John Nzenze the king Twist Music in Kenya

You are Here: › John Nzenze

Those who enjoyed Kenyan music of 1970 can remember very well the likes of twist music in Kenya. The person behind this is non other than John Nzenze, though time has passed, he still performes and is still going strong.

John Amutabi Nzenze (born in 1940 in Muthurwa, Nairobi) is a musician from Kenya.

He has performed the twist dance style.Some of his most popular songs are Angelike (released in 1961),Julieta Rudi Tuone and Habari za Nairobi (Nairobi twist).

Nzenze went to St Peter’s primary school. He started playing with his father's guitar at the age of 12, but after learning how much time he spent playing it, his father sold the guitar.

After finishing the school, he worked at the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi.

At the time he teamed up with Daudi Kabaka, with whom he recorded three songs Masista, Bachelor Boy and Nyumba za Tobacco.

These songs were released by Jambo Records and became hits.

He has toured Japan, Britain and various East African countries. in 1968 he represented Kenya at All African Music Festival in Algeria, finishing third.

As a result, president Jomo Kenyatta feted him and his Air Fiesta Matata band, and Emperor Haile Selassie invited him to perform in Ethiopia.

Next year the band performed with Miles Davis in Germany, who was impressed with the band arranged them a tour to America.

In 1971, BBC World Service gave them a Best Band in Africa award Nzenze left his group in 1972, after which he went to perform regularly to tourists at the Panafric Hotel and later played at tourist ships.

As of 2009, he performs at the Westlife Club in Kakamega, and is still making music.He has also served as a board member of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya.

In 2009 he was among four pioneering Kenyan showbiz people given Head of State Commendation awards by president Mwai Kibaki.

Others were John Katana (band leader Them Mushrooms), David Ndung’u and Conrad Karukenya (aka Tiger Power).

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Recent Articles

  1. Garam Masala Appetizers ,How to Make Garam Masala,Kenya Cuisines

    Sep 21, 14 03:38 PM

    Garam Masala Appetizers are originally Indian food but of recent, many Kenyans use it. Therefore, on this site, we will guide you on how to make it easily.

    Read More

  2. The Details of the Baruuli-Banyara People and their Culture in Uganda

    Sep 03, 14 12:32 AM

    The Baruuli-Banyala are a people of Central Uganda who generally live near the Nile River-Lake Kyoga basin.

    Read More

  3. Guide to Nubi People and their Culture in Kenya and Uganda

    Sep 03, 14 12:24 AM

    The Nubians consist of seven non-Arab Muslim tribes which originated in the Nubia region, an area between Aswan in southern

    Read More