Remembering rhumba star Musa Juma

Musician Musa Juma (left) of Limpopo International band at a past show in Kisumu.

Fans and contemporaries of rhumba legend Musa Juma Mumbo will on Monday be marking the 10 anniversary since his death.

Musa Juma (MJ) the prolific guitarist, singer and composer was the leader of the Orch Limpopo International Band which was reputed as one of the innovators of the Luo Rhumba music style, unlike most other group from Luo Nyanza which used the Benga style and alter Ohangla, Musa opted to the mid tempo, Rhumba style.

Notably it was Ochieng Kabaselleh who pioneered fusing Rhumba and Benga beats. Kabaselleh also blended Lingala lyrics on some of his songs.

Musa Juma’s brother Omondi Tonny was also a member of the multi-national Orch Limpopo International Band which was famous for songs like “Mercelina”, “Hera Mudho” “Siaya Kababa”, and “Freddy”.

The group regularly performed at various clubs in Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa among other towns. Prior to his death after a short illness in Mombasa on March 15, 2011, Juma had just returned from a musical tour of the USA.

Rhumba star John Junior, who leads the BV band, was also a member of Musa Juma’s Orchestre Limpopo Band. Others who played alongside Juma include Igwe Bandason and Madanji Perimeter

Though no major concert or event has been planned in his honour this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic most of his fans will celebrate by sharing his music online.

Local FM stations like Ramogi FM, starting this weekend, are expected to treat fans of Juma’ to some of his best songs.

Meanwhile The Lambada Holiday Resort at Mtwapa in Kilifi County has lined up a series of shows in the coming weekend for disco fans in Mtwapa and its environs. There will be the best of disco music by the resident DJ 1pm until 9pm on Saturday.

Musician Joe Mopero Kariuki.

Musician Joe Mopero Kariuki.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Elsewhere, veteran singer Joe Mopero and his group Zambezi International Band of the “Heri Nyumbani” fame performs every Friday to Sunday at Dillons Highway Motel. The motel is situated on the Thika- Garissa Highway.

The group is also known for songs like "Mama wa Kambo Mbaya," "Kanjore" and "Kia Mutha". He blends rhumba and Benga beats in his music.

Mopero, who is fluent in the Lingala language, says he plans to revamp the band with more regular shows and recordings.

Dancer and Kanda Junior performs on Fridays at the Muthiga Inn Country Club past Kinoo on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway. He plans to stage more shows in Nairobi later this month.

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