Dynasties! See Families of Wealthy composers of the Kenyan National Anthem

Dynasties! See Families of Wealthy composers of the Kenyan National Anthem

When Kenyans stand at attention during the Olympics, right next to their radio or TV stations, there is a certain sense of pride. When we sing, this pride is forgotten and our hearts sing out in a sense of prayer that goes beyond national pride. This is because of the nature of our anthem, which according to most Kenyans is the most beautiful anthem on the planet. Subjective, but still the popular opinion. I remember singing the anthem every Friday during parade from nursery school through to high school. The question now is whether most of us really know the true origin of the Kenyan national anthem.

 

After independence, a panel of 5 men were chosen to come up with the new republic’s symbol of unity. Funny thing is that no one knows the designers who came up with our flag but for the anthem there is knowledge. The members of the team included; George Zenoga Zake, Washington Omondi, Graham Hyslop, Peter Kibukosya and Thomas Kalume. Now, the brilliance of our anthem and why it doesn’t sound so ‘forced’ is because the tune picked was that of a traditional song, a Pokomo lullaby. This continuity is what makes its tune melodious, rich and authentic. The Kibukosyas went on to rule Kenyan airwaves, producing the first crop of popular musicians back in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

The family still has a chokehold and Ulopa Ngoma is carrying the family flag with his catchy hitmaking tunes having worked with Kleptomaniacs and having produced Sautisol’s latest single, Still the One among others. In 2011 Yvone Kibukosya who is peter's grand daughter was married to Raila Odinga Jr in an invites-only glamour affair whose total cost was estimated at Sh10 million.

Among the high profile guests was the late former President Moi, his former aide Joshua Kulei, former Attorney General Githu Muigai, former Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndung’u, Musalia Mudavadi, several senior Governor officials and a number of MPs. It is said that the initial family ceremonies, one of which was hosted in Bondo and another one in Nairobi, had consumed Sh30 million.