The Kenyan acapella foursome Red Acapella was featured on World Exposure this last Sunday, and if you know of anyone who doubts that extreme talent doesn’t come from anywhere but here, you can now justifiably tell that person to shut up. Red Acapella, consisting of Steve Munjal, Godfrey Lanogwa, Linus Onyango, and Yabadoo Kenya, create a deeply harmonic and dynamic vocal sound with occasional instrumental accompaniment. Their lyricism pertains to every day happenings in the society of their homeland and their deep African culture, great examples of which include two of their most well-known original tunes; “Ka Gava” and “Dereva”. However, what might be the most incredible aspect of this group is how they came to be.
In the 2007-08 Post-Election Violence in Kenya, these four men served as volunteers in the Kenya Red Cross Society. While serving, they felt the need to do even more than what the Red Cross was asking of them. After being placed in a Displaced People’s Camp, the four came together and began singing and dancing with the people currently staying there. As Steve put it: “They would forget their woes and tribal backgrounds at these times where they danced and sang together as Kenyans, and not as Kamba’s, Kalenjins, Kikuyu’s, or Luo’s.” They came up with the name Red Acapella due to the use of only their combined voices, as well as their involvement in the Red Cross. After this activity between the singers and the people persisted, they began to draw larger crowds and massive amounts of attention. Their faces were recognized in every IDP camp they visited, and they are quoted as saying that the people in the camps would beg them to stay and perform longer, for it momentarily helped them to escape to a happier place.
As the violence became less abundant in Kenya, Red Acapella continued to perform their musical message of peace and are now gaining national attention.
Links have been provided below for Red Acapella’s Facebook page, and their music video for “Ka Gava”:
Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VxyILH6qFw