Kwanini? : The Life of Mzee Ondego
Kwanini? : The Life of Mzee Ondego
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The Life of Mzee Ondego

Mzee Ondego, Kenya’s greatest choirmaster and Kenyatta confidante tells the story of his relationship with Kenya’s founding father. Unknown as the man behind one of Kenya’s most influential songs – the haunting dirge that played on during those fateful days after the death of Kenya’s first president. Mzee Ondego remembers a time that has become part of our living memory.

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” The doctors released me at 5am. ‘ So we got into the Land Rover. By the time we reached Gatundu my heart was gone. I was worried I would be killed. So when our time came to sing, we sang the song which says Kenya is a peaceful country, which was number one. We were on our way to sit down when I was collected by Kenyatta’s people.

So I was taken to Kenyatta. He was very angry.
‘Kingora Giki . . . eh? Mzee, you are trying to compete with me?”

Enock Ondego was born in 1930 in Maragoli, Western Kenya. After independence he was appointed Kenya’s presidential choir master and became  President Kenyatta’s confidant. Enock Ondego is a prominent Kenyan songwriter, singer, author nationalist,founder of The Mwakigwena Choir Group and most notable for his biography, The Life Of Mzee Ondego, published by the Kwani trust, and his two songs: Wimbo huu ni wimbo wa historia (This is a song of history) and Kenya ni nchi ya ajabu (Kenya is a wonderful country). Mwakigwena Choir used to perform for the then president Jomo Kenyatta in the late 1970s.

Dimensions 13.5 × 11.5 mm

Enock Ondego


Kwani? Trust