RADIO LOVE

I have a bad habit of forcing people to listen to the kind of music I like, ask my campus roommate Lynn. I literally shoved my favorite songs down her ear drums until she began loving them. The woofer we had was hers but no! I controlled it like nobody’s business! At house parties you will always find me next to the DJ trying to control the playlist. I can never leave the club without annoying the DJ by requesting for a song. When offered a lift, I always try my best not to interfere with the music being played. Heri nipitishwe na mat than kushuka before my favorite song is over. Is there any shrink you can recommend to help me get over these bad manners?

Someone asked for my thoughts on the new song by Khaligraph Jones and Msupa S, Watajua Hawajui. The first time I heard Msupa S, I almost fell off the seat laughing. But when I watched her interview on ‘The Trend‘ I couldn’t help but notice her confidence. Guys! She is only 19 years old! How confident were you at 19? There are many talented people out here and a huge chunk of them are lazy egomaniacs! There are also a number of big artistes out here who charge upcoming acts huge sums of money to do collabos with them. I am not saying that is bad, but Khaligraph never charged this chic a dime! He is also working to mentor her and other upcoming rappers. And we are going to attack him for jumping into studio with her? We are going to troll Msupa S for going hard? For trying? For putting in the work? I think this is a dope track.

So are you a talented rapper? Keep on recording one track per year, I mean you are talented, we will get your music one day! Talented writer? Keep on writing once in two years and read no books at all, we will get your articles one day. Talented singer? One day your shower head will leak all the audios you recorded in your ‘Bathroom Studios’ and we shall be terrifically blown away! Talented comedian? Keep on laughing at your own jokes my friend, no hard work is required to hone your art! Talented folks need no hard work to make it! Don’t waste your time trying to learn anything! Don’t put out your work out there at all! Be as lazy as you can be, after all you are talented right?

Anyway, do you guys remember back in the day when newspapers used to have a section dedicated to song lyrics? Well, I used to file those lyric cut outs together with my friend Martin Njoroge. He was one of those kids who’d be called by both names. We would constantly compete with each other on who knew the lyrics to the most songs. I still can’t find my lyric cut outs. Mum must have used them to light the jiko. Other times we would place wrestling bets. Martin always beat me, because I was a ‘The Rock’ die hard and I would place my bets on him no matter what. Mum forgive me but I normally used the sadaka money to place these bets.

I suspect that my old man never liked Martin mainly because men are such jealous creatures. He also loathed how much hanging around Martin and his smaller brother Ndung’u made me a tom boy. Dad always wanted his daughters to be feminine. The scowl on his face whenever I mentioned reso (wrestling) was a clear sign that he preferred seeing his little girls play with dolls, not discussing Stone Cold Steve Austin. But that’s a story for another day. So on a certain day, mum came home with a new radio and it was the shit! It was a black Philips radio with a cassette player. It was so cute that if it was a chic, it would be the most beautiful girl in the village. I bragged to my friends how we had the latest radio model with a sleek design and better speakers. I later came to break the handle of that radio while showing it off to my friends Maggie and Tena. Oh the beating I got from my mother after being coerced to confess to my heinous act! Cheeeiiii! The radio is still working to date by the way and mum has refused to let me go with it to my hacienda, despite being the only person who uses it.

Breaking the radio’s handle and mum’s beating never stopped me from drooling over it. I listened to it more than I watched TV. Mum did everything to keep it away but I always found it. It was my best friend. I got to know about all the latest songs and celeb gossip from it. I found out about Aaliyah’s death through it. How I cried on that day! When I was taken to boarding school in class 6, I missed the radio more than anything, even more than homemade food! I grew up having favorite radio shows and crushes on radio presenters. How I miss the late night show on Easy FM by Didge! His voice was too sexy for life! I also loved the Caroline Mutoko & Jalas morning duo. But my favorite radio shows of all time were and still are the late night show by Anto Neosoul & Oga Obinna (such shame they were fired unceremoniously) and Urban Africa by Adelle Onyango.

