver voice was actually Luo and not Congolese, and what he was singing was actually Luo and not Lingala. This set me on course to discovering the poetic Dholuo language and my interest grew from then on. My fall for his music was complete and overnight I became a diehard fan.
Much as I thought Awendo was dingy, soon I was to discover that my boss then frequented the place too. The Limpopo ballads drew people to follow Musa into the slum and wherever else he went.
Maselina
The crooner had a way with his lines that made one seek out the message in his songs. The first track I took to was ‘Siaya Kababa’ which means Siaya the place/land of my father, a song that for the longest of time struck me as a Rhumba import from Zaire. Soon my friends were to baptise me ‘Maselina’ after Musa’s track on the struggle between money and true love. I sing it word for word and even adding my own variations to convince Maselina how wealthy and significant a Jaluo I am…..
‘Nyoremo’ still does it for me up to date. I fly when I sing it and as much I understand not all the lines, I know that Nyar Gem K’Oremo is light and pretty.
Work once took me to Kisumu and I was all exhausted after a taxing day. Half-asleep on a cab ride to the hotel, I was jolted back to attention after chancing on a flyer advertising Musa Juma show. In the end the cab was diverted and it was not before six hours lapsed that I call back the cab and resumed my trip to the hotel. The cab driver wondered why I was so taken by songs whose messages I barely understood, but I sang along just as I would to Franco’s 'Chacun pour Zoi' or 'Francois'.
Musa had a way with the words and his voice was one to die for. It must has been in the genes, for even his late brother Omondi Tony too was a wonder.
Musa Juma played in a different league and no one can replace him or come close. I will remember him most for ‘Hera Mudho’, ‘Christina’, ‘Siaya Kababa’, ‘Freddy’, ‘Osiepe’, not forgetting his collabos with his late brother such as ‘Akinyi Judy’ and ‘Nyoremo’.
For now, I can only say that the Limpopo band is in heaven; the great combination of Musa Juma and Omondi Tony have taken the Limpopo band to where we will join them some day and enjoy the live band again. Goodbye MJ!

20 comments:

  1. We Are Vry Sry 4 The Family Of MUSA JUMA, My Condo........ & We Dn't Mean That This Iz End Of The World No Only GOD Knwz How To Help You Jst Go On Wth PRAYERS REST IN PEACE M J GOD BLESS.

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  2. I cried like a small baby, even my children wondered why I was mourning somebody who is not even closely related to us. I will surely miss him. May God rest his soul in Eternal Peace. Jaber Nyar Alego...

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  3. Musa we loved you but God loved you most and called you into his vineyard.May your soul rest in peace bro!

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  4. The great Musa leaves behind a very young daughter, God help. daughters love their fathers

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  5. FARE THEE WELL MY FRIEND MUSA JUMA
    Musa took the road least followed by many musicians, and for this ‘hats off’ to Wuod Usonga, he set his standards, and planned what he was to play and would not be influenced even by his close friends, in short he was focused. From humble beginnings when I knew him while still with Solar Africa, to where he was by the time of his death not to mention his sojourns in the US.

    From Eastleigh, to Mayaka, then to Acacia along Jogoo Road, then Tents ( otherwise known as Sahara City) along Mombasa Road, and lastly Deep West. His music was loved by all regardless of ethnicity, even beyond the borders of Kenya, I remember one time while in Sierra Leone, right in down town market in Free Town I heard one of his popular numbers Maselina blaring from the speakers, and I stopped to confirm that I heard it right much to the chagrin of my colleagues. Even the name Limpopo itself tells you that he was thinking beyond Kenya

    Musa cut a niche for himself, to some he was proud but to those of us who knew him, he was professional, and principled. He was a disciplinarian too, and the band members would attest to this, never allowed band members to perform while under the influence of any form of intoxicant. Musa never accepted drinks without knowing who it came from and most of all he never for the time I knew him asked for a drink instead I would ask him before hand if he would take a drink, and to avoid embarrassing fans you would find him perched at the counter or seated alone in some corner imbibing his drink quietly. He would not accept money from fans while on stage and if he did which was rare this would not determine the next number he was going to play.

    He was always smart and never went for fancy dressing musicians, what a rare character in the entertainment scene. Often we met outside the music halls and very few people could identify Musa, not that he was shy but just he did not like publicity. One point he proved was that you don’t need cheap publicity to attract such a huge following.Often quiet but not short of word to compose beautiful music loved by the old and the young, ‘Muziki bila jasho’ as they would call it.

