By Prudence Minayo
Elisha Toto, real name Elisha Outa, is a popular Kenyan musician who sings in Dholuo. His song, Paroga Nyasuba, produced late last year became an anthem of sorts. There was a Tik Tok dance challenge of the hit on Tik Tok. His other songs ‘Adhiambo’, Nyar Mwalimu have also been well received. Here is what WoK was able to gather about this great artist.
The Musician hails from Suba. He loved traditional Luo music from a young age. While in primary school, he was part of Ramogi dancers, and they would perform in music and drama festivals. He got the name Elisha Mtoto wa Shule since he began doing music in school. He would later shorten this name to Elisha Toto.
His father passed away on 11 April 2021. Speaking to Ghetto Radio, the Ohangla artists said they “first took him to Homabay General Hospital where he was admitted for almost two weeks before transferring him to St. Camillus Mission Hospital in Sori where he succumbed.” He was 86 years old.
Upon completing school, his friend- a Keyboard player, absorbed him in his band. They started doing music in a small village named Uriri. He started off playing a bell that is a popular music instrument in a lot of Luo traditional songs. It was not easy and at times he would only make 15/= a day. The band soon disbanded as members took to fishing to earn a living. They were left with just two members, him and a friend. They too began fishing to make ends meet but did not give up on their musical aspirations.
A while later, a man named Odos and his friends joined them. They formed a band and Odos began singing. Elisha saw this as the breakthrough they’d been waiting for. They began making 50/= a day which was an improvement compared to their earlier earnings.
After three months, Odos left to go do farming but recommended them to a man named Wanga. They joined Wanga and Elisha who had never sung before in a band was selected as the singer. This prompted him to learn singing. He would go sit with vendors of music CDs to listen to songs, memorize the lyrics and later go perform them. Little by little, his rendition improved and he wrote his first song, a tribute to his mother. He then visited Barikiwa studio to record a song but was told he needed to polish his voice first. He went away and returned later and finally recorded his first song.
His Own Band
In 2019, he finally had his own band, which currently has 20 members. He has released a number of songs, most of which have hundreds of thousands in views. He believes that as an artist his songs should be a reflection of society. His song Paroga Nyasuba became very popular, especially after he added the lyrics about Corona. Many Tik Tok users even started a Nyasuba dance challenge.
Other popular songs from the artist include:
- Nyar Mwalimu
- Mosna Ng’ama Loyano
- Koso Ni Ringa Kapesa Orumo
- Ngima Emadwong
- Hera Okdwar Koko
His YouTube videos have over 3 million views.
You can reach the artist on 0705956262