Peter Nguma the only surviving member of the original Katitu Boys Band is set to be the Artist in Residence at Ubunifu Hub Machakos for the month of May 2017.
AT 54 YEARS, Nguma is the only surviving member of the original Katitu Boys Band. After clearing high school in 1983, he went to Nairobi in a year after where he met one of his greatest advisors, Kakai Kilonzo of the famous Les Kilimambogo Boys Band.
He started playing music in 1984, with Joseph Mutaiti under the then Super Kaiti Band where he strummed the solo guitar and added vocals. Others in the band included Katui Nguzi (bassist), Alex Mutua (drummer) and Vincent Kioko (rhythmist).
He joined Ngoleni Boys Band in 1986, playing alongside Dick Mulwa (guitarist/composer/singer). In 1987, he transitioned to Kyanganga Boys Band then led by Peter Mwambi where he played alongside David Kasyoki (guitarist/vocalist) and Prince Maingi (rhythmist/singer).
1989, he departed together with Kasyoki to form Katitu Boys Band, know for hits such as chokora, cheza na katitu, muia wa kalii, chunga pombe, njeri my daystar and the ever memorable tembea Kenya! If you are a keen listener to Katitu, he is the vocal behind the introduction part of track, “….welcome to Kenya; we Kenyans love visitors from all corners of the world, tembea Kenya!”
Between 1992 and 1994, Nguma worked on solo projects under his band then called Kavata Nzou, where he recorded and released tracks including Carol Nyamweya Mtoto wa Kisii, Wambui Mukumbu, Mtararajio and Iveti Sya Viasla among other hits.
While singing with Katitu, he was also session musician (vocalist) at Kimangu Boys and Mukyuni Boys then led by Simba Mundu. He is the main vocalist for Mbaika (if you remember the track). In the recent past, Nguma has worked at Garden Hotel (Machakos), Carnivore (Nairobi) and Sky Lodge (Masinga), Camp Davis (Katoloni, Machakos).
In between the late 90s and the early years of the millennium, many of his colleagues at Kaiti, Ngoleni, Kyanganga, Katitu, Kimangu and Mukuyuni bands passed on, leaving him to take on the mantle as a one-man-one-guitar fellow. He asserts that there is a place for one-man guitar type of presentation is our today’s creative universe.
Nguma argues that the best Kamba hits ever made to hit local and international appreciation, were done by one-man-guitar-style of guitar picking, including Telesia (Mwambi) Flora Kyamulinditi (Mutaiti), Fuata Nyayo (Kakai Kilonzo), Kilunda Kiyisi Mdesa (Sammy Wambua), Matha (Bosco Mulwa) to mention but a few.
Asked what style of music he plays, he says Kamba Rhumba, borrowing heavily from the native benga, Congolese rhumba, the exotic Country Music and a kamba folk subgenre called Musolo, which borrows heavily from the coastal Chakacha.
Starting 28 April 2017, Nguma joins the ever-blazing creative team at Ubunifu Machakos. Nguma will be the artist in residence through the month of May 2017, taking you on a trip down memory lane, reconnecting with the ever elusive past, bringing nostalgia and all manner of afrogoodness. Catch him every Friday 18H00 for sundowner, while on Saturday and Sunday he will be live from as early as 15H00.