Ohangla music rocked by claims of sexcapades and dark arts

Two ladies dance during a concert. [File, Standard]

To the majority of fans, Ohangla, also known as Ajawa, is the bedrock of Luo music that moves crowds like a cult and has a special place in the hearts of people with its rhythmic beats.

From the legendary tunes of Tony Nyadundo and his brother Jack Nyadundo who breathed life into commercial Ohangla, to Onyango Jakadenge’s heartwarming beats, to Onyango Aloka’s ‘Kanungo e teko’ beats that test the flexibility of your waistline, to the new generation beats led by Odongo Swag’s powerful voice and Prince Inda’s soothing lyrics, Ohangla is once again on the rise.

But bubbling underneath lies a moral stain that is slowly but steadily ensnaring the industry: sex scandals, claims of witchcraft, and Ben 10s.

It is a thorny issue that is pricking fans who claim the industry is the epitome of promiscuity and the new Sodom and Gomorrah. They claim Ohangla is an open-air divorce court, a modern-day polygamy market, and a shameless promiscuity arena for married fans and artistes.

Several fans told The Nairobian that barely a week passes before either an Ohangla artiste, producer or fans engage in online wars over sexual escapades or failed marriages.

In the last few days, social media has been abuzz with news of the failed marriage between celebrated Ohangla producer John Okumu, popularly known by his stage name Wuod Fibi, and his ex-wife Nikita Nyar Kano.

The public falling out cascaded to Facebook after a series of exchanges on email. In one screenshot shared by Nikita, she accuses Wuod Fibi of mistreating her and using her as a cash cow to support his music business.

“I was fully there for you from 2016 to 2018. You got a whopping 2.5 million...I have my records till today. The car 1.4M to support your music...,” says Nikita in one of the posts.

In a Facebook Live, Nikita narrated how she supported Wuod Fibi’s career. She said the producer asked for her help to buy musical instruments even before they started dating.

“He came back again when he was planning the launch of his album and I also gave out over Sh70,000,” she said.

In a response on his Facebook page, Wuod Fibi said he would not address the claims shared by his former wife.

“I know many of you expected me to talk bad about Nyakano on social media. Well, I find it demeaning to my personality and for the times shared as husband and wife. I will never do such an act. However, she is free to post whatever makes her happy,” he said.

But it is not just Wuod Fibi who has been getting negative publicity. The murder of popular Ohangla dancer Sheila Wegesha has also reignited debate on the dark side of Ohangla.

At the time of her death, Sheila was married to Jack Bamboo, an Ohangla fan who lived large and was a standard feature in major Ohangla concerts.

Gruesome murder

Detectives are probing her gruesome murder, with her husband, who is the main suspect, on the run.

Sheila liked Ohangla artistes and showered them with money on stage, to the visible discomfort of Bamboo. According to Sheila’s relatives, claims of infidelity had rocked their marriage and they were struggling to stay together as a couple.

“They always had issues after attending Ohangla concerts. The husband felt the former Ohangla dancer was betting on several men,” said a relative.

And while this acrimony appears to have led to Sheila’s death, some Ohangla artistes believe controversy is not bad for the industry.

Javan Onyango, popularly known as Javan MacAjudo, for instance, told The Nairobian that scandal is what brings business to the artistes. He admits some artistes do not mind engaging in online controversies to gain fame. In an interview with The Nairobian, MacAjudo, however, denied claims that his friendship with Sheila was sexual.

“I am in the entertainment industry and cannot justify all accusations levelled against me. I can confidently state that our friendship was platonic," he says.

According to MacAjudo, he had met Sheila only once at her shop in Nairobi but later interacted with her on the phone whenever he wanted outfits for his shows.

He defends his fellow young artistes, saying they are not reckless but rather open-minded and brave enough to embrace the evolution that social media has brought to their careers.

“Scandal is good for business, whether good or bad. How an artist uses the fallout from a scandal determines their growth and success in the industry.

“I am personally respectful to Ohangla legends who came before me. It is through their music that we the younger generation are inspired to take Ohangla music to the next level,” he says.

MacAjudo does not shy away from online spats and has publicly criticised other producers he claims are copying content. But in an interview with Tony Nyadundo, the hit-maker accuses the new artistes of ruining the industry.

“The new generation of Ohangla artistes do not know what we went through to make Ohangla what it is today. They take this serious career for a ride. Unfortunately, some of them think it is a space for meeting women,” he says.

Sexual favours

A popular Ohanga artiste, who asked not to be named, claimed that in most cases, it is the fans who try to seduce them. He admits that sexual favours are rife in the industry.

According to the artiste, some musicians also take advantage of fans and use them to start online fights to increase social media visibility.

But Rooney Ochieng, known in the industry as Papa T, has a different take on the scandals rocking Ohangla. “There is a scandal that naturally comes with being famous as an artiste, but some are scripted to intentionally tarnish reputations and businesses,” he says.

Anton Ochieng, popularly known as Tony Ndiema, believes the new generation of artistes has injected fresh life into the industry. Gordon Onguru admits that sex has contributed to the industry’s growth.

Musa Jakadalla, another popular Ohangla artiste, said that sexual conduct depends on one’s character.


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