Nairobi News


Les Wanyika making Rhumba an upmarket affair

Although it’s been long considered a genre for the lower carder of society, Legendary Rhumba Ensemble Les Wanyika is breaking the mould.

The band has secured a residency at the upmarket Casa Vera Lounge at the intersection of Ngong Road and Kaburu Road, every Wednesday.

Considered a hot spot by the Hurlingham- Kilimani elite, the joint is frequented by A List Dj’s and international acts.

This residency however denotes a sharp shift in the market, driven by the ever-changing tastes and preferences. Whether it’s Bien paying homage to Les Wanyika’s Sina Makosa in his latest hit single too easy, or the sound coming out of Okello Max, Ben Soul, Wantendawili or Coster Ojwang rhumba is definitely in the mainstream.

Also read: Lovy Logomba marks twin brother Christian’s death anniversary

“We have been in the music business since 1978 and in 44 years we have seen many waves come and go,” Band leader Sijali Zuwa said.

“People are the ones who create classes, good music has no boundaries.”

The band also performs at other high end venues such as La Baita in Upperhill on Thursdays, Pots and palms in Riverside drive on Friday.

Also read: Exclusive – Brian Babu on staying relevant in the entertainment industry

Even upmarket radio stations like Capital FM that have been known for hop hop, RnB and Pop are turning to Rhumba in the quest for the masses. Known as the founding fathers of Swahili Rhumba Les Wanyika have been riding this wave with great effect.

Even private golf clubs are booking them because that iconic Rhumba vibe has definitely become an upmarket affair.

Also read: Exclusive: Veryl Mkali Wao – The next big hip-hop star in Kenya