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Greeting and salutations! My name is Wairimu Nduba, the human being that sits hunched over their screen curating content for Wer Jokenya. I am so excited to finally have this space and as a way of pronouncing a kind of benediction over it, I will share a small snippet of the birth process of Wer Jokenya.


I have always gravitated towards time past. Music has always been that transitory space for me to travel between eras.


Being a current music major, in a university in Kenya, I realised just how little I knew of my own music history as a Kenyan, how little I knew of the people that shaped Kenya's musical traditions, and in a way, how little I knew of myself.


Articulate in playing Bach's preludes, flowing through Beethoven's sonatas, and hopping from one Chopin waltz to the next, for most of my life I have studied the musics of "the other." (This is a reference to the definition of ethnomusicology)


Wer Jokenya has become a space for me to delightfully discover myself anew and afresh. It has been a homecoming and a home. My hope is that in a small way it would be the same for you.


I depart, for now, with a small snippet of the life affirming poetry of Micere Githae Mugo. Her words potently and beautifully share a glimpse of what my visions and goals are for this growing Wer Jokenya community.


Daughter of My People Sing - Micere Githae Mugo


"Where are those songs

My mother and yours always sang

Fitting rhythms

to the whole

vast span of life?

Beat out your own rhythms

The rhythms of your life

But make the song soulful

And make life

Sing


Sing daughter sing

Around you are

Uncountable tunes

Some sung

Others unsung

Sing them

To your rhythms

Observe

Listen

Absorb

Soak yourself

Bathe

In the stream of life


And the sing

Sing simple songs

For the people

For all to hear

And learn

And sing

With you."


About the photo: This Orchestre Super Mazembe vinyl was the first Kenyan produced record I added to my small vinyl collection

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