Despite the fact that it is composed in foreign languages, Rhumba remains one of the most adored music genres in Kenya. What is even more amazing is that some of the hits have defied the test of time and remained evergreen despite being released in the ’70s and ’80s.
Regardless of being silenced by death, Rhumba hitmakers like Franco Luambo Makiadi and Jean de Diue Makiese (Madilu System) still top the list of the most popular hits. At 77 years old, Sam Mangwana remains an artiste who has seen this genre of music take great steps. Mangwana was part of the famous TPOK band and is famed for songs such as ‘Fatimata‘ and ‘Bana ba Cameroon’.
It would be an injustice not to mention Koffi Olomide who is a towering icon known for investing heavily on his songs. Olomide is currently 66 years old and still going strong.
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Then there is a new generation of artistes like Fally Ipupa and Ferre Gola who have kept the embers of Rhumba burning bright.
Kenyans love for Rhumba
If you were to listen to any popular Rhumba song on YouTube, you will realize that a majority of the fans on the comment section are Kenyans. Due to this, various entertainment joints have set aside at least one day of the week for pure rhumba.
Television and radio stations have also put in efforts into quenching the thirst for rhumba in Kenya. With this, various presenters have earned fame due to their rich knowledge and effortless entertaining.
This article will feature the best Rhumba presenters in Kenya.
Fred Obachi Machokaa
Fred Obachi Machokaa has been at the helm of Kenya’s mainstream media from the late ’70s. He initially worked as a General Service Unit (GSU) soldier before he tried his luck by auditioning for a promotional advert for Sanyo electronics.
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After impressing, he ventured into the fourth estate with a bang. He first worked at the national broadcaster before joining Royal Media Services in 2002. By that time, the SK Macharia owned Citizen Radio was facing stiff competition from Metro FM.
However, within a couple of months, Machokaa’s rhumba show, ‘Rogaroga’ amassed more fans as it fended off the stiff rivalry. The legendary presenter still hosts his show on both radio and TV and has wooed thousands of fans.
Having been in the lucrative media sector for over four decades, Machoka has ventured into various business. He owns a ranch in Kajiado County and a training college.
The self-proclaimed Mfalme wa Rhumba hosts the ‘Rhumba Republik’ on Radio Maisha. The show runs on weekdays in late evening hours and uses Madilu System’s ‘Aminata‘ and Koffi Olomide’s ‘Papa Ngwasuma‘ as teases.
Titi Nagwalla also graces various rhumba events hosted across the country. The skilled presenter studied mechanical engineering before he ditched the spanner for the mic. Nagwalla cut his teeth at KBC then went on to work at Milele FM before a retrenchment hit his career.
Undaunted, Nagwalla began entertaining his fans on YouTube. Lady luck came smiling his way and he got another employment opportunity at Radio Maisha.
Rodgers Ng’inja works for Ramogi TV and has accumulated a big number of adoring fans thanks to his mastery of Rhumba lyrics. He mostly posts his videos on Tiktok and is always enthusiastic as he sings along popular Rhumba songs.
Growing up, Ng’inja knew he was destined for the entertainment sector, a matter that saw him join his high school’s drama club. The Ramogi TV presenter has also been part of Statehouse choir. He is also a skilled event emcee who brings out the best of various functions.