Kakaman Nduati causing ripples with his ‘Maandamano’ song

The Mt Kenya singing cop Isaac Nduati, whose stage name is Kakaman Nduati.

The Mt Kenya singing cop Isaac Nduati, whose stage name is Kakaman Nduati.

Photo credit: Pool

The Mt Kenya singing cop Isaac Nduati, whose stage name is Kakaman Nduati, has ignited a fierce debate over police impartiality and politics after he released an anti-Azimio mass protest song.

Released under the title Maandamano (protests), Mr Nduati says that there is a government in place and those who lost in the election should keep the peace.

“We respect you Baba (Raila Odinga) and it is only that your votes did not qualify you for the presidency,” he sings as he urges the opposition leader to keep off protests “and instead embrace the constitution”.

He further continues: “The State House seat that the president sits on can only be sat on by only one [person] at a time.”

While he normally sings in the Gikuyu language, Maandamano has been recorded in Kiswahili.

The artiste says he is surprised that some people have frowned upon his political message.

“I serve [as] an instrument of government and I must be [a] true testimony to patriotism and loyalty. In my song, I am only restating the obvious that we have a legitimate government in place and which must not be rocked by unconstitutional means of competition,” he said.

Currently serving in Nyandarua County as a police corporal, Mr Nduati said he looks forward to a country that embraces brotherhood in peace, and where police officers are dedicated to protecting lives and property as opposed to engaging in running battles with citizens.

This is not the artiste’s first time singing about politics. In 2013, he sang about Nyumba Ya Uthamaki, a political hit in praise of Uhuru Kenyatta and his election as Kenya’s president.

“The album sold around 5,000 copies on release in Central Kenya,” he told Nation.Africa.

In 2007, in the song Kibaki Tena, he praised then president Mwai Kibaki, praising him for his development record and urging Kenyans to re-elect him for a second term.

He also released another track by the title Maitu wa Ruriri (Mother of the nation) in praise of Uhuru Kenyatta’s mother, Mama Ngina Kenyatta.

Following the 2007-08 Post Election Violence, Nduati released the track Tutikanacokere Mbara (Never again be at war).

Nduati’s musical journey started in 2006 when he released his debut hit Cecilia, which became an instant hit.

He has also released several other love songs and songs touching on societal issues.

Nduati’s song Ngai Teithia Thigari (God help police officers) sought to communicate the squalid conditions they live in. The song earned him the nickname ‘crew defender’.

His song Muhunjia Opposite is a satirical composition aimed at ‘whipping pulpit bandits’ into repentance.

His other songs are Susanna Kurungara, Kiwendo Kia Nguvu, Twendanire, Nimugucua, Mama Dondosa, Nani Yuko Salama and Bunduki.

Nduati says he was born in Murang’a County and brought up by a foster mother after his birth mother died when he was young.

“My mother Nancy, died when I was a toddler…My father became a widower tasked with raising six children…He had to remarry and Margaret became my foster mum,” he said.

He schooled at Mahutia Primary School in Kandara Sub-County and Kiruri Secondary School in Kangema.

While in high school, he was involved in music and drama festivals, further fuelling his interest in music.

“Although I often led the Kiruri School music group to the provincial level, in 1992 we were denied funds to participate in the competition…I led a strike in protest and I was expelled,” he said.

He then joined Gituru Secondary School where his musical and drama talent was immediately recognised. And after he sat for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), he was recalled to the school as a performing arts trainer where he served between 1993 to 1996.

Nduati’s involvement in performing arts served him well when in 1997 he applied to join the Kenya Police College. Upon admission, he joined the Kenya police band.

He says he appreciates his seniors who have never stopped him from pursuing his musical talent.

When conducting his police duties, he admits with laughter, he sometimes finds it difficult to be strict on people who are his fans. He, however, still does his duties.

Nduati says he will sing all the way to retirement and he plans to invest in a performing arts school.

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