feed the addiction: TP OK Jazz, Expat Wives and other things.

Please take a minute to read and listen to an amazing post on and set of tracks track Franco and the history of his TP OK Jazz in the “Age of Authenticité” over at Likembe.

On an unrelated note, for an inside glimpse at an alternate view of life in Kenya, make sure you take a second to check out the blog Africa Expat Wives Club as well that has an very interesting post on Kenya Cowboy’s kid stereotypes up right now.

One last item: we finally made Time Magazine.

AfriGadget: 50 best sites of 2008

AfriGadget, one of the other places where I blog finally got a mention on Time in a list of the 50 best sites of 2008.

While we have been featured multiple online fora like BoingBoing and have a regular segment on the BBC, this is still quite a treat.

Discuss - 26 Comments

  1. Some Guy says:

    Thanks for the Likembe link.

  2. Mutunga says:

    The cultural impact of Authenticité affected me profoundly. When I was in Class 4, my great History teacher, Mr James Mbiti, used to talk to us passionately about Mobutu Sese Seko and his long list of African names. As a result, I actually dropped my Christian name throughout my school and university days. I only resumed using it while taking a second degree in England. Thanks for the link to those great Franco’s tracks, some of which are new to me.

    … Was Ngugi Wa Thiong’o influenced by Authenticité when he stopped calling himself “James”?

  3. Lydia M says:

    I also enjoyed the link, Thanks. I love Azda and had been listening to it faithfully for the past 2 weeks and it as nice to see it on the list. It was interesting to realize that what sounds like a passionate love song is actually an ad for a VW beetle and its dealership….. Just like Savon Omo by Tabu ley was an ad for Omo detergent ….. who grew up in the 70’s and doesn’t have that embedded in their memories? These musicians must be geniuses to make even ads sound like passionate songs of love!

    Your comment reminded me of many a discussion I’ve had about what is a “Christian name”. I remember when I was younger and a friend told me that a priest had refused to baptize her niece “Wanjiku” and told her mother to get a Christian name. The mother came back with “Sally” and the girl got her baptism. That is what started the discussion I’ve had many a time.

  4. Mutunga says:


    I happen to know one AIC pastor who happily chose “William” as his baptism name but was very disappointed when he couldn’t find it in the Bible. I very conscientiously chose “Stephen” as my Christian name, based on the story of the first Christian martyr (Acts 7). In the days when I was 100% idealistic, I believed that “Truth” was everything. Later, my college chaplain (baptism name “Trevor”) convinced me that in life it’s better to find a balance between “Love” and “Truth” (even in court!)
    Our early missionaries didn’t help us make the distinction between “European” name and “Christian” name. Today, I see no good reason why a Christian can’t be baptised “Lwanga” or “Kizito”. And perhaps we could add “Mandela” to the list. But maybe the clergy have other ideas …

  5. Lydia says:


    I think thankfully many would agree with you in these times. I sometimes wonder if the missionaries themselves knew the difference between European and Biblical names (to me just regional names for the area in which the Bible is based, like Kikuyu, Kamba, Luo etc names would be found in their respective regions).
    I think its one thing to choose a name on the basis of something you know and appreciate and respect about a character and quite another because you believe it to be Christian, Islamic etc.
    As for the clergy, I hope they are seeing the light….

  6. Mutunga says:

    @Lydia M,

    I bet you know it – that Lydia was one of the first Christians ever. Her story is told in Acts 16: 14-15; 40, so you’ve got a great Christian name! It’s very popular in Ukambani where I was born, though it is usually pronounced as “Litia”.

  7. Lydia M says:


    I had a feeling you might be able to tell me about my name! Yes, Litia is exactly how my grandparents and my relatives in Ukambani called me though my grandmother would more often call me Lilia. In my younger years I was curious enough to read up on it, I mean Ndunge was easy to figure out but I had to go to the book to find out the Lydia business. I never did ask my parents if they gave the name for its meaning or maybe like in most cases they just liked the sound of it.
    But now I spend my time explaining to my own kids why it is that they don’t have “Christian” names, like most people they know. Interesting.

  8. Esororo says:

    @ Mutunga & Lydia

    Interesting you guys are talking about Christians names. This past Sunday, Fathers days we had a long talk about it because some of my friends refuse to call my kids by their Christian names they go by their african name. So, my kids were on me why they do that. It is not that they don’t like their African names, their friends are surprised when they (my kids) respond to my friends calling them.
    This reminds me of secondary school days, whenever my friends came to visit they will ask for me by my Christian name and no one knew who they were asking for apart from my family.

    Here is an artical on the Stardand some weeks back.

  9. Lydia M says:


    Thanks for the article. I read the Standard almost everyday but I missed that one.
    I remember those days when people had “home names” to be used at home and with relatives and then “Christian names” for school, work the general outside world. I am glad that more people are considering our own names worthy for all the time use, and at the same time recognizing that the faith you practice cannot be tied to having a certain type of name.
    Often young people who didn’t have “Christian” names in were made to feel quite deficient esp in school and sometimes they bandikad one to correct the percieved deficiency.

  10. Lydia M says:

    I don’t know if Steve has ever posted this link from likembe before but I found some good music here including Ateka which I love.


