Ayub Ogada ~ 'Obiero'





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Uploaded on Jul 14, 2011

"'For my brother Eric--Your Spirit inspires me to dare."

A unique version of this song, from the album Plus From Us (Real World Studios, 1993) ~ http://youtu.be/B0eNAjHE2Ts

En Mane Kuoyo (Just Sand) [album version] ~ https://youtu.be/cF1cLgq922w
African Angels [compilation version] ~ https://youtu.be/qMyKA5mUhHc
Live version [with Nederlands Blazers Ensemble] ~ https://youtu.be/p6PHuZ8cvCI

LYRICS and EXPLANATION ~ courtesy of +John Lawrence


Lai lala lai lai Mamaa weueeeee lololololoooo loloeee
Lai lala lai lai Mamaa weueeeee lololololoooo loloeee

Obiero wa yuagoi e dala baba
Obiero wanto wan wayuogoi e dala e babaee
Nyithindo onego ni gwen yaye rembgi to chwer
Nyithindo onego ni gwen baba ero rembgi to chwer

Obila to luwi ga gi bunde to ok-idew
Obila luwi ga gi bunde to ok-idew baba

Ondiegi aboro ero oluwo ni ndara nene rabet baba
Ondiege aboro ero oluwo ni ndara nene rabet mama ooyee baba hoyeee ahuoyeee baba hoyeee


We here at home mourn you Obiero
The Children have slaughtered chicken in your respect

The Armed Police Officers came after you but you did not care
A total of eight hyenas came on the same route as you the brave one

Repeat the fade


When I interviewed Ayub last year he told me that he composed Obiero in respect to his brother who was murdered by cops in South B estate, Nairobi during their childhood. Obiero, his brother, was a heavily built brave young man (rabet) who had no fear for anyone or anything. Many a time heavily armed cops hunted him down after he refused to bribe them.

Ayub narrated that his brother used to run a Matatu (PSV) business in Nairobi but he was murdered in cold blood by cowards who were simply after the departed's wealth.


Ayub Ogada is a musician, and one of the Luo people of Western Kenya. He was born in Mombasa. He performs on the traditional east African stringed lyre, the nyatiti, and is a highly accomplished djembe player.

Ogada was approached and asked to play at Peter Gabriel's WOMAD festival. In 1993, he was invited to Gabriel's Real World Studios, where he recorded his first album, En Mane Kuoyo (Just Sand). He continues to tour extensively with WOMAD.

Ogada co-founded the African Heritage Band in 1979 and played kit drums, bass and percussion for many years before departing for London, England, where he initially occasionally busked London streets, singing accompanied by nyatiti and leg rattle or ankle bells.


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