Benga King ‘Dr’ Collela Mazee to be honoured

Legendary Benga musician Dr Collela Mazee of the Victoria B Kings.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Fans and colleagues of the legendary Benga musician Dr Collela Mazee of the Victoria B Kings will tomorrow mark the 21st anniversary of his death.

The highlight tomorrow's event will be the restoration and rehabilitation of Collela Mazee's grave in Uriri, Migori County. This will also be done for Collela’s younger brother Apiyo Kapella's grave.

Collela, who was born in Gem, Siaya County, later relocated to Uriri in Migori County.

For the last two months, fans of Collela, through a committee chaired by Aghan Odero, have raised funds for the tribute.

The committee plans more activities in his honour tomorrow to culminate into a mausoleum.

Collela (Richard Owino) who died on March 7, 2000 at a Nairobi hospital is best remembered for some of his hit songs “Jack Jack” (1974), “Hellena Nyaduse” (1976) and “Solea” among others.

He was in the second generation of Benga musicians who excelled in early 1970s with the original Victoria Jazz Band alongside Ochieng' Nelly Mengo (Dr Nelly), Opiyo Emma and Okeyo Achayo.

It was from the original Victoria Band that Collela formed the Victoria B. Later there was another offshoot Victoria C Kings that was led by Awino Lawi.

The Victoria Jazz dynasty extended to another Victoria D Kings which was later known as Nabii Kings led by Dr Osito Kale.

Tomorrow’s event will be graced by some of Collela’s former counterparts like Ally Kawino, Odham Wembe, Owuor Jamapera and Clement Oriro. Notably, most of them are singers and guitarists which formed an integral part of the Benga shows.

Speaking to Saturday Nation, Benga producer George Ouma of Jojo Records said he would be streaming live on Facebook some of Collela’s  music.

The live streaming starts at 2pm today.

“I will be doing so in solidarity with the fans of Victoria Jazz globally who will be marking the day,” Ouma, said.

Bunny Wailer

Jamaican reggae legend Bunny Wailer who died in Kingston on March 2, 2021.

Photo credit: Pool

 Meanwhile, The Itals Club at Pangani, Nairobi, will today host a reggae festival by King Lions Sound in honour of Jamaican reggae icon Bunny Wailer who died on Tuesday. DJs Papa Chally and King Tubbs are among those who expected to entertain reggae fans with Bunny's songs.

The Jamaican icon, who was the last of the legendary Wailers Band (which featured Bob Marley and Peter Tosh) will also be remembered for his strong Rastafarian beliefs earning him the title “Ras Prophet” among his fans globally.

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