Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Home > Counties > Benga music maestro Osito Kalle treats fans with Easter new book launch

Benga music maestro Osito Kalle treats fans with Easter new book launch

Renowned Luo Benga music maestro Dr Osito Kalle Kassam gave his ever-adoring fans a symbolic Easter Sunday special double-treat by launching a new book documenting his life, music achievements and challenges in the industry.

“I was more inspired to launch my new book to leave a lasting memory among my fans because, with songs, there comes a time when it is listened to by a particular generation,’’ Osito happily said.

In a rare feat by a musician, he points out that it will enable his present and future fans to read and learn more about him in schools and some placed in libraries for references.

The 206-page biography titled, “Benga Maestro: Life and Genius of Dr Osito Kalle,” is a tell-all rare insight into his life as co-authored by Okeyo Soja and Agutu Onagi, and a foreword by Prof. Wallah Bin Wallah.

The mid-afternoon scorching sun of the lakeside city glinted off the red-coated top roof of Mama Grace Onyango Social Centre as Dokta Waya (guitar spin doctor) belted out his scintillating chart-topping hits to the ecstatic revelers who yearned for more.

Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o as the Chief Guest joined other Benga music lovers inside the expansive hall for the colourful and fun-filled read, and dance and happily hummed the lyrics aloud.

As an incredible delight as a Benga fan, Nyong’o observed that it was fascinating to learn more about the life and career of this legendary musician.

“It was clear that his impact on the music industry in the region is immense and his music continues to resonate with many generations,” Nyong’o hailed the lyrical master and guitar wizard.

The book’s overview chronicles the journey of Benga from its initial sprout around Nam Lolwe (Lake Victoria) to the Social Media era.

“This story is told through the lenses of Dr Osito Kalle, a lyrical cricket who plucks and chirps out wisdom, traditional aphorism, humour, and consolation, to ‘edutain’ his audience,” it clarifies.

The man-of-the-moment was clad in a light grey suit, black shirt and a long silver crucifixion pendant to boot on the day Christian faithful across the globe marked Jesus’ rise from the dead.

On why he is called by stage moniker ‘Dr Osito,’ he reveals that music is medicinal in value and anyone who prescribes a drug to a patient … ‘must be called a doctor.’

Dr Osito Kalle with Orchestra Nabii Kings band posed with Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o during his book at the Mama Grace Onyango Social Centre, Kisumu Central Sub-County during Easter Sunday. Photos Courtesy

“Music helps you relieve stress by sparking some cheery moments in you,” he elaborated during an interview with KNA.

Born in 1958 as Elly Akumu in Mabinju village, Asembo Bay in Siaya County, Osito has two wives and several children.

The music prodigy’s meteoric rise to stardom began when he joined the Awino Lawi-led jazz family of Victoria C band in 1977. He later moved to form his current Orchestra Nabii Kings band.

For over four decades, the maker of the hit has strode the Benga music scene like a colossus equaling his peers like the late Daniel Owino Misiani, George Ramogi, Collela Mazee, Okatch Biggy, Ouma Omore, and Ochieng Nelly who are briefly covered in the book.

Osito has produced a staggering 25 albums and counting with some of the two notable major awards he scooped under his musical belt including the Luo Benga Maestro and Lifelong Benga Artist in 2013.

Some of his timeless music chartbusters which are the perfect fusion of Dholuo and Swahili language include Asembo Piny Maber released in 1998 to praise his motherland, Osito Agalagala, Jehovah King, Linet Aluoch Pamba, Nyakadenge among others.

Seasoned lake region music artists who graced and curtain-raised the occasion included Linet Aluoch Pamba, Opiyo Bilongo, and Odhiambo Tusker.

The multi-talented Osito goes into the annals of the Kenyan music industry as one of the first artistes to have launched a biography alongside Esther Akoth Kokeyo aka Akothee.

“I am free and ready to assist budding music artists willing to sharpen their skills and knowledge,” he reassured as he signed copies of his biography.

By Rolex Omondi

Leave a Reply