About two weeks ago I moved to Nairobi to start my new job. I live in Nairobi’s Westlands suburb but I commute daily about twenty-five minutes to a small town called Uthiru. The first difference I noticed from Tala is that the predominant language is Kikuyu, whereas in Tala it was Kikamba. I’m not worried, because I’ve learned enough Swahili, and everyone speaks that one in addition to their mother tongue. The one place you’ll notice the change in language right away is in the local music. It seems that every ethnic group in Kenya has their own distinct style of music.
I never liked the music when I was in Tala, but I miss it now. Every bicycle taxi, small shop, or matatu always had these beats on the radio. I’ve heard that this music is pure matusi (literally “abuses”), but of course I don’t understand one word they’re saying! The most famous Kamba artist is a dude named Ken wa Maria, so if you wanna hear more just Google him up. I don’t know any famous Kikuyu musicians yet, but their music is easy enough to find. Enjoy!
For the record, all Kamba music sounds the same to me (note the guitar riffs and beating on an aluminum cup), but so does Kikuyu for that matter. I guess it’s the same as how I can listen to hundreds of bands that span the metal genre and still differentiate them. People always say it sounds the same to them but of course I can tell the difference!