By Prudence Minayo
Moses Odhiambo Obok, popularly known by his stage name Musa Jakadala, is a talented musician and dancer. He sings Ohangla- a traditional Luo style of music. As a young man, he was inspired by Dola Kabarry and Odongo Winyo.
The musician is in his early thirties.
Background and Education
He was born in Ugunja, Ugenya, Siaya county. He is the 7th born in a family of eight children. His late father was named Joseph Obok while his mother is Consolata Obok. He lost his father at a young age and was unable to proceed with school for a while.
In 2006, he relocated to Nairobi and settled in Kayole. He began working as a trained mechanic but was not paid for his sweat. He quit and went to work in the car wash business. He made some money and enrolled at St. Agnes School in Kayole where he completed school in 2009.
In 2010, soon after completing high school, he joined The Blaze Africa band and began working as a dancer. He rose through the ranks and became the lead singer’s backup. The band was headed by Goddy Nyakka and the late Odongo Mayaka.
In 2012, he released his first song titled Nyar Alego and soon after left the band to form his own. He started off with a band of six members and began performing in Dandora, Nairobi. At the beginning, it was not easy and they often performed for empty seats in dingy places. Their first pay was Sh6,000 per performance and out of this pay 2,500 was used to hire music equipment.
He then launched his first album titled Nyiri Dwaro Ang’o and then Nyar Siaya. Their popularity began to grow and they were invited to perform at various clubs. They also began earning triple their initial wages. Soon, they moved to the CBD where they secured performances with various clubs including Skyworld.
This was followed by another album in 2016 called Hera Remo. This loosely translates to Love is Blood and it was the song that opened even greater doors for him. It is a song that describes the extent to which a man is willing to go for the woman he loves. The boy visits the girl’s home during the holiday season and proceeds to help out with all the tasks, as if he is a hired hand. Thanks to this song, he got the chance to perform in his first ever Luo festival. After this, he also got the chance to take his music abroad by performing in the US and Europe. The song Hera Remo currently boasts nearly four million views on YouTube.
By 2017, he had three albums to his name, each unique and produced by different studios namely: Leemax, Gwasi and Barikiwa Studios. His band currently comprises 20 members.
Jakadala has his own unique style of music. He believes that despite the many other Luo singers, his competition is himself and everyone is a king in his kingdom. He is among the first artists to perform the Ohangla style of music without donning the usual traditional animal skin attire usually associated with this musical style.
A while ago, photos of him feeding Vesha (Akothe’s daughter) a cake during his birthday went viral. This started rumors that they were dating. The Ohangla musician refuted these claims and told Heads Up he was a happily married man.