  11. William Bain says:

    Note for Steve:

    Just caught your reference to me (May 10, I think). Please e-mail me with your co-ordinates, so that we can talk one way or another – I think that you now have the Franco track in question – since I sent it to another of your readers, who I think has made it available. However, I have a lot of other music that may interest you – it is just a question of how you can see what I have, and then download whatever may be of interest to you. Very best wishes, and thanks for what you are doing to promote musique à faire danser même les squelettes (dixit Dr. Nico, I believe).

  12. tim says:

    Hi Steve,

    Glad to see Afrigadget getting the recognition it deserves from such an authoritative voice as Time magazine and thanks for pointing me at the African Expat Wives Club blog.

    I’ve just set up a website devoted to East African 45rpm singles that’s an attempt at cataloguing the incredible variety of music available in Kenya and Tanzania, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s.

    So far I have 1,200 singles in the discography but I’m sure you and your many readers will be able to add plenty more.

    The site is at http://www.kentanzavinyl.com if you want to link to it.



  13. Mutunga says:

    @Lydia M.

    I simply couldn’t resist sending you the link to this hit by Joseph Mutaiti . Enjoy!

  14. Lydia M says:

    @ Mutunga
    Thank you! I like very much!

  15. Esororo says:

    @ Muntunga & Everyone

    Can you please get the lyrics and translation for this track for me. I have had this track for years and did not know the name untill this Friday. My lady fall in love with it since. Now with your help guys, I can score big if I get the lyrics. I hope the song is about something good. HELP…..

    Pres-Du-Coeur – Pepe-Kalle


    Thanks Steve.. You made it possible…

    Thank you all.

  16. Lydia M says:

    I listened to Pres-Du-Coeur … beautiful…. I used to hear it a long time ago, I’m glad you have brought it back out with a name. Hope our resident translator :-) Mutunga or someone else can help out. The power of internet translations tells me the title means Near of heart so at least we know it’s not about a VW or soap!

  17. Josephine says:

    Hi everyone,
    I know I’m totally AWOL but with the Euro 2008, marking the exams and getting ready to go home in two weeks time, the most I do is read your very interesting talk here.
    I read about “Christian names, and i know i have lots of things to say about this. First anecdote, right here at Steve’s blog, initially, I was signing in as Ayiera, my luhya name, and everyone kept taking me for a dude, that’s why I switched to Josephine. i’ve toeyd with the idea of doing what some friends of mine did. They went to get an affidavit getting rid of the “msungu” name, and so officially have only their Kenya names.
    i think we former Brit colonies were truly brainwashed. Here in France, all west Africans have African names. Including third generation kids. Plus 90% of their kids speak an African language. I’m ashamed to say as a language teacher, I’ve only just managed to teach some rudimentary English to my kids!
    @Esororos, we’ll have to wait for Mutunga to get here and translate Près-de Coeur cos it’s all in Lingala except the title which translates to close to/near the heart.

  18. Mutunga says:


    I’m off broadband right now but I’ll get the track first thing tomorrow morning. It will be a long day for me – I’ll probably conduct over 30 “vivas” (oral exams) but I’ll listen to the track and give you the lyrics and translation as soon as I can.

  19. Josephine says:

    Mutunga bon courage with the orals! I’m marking the baccalauréat..nimesahihisha mpaka can’t mark no more.
    Lemmi wish the Azzuri good luck, but very grudgingly. I have very old scores to settle with them tangu the Zizou-Materrazzi days and you can be sure that I’ll be rooting for the Iberian matadors:)

  20. Mutunga says:


    I’m marking too. Down to the last 70 translations and then I’m done.
    Italian journalists seem to “play” more football than the eleven men in the field so you can imagine the “commedia dell’arte” that Italian TV turns into whenever the “Azzurri” play … Whenever they lose, it’s allegedly the referees fault etc.

  21. Mutunga says:


    Here’s the translation of Pepe Kalle’s Près du coeur. The narrator in this love song is a Zairean soldier who has fallen in love with a Ruandese woman. He’s just about to go back to his home town and he tries to reassure the Love of his life that they will meet again as they promised each other.
    Près du coeur mixes French words with the Lingala lyrics, a typical feature of Congolese music which can be taxing for the listener. I did this rather hurriedly, after a busy day at work, but I can always go back and improve the translation. Parts marked […] show one or two fragments I can’t hear. I’ll complete the missing bits once I “catch the word”. The last bit (from 6.33 onwards) is in some language I can’t identify (Kinyaruanda?), mixed with French. Enjoy …

  22. Esororo says:


    Thank you for the translation. Your efforts are highly appreciated. I always wanted to know what the song was all about.
    The French words mix with Lingala is understandable due to the French influence in the region. Thanks again sir…

  23. Joji says:

    Neno ni moja : shukrani tu kwenu ninyi nyote.

    Appreciate the Lingala-French translations. Melesi mingi!

  24. How long do you spend a day coming up with stuff like this?

  25. - … says:

    […] also do a couple of other things that I find interesting. One of these is writing for a blog named AfriGadget with Paula, Frerieke, Hash, Afromusing, and JKE, a group of 5 very interesting, very cool […]

  26. […] I do a couple of other things that I find interesting. One of these is writing for a blog named AfriGadget with Paula, Frerieke, Hash, Afromusing, and JKE, a group of 5 very interesting, very cool […]

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