In all my years of loving radio, I have never understood the euphoria around Maina & King’ang’i’s show. I don’t understand why people love to start their mornings with such negative vibes! Tons of bile! Men calling in to complain about women! Women calling it to insult men! Why? I think it is very unfortunate that we are raising a generation of grumblers and bitter people! I don’t know about you but I believe there are decent Kenyan men out there. If you agree say “Oh yeah!” And if a relationship is not working, there are better ways to air and solve grievances. I live for great and insightful conversations, inspiring interviews, occasional celebrity gossip and good music. I love shows that support Kenyan talent and presenters that do their research as far as music content is concerned.

Due to my radio love, I have always wanted to work for a radio station. In campus (Moi University Main Campus), I co-hosted a show called ‘The Monday Break out Show’ alongside my friends, Stella, Alice and Richie. The show used to air from 10:00am-11:00am every Monday. Stella and Alice were the bubbly ones who did most of the talking. They have certified radio voices. I sound like a scientific researcher presenting a thesis on ‘The Effects of Mono Sodium Glutamate” hehehe! I was the content producer and Richie the technical producer. That show brought life to my broke campus life. I would wake up my roommate, Lynn to do my make up when going for the show. Lynn, thanks aki! I would also dress for it as if I was going for a fashion show na ilikuwa tu radio show ya one hour SMH! I know this will make my old man turn in his grave, but I skived a number of lessons because of this show. Because of my music OCD, I revamped the playlist from Rock to African Pop. Richie and I would disagree a lot because I always wanted things done my way and had a difficulty changing my mind. Richie we still good? huh?

The other day, I came across the promo we made for the show in Toshi (my laptop) and the sweet memories flooded my medulla. I remember how mad I was at Richie for showing up late on the day we were to record the voice overs for the promo. Now looking back, I feel like we did a stupendous job on that promo and show despite the meager resources at our disposal. I scripted the promo and we put the amazing voices of Alice and Stella on it with an awesome sound track.

We were such a dope team and our show was so dope, that we had a partnering sponsor who was one of the brains behind an upcoming social site. I will not give more details on the site because I used to have a massive crush on this partnering sponsor. I have never fancied guys with big eyes, I come from a family of big-eyed people hohoho! But there was something about this guy damn! Alikuwa anapendeza jameni! lolipoptuos ting! Vindu vihot! Mraiya alikuwa amenizingua proper! The kind that should meet my mother jowa! I always avoided sitting while facing him in studio because his smile always confused me! My crush on this brother man was so huge, it started affecting my then relationship! Hewooo! (Please don’t tell my ex).

His voice was just amazing! The first time he called my name, I pretended not to hear so that he could say “Agnes” one more time. I strongly believe that, kama bae hawezi pronounce jina lako vizuri, dump him already!God and Mama will understand. I have had a number of crushes after him and I can now confidently say, that dude was the one that got away. We would have produced really cute, innovative, big-eyed babies, with massive dimples, killer smiles and amazing voices. A moment of silence for the one that got away.

************************************Silence******************************************

Deep sigh!

Away from crushes, Alice and Stella always preferred going with the flow while I always insisted on having a rough script. I think our different approaches to things made us work well. We would partner with various clubs in campus to publicize their events. At times we faked feedback just appear popular hihihi! Fake it till you make it! I remember inviting my friend Biko, to come do the social media banners for us. The guy is such a talented graphics designer, if you need his services, talk to me well well now aah aah! We did interviews too. Stella was an expert at this. The one interview I will never forget was the one we did with a certain upcoming artiste that Richie had introduced to us. The dude kept saying “gara sing, gara this, gara that.” There is nothing as annoying as a fake accent. He went to sing like an emaciated cockroach! I just wanted that interview to end.

There were also some of the recorded shows in Toshi. I remember the first time Richie handed me a recorded show in a flash disk! I was super elated! I think I hugged him just to express my gratitude! I had something to show as proof when searching for employment in the radio world. I dropped those demos at a number of radio stations when searching for a job after campus, lakini wapi? It’s been so many years of loving radio and my dream to work for the radio industry is still alive. I hope that I will have the honor of producing content for a commercial radio show before I reunite with my old man.

Richie, Alice and Stella, we were a certified team! We achieved a lot despite the challenges. Every time I look back, I can’t help but feel proud. Our motivation was sheer passion! I will forever be grateful to you guys for that chance that we gave each other to do what we loved most, producing a radio show.

Then on another note, I am looking for film bloggers for a feature story. Are you a film blogger or do you know one? Reach me on my email agnesopondo@gmail.com

Have a lovely week fam!