TAKE 5: Masala Sefu
What you need to know:
- She also plays in the Nairobi Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Kenya and The Conservatoire Orchestra.
- I’ve always loved music, so much in fact, that when I joined Kenya High in form two, I sat for the music common test because I really wanted to do music.
- Well, Amanirenas is the absolutely fantastic quartet I play in. These guys are more than sisters, we’re each other’s spirit animals. We not only play together, we also mostly hang out together. There are three violinists: Bernadette, Yvette and Njambi, and me on the cello.
1. Describe yourself in three sentences.
Hmmm, I guess I’m definitely a happy person most of the time. I love music and basically live for it - what’s my life without it? And, I’m a total foodie, I love to eat!
2.Is your love for music what led you to the cello?
The cello was totally random at first, because it was actually meant for my sister but then I ended up taking it up and running with it. But yes, I’ve always loved music, so much in fact, that when I joined Kenya High in form two, I sat for the music common test because I really wanted to do music and I was scared that if I did Home Science I’d be forced to continue with it for the rest of my school life and I’d just die, probably. The answer is yes.
3. Tell me about Amanirenas.
Well, Amanirenas is the absolutely fantastic quartet I play in. These guys are more than sisters, we’re each other’s spirit animals. We not only play together, we also mostly hang out together. There are three violinists: Bernadette, Yvette and Njambi, and me on the cello.
4. Name the best gig you have ever played at…
I don’t know how to rank them really. It’s like being asked what your favourite song is. Anyway, I’d say the biggest one we have done so far was Coke Studio Season 2.
There was lots of learning especially since we had just formed the quartet not long before. It was definitely a lot of fun and we grew so much from it.
That said, I think we do really well in intimate gatherings because we get to connect with the audience and that helps us get in our groove. It is especially rewarding when we play during weddings for example, and then the bride cries (tears of joy, of course!) or is really thankful afterwards. That’s what we are about. That’s the reaction we look for from our audience.
5. Who are some of your favourite Kenyan instrumentalists? How many other Kenyan cellists are there?
Again with the favourites! I really, really love Kasiva the drummer girl from Nairobi Horns Project. She’s so fierce! Generally, the whole of Nairobi Horns Project.
Sauti Sol’s Polycarp, Newman Owor is amazing, Tetu Shani as well, Kato of course...I just can’t do favourites. The Kenyan music scene has grown so much since the days when it was just Sauti Sol at Alliance. Kenyans are spoilt for choice these days. As for cellists, we have grown too. We must be over 30, perharps 50.
Connect Coffee, The Riverfront, Riverside Drive
Having recently acquired a taste for coffee and waffles, I saw Connect Coffee on someone’s Instagram page and decided to try it out. I have to say my choice was a wise one because the waffles are delectable. Fair warning, it probably makes more sense to have a waffle (which you can have with strawberries or grapes) to split between two because it would be difficult to finish it unless you haven’t had breakfast or lunch. The setup is minimalist, with convenient sockets located near every table and industrialist-style lighting making the place look a little quirky. My favourite thing about the place are the huge glass walls that take up an entire side of the quaint coffee house, letting in lots of light.
Blog of the week: Mark Majesty
Adelle Onyango, (Kiss100 morning show) recently added one more job to her busy life. Aside from her ProjectShe affirmation videos, being a radio host, founding the No Means No campaign and being the Intel She Will Connect ambassador, she now has a vlog called ‘Adelle on the Loose’. There is only one episode out, but she promises to regularly deliver documentation on all the exciting things she is getting up to, travelling around Kenya and meeting interesting people, as she does in the first episode. Here, she and her two “left feet” go dancing in a studio run by Art In Motion, a dance crew that is teaching a routine for my current favourite jam, Kama Kawaida. For a touch of bubbly that isn’t alcoholic, check this out.