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Msanii awards honor Kenyan artists

By: CHURCHILL OTIENO
July 10, 2009

Reggae artist DynamiQ addresses patrons after receiving Best Reggae Artist award at Msanii awards ceremony held last weekend in Kansas City. Photos by Alfred Rono.

Reggae artist DynamiQ addresses patrons after receiving Best Reggae Artist award at Msanii awards ceremony held last weekend in Mission, Kan. Photos by Alfred Rono.


Mission, Kan. – Last weekend Kenyans converged at Mission not only to celebrate American Independence day, but also to witness the Msanii awards; organized by the Charles and Elius Njogu brothers together with Lenny Ndegwa.

This premier festival crowned Kaya best male artist, DynamQ from Atlanta, Georgia, became the best local reggae artist; while Mercy Myra of the “I’m gonna fly” fame was named best female artist. The best video award went to Huku Majuu for the “skool fizz ft Daluta,” with the people’s choice award taken by Carlthetruth.

Tony Omondi received the best gospel artist award while Kansas City-based Madness Cru DJs scooped the best DJ group award. Bamboo bagged the best lyricist award whereas DJ Cisqo of Dallas won the best single DJ award.

The reggae star, DynamQ fled from Southern Sudan at age 6 because of war and spent most of his youth in Nairobi’s sprawling slums.

U.S.-based artists scooped most of the awards, except the Msanii Achievement Award, which went to Jua Kali of the Kenyan-based Genge crew. Genge was the main performer at the awards ceremony.

Msanii (Swahili for artist) strives to appreciate and recognize Kenyan artists.

“We will honor any US-based Kenyan [artist], for outstanding performance that furthers the ideals of the community,” said Charles Njogu, one of the event’s organizers.

Njogu known by the stage name CJ Moh, was the main sponsor of the event which he said was for his love for talent.

“People need to feel appreciated in their respective fields,” he said, adding that the trio conceived the idea two years ago. “I did not think this {event} would be this big…,” said Victor Were, a patron who travelled all the way from Texas to attend the celebration.

Dan Adera, a Kansas City-based Kenyan promoter, applauded the organizers for a job well done.

“The Unity was admirable to say the least,” he said.

The theme of this year’s Msanii Awards was “One Common Goal, One Common Party and One Common Nation.” Although some artists nominated for the awards were not in attendance, they sent representative to collect their awards; and applauded the organizers.

Jua Kali of the Genge crew on stage at the first Msanii awards held in Kansas City, Mo. last weekend. Jua Kali was the only Kenyan-based artist who won an award at the ceremony. Photo by Alfred Rono.

Jua Kali of the Genge crew on stage at the first Msanii awards held in Mission, Kan. last weekend. Jua Kali was the only Kenyan-based artist who won an award at the ceremony. Photo by Alfred Rono.

Wazim Kenya of Wazimu Promoters hinted that the awards might not return to the state for several years as the organizers plan to hold it on rotational basis.

Njogu also attributed the event’s success to local promoters such as Wazimu, Wazee Wengi, Majuu TV and Safari Sounds.

“I think this unity of purpose is something that we should all cultivate from time to time,” he said. “United we stand, divided we fall.”

The Msanii Awards – 2009

Category Artist
Best male artist Kaya
The Best Cultural
Ambassador Award
Jabali Africa
Best African Artist Dizzo
Best Solo DJ DJ Sisqo (Dallas)
Best Female Artiste Mercy Myra
Best DJ (Group) Madness Cru (Kansas)
Best Gospel Artiste Tony Omondi (Kamnao)
Best Lyricist Bamboo
Best New Artist Riddik
Best Video Huku Majuu
Best album Nare (daddy V)
Best Local Reggae DynamQ
Msanii Achievement Award Jua Kali

Reach Churchill Otieno at cotieno@eafricainfocus.com

Author Profile: Story  on July 10, 2009, 2 Comments

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2 Responses to “Msanii awards honor Kenyan artists”

  1. jagero kenya says on: 13 July 2009 at 1:21 pm

    hey, I love this story so much…We thought that those gents and ladies were just idling there. We now know that they have been doing great…

    Bamboo, kudos, and ohh Mercy Myra…thank you gal…you rockkkk.
    And all, thank you guys..

  2. lala says on: 17 July 2009 at 2:24 pm

    the award had no reggae category but someone won that.kaya did not win the best artist.daddy V did because i was following the results very closely.that is not a good way of doing the 1st award shows in usa.no one knws the kaya dude and everyone is very disapointed.Nice try to the Orgarnisers but lets be transparent next time and not nominating winners.we also did not see the arists we were promised that were to perform.KC was a disapointment.

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