At 5am on the 15th of July 2018, 17 members of Ghetto Classics set off from Korogocho destined for Kogelo, in Siaya County in the Western part of Kenya. Ghetto Classics had been invited to perform with the Kenyan singing sensation Eric Wainaina at the opening ceremony of the Sauti Kuu Foundation – Sports and Recreation Centre.
This was a special performance as it was for the inauguration of the Sauti Kuu Foundation Sports and Recreation Centre founded by Auma Obama. The purpose of the centre is to embrace and empower the local communities providing opportunities for them to conduct agri-business and use their talent in order to develop sustainable livelihood solutions in order for them to not have to depend on the urban centers as the savior from poverty. The guest of honour for this ceremony was none other than Auma’s brother President Barak Obama.
The opening ceremony was held on the following day, 16th July, giving the orchestra time to relax and unwind and enjoy the lakeside city after an interesting 10hr journey, which involved the van breaking down several times along the way. The visit to Kisumu and Kogelo was a homecoming for many of the orchestra members as this is where their families come from and they have many family members still living there.
The event officially started at 11.30am with Jalango (a former hot 96 radio presenter) as the M.C. Performances from Miriam Makeba and Sauti Kuu entertained the guests including the Guest of Honour who could be seen dancing from his chair.
The last performance was Erick Wainaina featuring Ghetto Classics, conducted by Duncan Wambugu and accompanied by Sauti Kuu members. We performed Daima Mkenya, that was written by Eric Wainaina and is an ode to being a patriotic Kenya and made everyone feel like the performance was a blessing:
Najitolea daima Kenya,
Hakika ya bendera
Ni uthabiti wangu
Nyeusi ya wananchi na nyekundu ni ya damu
Kijani ni ya ardhi, nyeupe ya amani
Daima mimi mkenya
Which translated in English means:
“I live, I hope,
I sacrifice forever for Kenya,
Surely as the flag
is my fortress,
Black is for the people, Red is for the blood,
Green is for the land, white is for the peace,
Forever i am Kenyan,
a patriotic citizen.”
You can watch the full video here: Sauti Kuu Launch (fast forward to 35:00 to watch the Ghetto Classics performance)