By Peter Sagini
Willis Austin Chimano is a vocalist, keytarist, a saxophonist and member of the popular all boy band Sauti Sol.
Chimano was born and bred in Nairobi. He is the third born in a family of four (two boys and two girls). His parents gave him the best although he had a difficult childhood as an introvert. Growing up, he felt like an awkward child as he didn’t like to play like other kids; instead, he loved to watch other kids play. His parents were devout Christians who were strict on routine prayers which were done every evening.
Sharing his past on Engage Talk, he describes his parents as very strict individuals who always wished the best for their children. After completing and doing well in his national exams, he joined Kakamega high school for his secondary education.
But after two years his parents transferred him to Upper Hill School after he had raised several complaints about his previous school. At Upper Hill School is where he met his fellow band members Savara Mudigi and Bien Barasa.
Willis Austin Chimano was born on 9th July 1987. He is 36 years old as of 2023.
Chimano attended Kakamega High school and Upper Hill school for his secondary studies. He later joined the University of Nairobi where he graduated with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies.
Over a couple of years, Chimano’s s3xuality has been the centre of concern for Sauti Sol fans, but recently he came out publicly as g*y. On a photo that was publicly posted on the group’s (Sauti Sol) twitter account and captioned as ‘Sol Family’ Chimano is seen posing with his Caucasian boyfriend (on the left) while the other three straight artists are seen in a romantic posture with their lovers.
After the picture went public and viral, these are some of the savage tweets Willis Chimano left for his haters;
“Guys are mad! Hahahahahahaha it’s good look you!”
“Embrace the anopheles…”
Willis Chimano met his bandmates Savara Mudigi and Bien Baraza in high school. After completing high school, Polycarp who went to Strathmore school joined in to complete the group. The group initially formed as an acapella and later as it gained an audience it transitioned to Afro-pop music. Also, their initial group name was ‘Sauti’ (Swahili word which means sound), and later they added ‘Sol’ (Spanish word which means sun). The ultimate name Sauti Sol was supposed to mean ‘voices in the sun.’
Willis Chimano started becoming popular when they released a hit song back in 2011 on the Sol Filosofia album called ‘soma kijana.’ The song was advocating for education for all youths in Kenya and Africa at large.
The group has released five albums so far. They include Mwanzo(2008), Sol Filosofia (2011), Live and Die in Africa (2015), African Sauce (2019), and Midnight Train(2020).
Sauti Sol has won more than 30 awards and has been nominated more than 50 times in local and international award contests.
Some of the Awards Sauti Sol have won include;
- MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act
- MTV Africa Music Award for Best Group
- Museke Online Africa Music Award for Best Group
- Soundcity MVP Award for Best Group
- All Africa Music Award for Album of the Year in Africa