The year is 2002, a time when Kenyans unanimously decided to remove the old regime. It was a wave of change. Kenyans wanted a new way of life. They voted for the National Alliance Rainbow Coalition. Who remembers unbwogable?
The song became NARC’s anthem. Kenyans sang the song on their way to make a change. Perhaps we have Gidi Gidi and Maji Maji to thank for that anthem. Should I say the other side of the lake? Well, we had atoti. This was a big hit composed by the late Wicky Mosh. Although it was sung in Dholuo, it still brings memories of that period to date.
Before unbwogable, we had this song, Ninanokisang by Nameless and Amani. It was a hit that we used to sing as young kids when doing our difficult homework to help us forget the troubles.
Fast forward to 2003; the new regime was now in power. This was also the year that marked 40 years after Kenya got its independence. To mark this important anniversary, HEH Mwai Kibaki, who was the then President of the Republic introduced the 40 shilling coin that is still in use today. I must say this coin has brought about a lot of wrangles because it more or less looks similar to the 10 shilling coin only that it is ‘bigger’ and ‘fatter.’ Imagine walking to a shop and giving it to a shopkeeper, and then they lash at you, ‘Wewe! Mkate ni 40 bob! Ebu ongeza 30 bob. Usiniletee zako! Nkt!’, only for them to realize how ‘blind’ and ‘dumb’ they are. Worse still, imagine boarding the flashiest nganya in town only for the donda to haul you out yelling and hurling unprintable words at you, ‘Nkt! Falai! Ashu yako imeishia hapa!’. Anyway, we shall all remember Baba Jimmy courtesy of the 40 shilling coin.
2003 was the year when we saw the emergence of a battle for supremacy between Ogopa DJs and Calif Records.
Remember the partnership between the late E-Sir and Nameless? We cannot forget the Boomba Train, Mos Mos, Kamata and Sare. Boomba Train had become our school anthem. You could stop a girl or a boy and they could sing it word for word, from the start to the end. During break time, you could find girls sitting under a shade with a pull out of the Young Nation bearing the lyrics to Boomba Train. What were they doing? They were rehearsing the song. They did not want to be left out of the train. This was also the year when Kiss 100’s Top 7 at 7 was the biggest radio chart in town. Nameless had released Holiday and it topped the charts for a very long time before Mr. Nice came overthrew him with kindalimpo. To claim his superiority in the charts, Mr. Nice added another hit by the name Fagilia. This hit gave birth to NARC’s theme for the year which was to fagilia all the negative issues and the bad image that had plagued the country by then. However, Nameless reclaimed his superiority through deadly.
On the other hand, there was Calif Records. Who can remember Manzi wa Nairobi and We Kamu by Nonini? Who can remember Asali and Ruka by Jua Cali?
Back then, Nonini used to be slim. You cannot fail to notice how huge he has become today (Kweli pesa ni sabuni ya roho heheh!). There was this time he had been accused of corrupting kids morals (Watoto walianza kuchanuka heheh!). However, he used the Mizizi Heat Show to counter these accusations. This was a time when Ogopa and Calif ruled the airwaves. If a song came out, we first asked ni studio gani wameiproduce? Ogopa ama Calif? You remember the Ogopa logo? That is just a trademark! When it comes to the battle concerning who was superior I choose to leave that decision to you.
This was also the period Arsenal began the unbeaten run to win the League in the following year. They used to thump teams in sixes and sevens (I mean they scored six or seven goals). Anyway, we know how inconsistent they have become over the years or isn’t that so?
Indeed 2002-03 era was transformative.