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Monday 20 April 2015

Issa Super Stuff

Let's get back on track after Saturday's ukulele aberration. One of the albums I picked up in South Africa recently has the captivating title "World Defeats The Grandfathers: Swinging Swahili Rumba 1982-1986". It is a compilation of album tracks by Issa Juma & Super Wanyika Stars.

Tanzanian by birth, Issa's early career was divided between there and Uganda, but only really took off in the late 1970s, by which time he had been living in Kenya for a number of years. I would not claim to have any expertise in East African music, so I don't know to what extent his travels influenced his style. To be honest, it all sounds pretty Congolese to me.

These two tracks to date from 1982 and 1984, the year in which the Kenyan authorities threw Issa in jail for working without a valid permit. Sadly his health was affected and he never fully recovered. A stroke in 1988 left him unable to perform, and he died a few years later. But, as you will hear, he left quite a legacy behind.

"Si Mimi" - Issa Juma & Super Wanyika Stars

"Ma Eliza" - Issa Juma & Super Wanyika Stars

And if that interloper from Tanzania wasn't authentic enough for you, here is genuine Kenyan superstar, born in Nairobi a mere 79 years ago. Long may he run.


  1. Was it not Tanganyika when Roger was born ?
    I knew the old stamp collection would come in handy one day!

    1. Ignore that last comment - Kenya has always been Kenya