    It is unfortunate that his dreams of having his own club and recording studio have not bee realized but his melodious voice and sweet lyrics will forever remain with us who were his fans. To my fellow fans let us celebrate Musa’s great achievements and not mourn his death for he still lives amongst us as we hear his voice through the numerous and great numbers he composed

    WUO NYA ABOKE MWALO UKWALA, OKE GO OKECH OKE GO OSWAYO NINDI ‘’PINY EN KAMA RATENG ODHI OCHUEYO WA DONG’’ KAKA OKACH BIGGY NE OWACHO. Dennis Radak or Rrrrrrr as Musa blurt it out on stage

    ReplyDelete
  6. FARE THEE WELL MY FRIEND MUSA JUMA
    Musa took the road least followed by many musicians, and for this ‘hats off’ to Wuod Usonga, he set his standards, and planned what he was to play and would not be influenced even by his close friends, in short he was focused. From humble beginnings when I knew him while still with Solar Africa, to where he was by the time of his death not to mention his sojourns in the US.

    From Eastleigh, to Mayaka, then to Acacia along Jogoo Road, then Tents (otherwise known as Sahara City) along Mombasa Road, and lastly Deep West. His music was loved by all regardless of ethnicity, even beyond the borders of Kenya, I remember one time while in Sierra Leone, right in down town market in Free Town I heard one of his popular numbers Maselina blaring from the speakers, and I stopped to confirm that I heard it right much to the chagrin of my colleagues. Even the name Limpopo itself tells you that he was thinking beyond Kenya

    Musa cut a niche for himself, to some he was proud but to those of us who knew him, he was professional, and principled. He was a disciplinarian too, and the band members would attest to this, never allowed band members to perform while under the influence of any form of intoxicant. Musa never accepted drinks without knowing who it came from and most of all he never for the time I knew him asked for a drink instead I would ask him before hand if he would take a drink, and to avoid embarrassing fans you would find him perched at the counter or seated alone in some corner imbibing his drink quietly. He would not accept money from fans while on stage and if he did which was rare this would not determine the next number he was going to play.

    He was always smart and never went for fancy dressing musicians like, what a rare character in the entertainment scene. Often we met outside the music halls and very few people could identify Musa, not that he was shy but just he did not like publicity. One point he proved was that you don’t need cheap publicity to attract such a huge following.Often quiet but not short of words to compose beautiful music loved by the old and the young, ‘Muziki bila jasho’ as they would call it.

    It is unfortunate that his dreams of having his own club and recording studio have not been realized but his melodious voice and sweet lyrics will forever remain with us who were his fans. To my fellow fans let us celebrate Musa’s great achievements and not mourn his death for he still lives amongst us as we hear his voice through the numerous and great numbers he composed

    WUO NYA ABOKE MWALO UKWALA, OKE GO OKECH OKE GO OSWAYO NINDI ‘’PINY EN KAMA RATENG ODHI OCHUEYO WA DONG’’ KAKA OKACH BIGGY NE OWACHO. Dennis Radak or Rrrrrrr as Musa blurt it out on stage

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  7. Indeed death is another monster that never promises. Musa Juma has really been an icon to ape and has left a legacy to be followed by young musicians. We Love U but God loved you even more. Your sweet songs-Macelina, Dunia , and Ajacky will always linger in my heart for remembrance.

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  8. OBUON-REST IN PEACE MJ.AT THE MOMENT,MY HEART IS CLOSED FOR ANY COMMENT OR RHUMBA/BENGA.

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  9. MUSA BYE, WE LOVED U BUT SEEMS GOD LOVED U SO MUCH AND HE HAD A GUD PLANS WITH U!

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  10. ben oluloh and naboth oluloh will miss his songs

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  11. RIP Musa J.I lack words to express my love for you,your music and limpopo I. at large.your performance at Blue sands in ksm will ever make me rem you,tony,agy,jose,john junior and the rest.We shal mit in the new world.amen!

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  12. Nobody will rock as u used 2

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  13. it is with great sorrow that i remember my role model inthe field of music(MUSA JUMA). Surely ilove limpopo international withy all my heart
    and my ambition was to be aband member . Inspired by Musa juma , I went as far as learning the guitar hopping to one day find achance inthe band
    as aguitarist .currently i am astudent in india
    email okukucollins@gmail.com a ja suba mfangano.
    sorry Winny & baby vicky amanda and limpopo at large

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