Their trip to Ndenda island was cut short and nothing went as they had planned. On June 24, last year, a boat en route to the island from Lihunda beach in Bondo, Siaya County, carried a musical band of 17 talented youths of Boyieta Wuod Awasi group. It capsized killing nine band members died.
Now, the government has given the eight survivors of the band a lifeline. They are now known as Super Extra Young Band.
They were trained at a 10-day camp by the Permanent Presidential Music Commission in Nairobi and music equipment presented to them by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The survivors of the tragedy plus other members from Rarieda and Bondo sub-counties received lessons in music, performance techniques, production and recording, branding and management as well as sound setup and dee-jaying skills.
President Kenyatta handed over the equipment to them at State Lodge Kisumu on Tuesday.
The group was trained by Dr Donald Otoyo, the commission’s director, Sylvester Otieno of Kenyatta University, Christine Wambui of Technical University of Kenya, among other music experts.
The band now has leader Timothy Angong’a, band manager David Omoso and dancer Dennis Abiero.
Angong’a thanked the President for coming to the group’s rescue and said they will now be top ohangla musicians.
PLAYED FOUR SONGS
Other members present at State Lodge were dancers Eric Abiero, Millicent Owuor and Molly Oriengo; shakers Vincent Onyango, Erick Nyawanga, Derrick Onyango and Michael Okech; drummists Kevin Owino and Collince Odongo; and pianists Erick Adhiambo and Steven Onyimbo.
During the ceremony, the band played four of their songs among them Maurine (part II), Auma (part two), Rapar Jowanda which is a new composition that debuted during a workshop in Nairobi and Tuombee Kenya, also new.
Maurine Part 11, about a young married man asking for forgiveness from his wife thrilled the audience. It is Luo tradition to carry a gift when you are going to ask for forgiveness.