In 2002, Kenya’s first major hip hop crew Kalamashaka were at the peak of their fame and creativity. With the popularity of their anthem ‘Ni wakati’ still intact, they took off to Sweden for a multi city tour. After twelve years, a lost mini-documentary about their first international tour resurfaces.
During the trip they also met up with Kenyan-Swedish mc/producer Ken Ring, who produced an entire album for them together with Ugandan crew Kaddo. The cd never saw the light of day, but one track they recorded during that trip, ‘Fanya Mambo’, go a lot of airplay back home and all across the continent as South Africa’s Channel O included the video in their programming – something unheard of at the time, as Kenyan videos generally were still sub-standard. At the time, we featured a photo report of the trip on Africanhiphop.com (sitting somewhere in our Archived site, which we will restore soon – currently the pics are not working).
Filmmaker Wanda Bendjelloul followed Kalamashaka as they were preparing in Kenya, and during the trip as they connected with Ken Ring – who was the bigger star in Sweden at that time. He got access to all areas to film what was to be a documentary. Instead the footage got lost until recently, and so it is that we can enjoy a peek into a defining moment in the history of African hip hop. Despite parts of the 22-minute doc being in Swedish, it makes for a highly enjoyable watch – click the video on top of this page to watch.