In 1965 he formed and started his music career with Victoria Boys band which later became known as Shirati Jazz. Shirati Jazz was to rule the Kenyan music scene and the larger eastern Africa for over four decades. Misiani sang about love, politics, social issues and religion. One of his most famous songs bwana won telo (Mr President), which was about Idi Amin Dada during the dictator’s reign of terror in Uganda.
Misiani prophesied to the dictator to look at the fates of the Pharaoh’s or even Haile Selassie and know that even his reign of terror will come to an end. Misiani was also famous and played a pivotal role in Kenya’s so called second liberation. He sang in praise of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, and later Raila Odinga. Misiani, together with Dr Colela Mazee were the undisputed giants of Luo Benga music.
His music was controversial because the lyrics were didactic and could be construed by different parties as critical. He was detained in Kenya severally for his political lyrics. His song Jokabim and Jokale (the baboons and Animals) was a critical appraisal of the failure and betrayal of the Kenyan people’s will by the Kibaki regime. Misiani died in a tragic road accident near Kisumu (his adopted city) on 17 May 2006, thus bringing to an end the life of one of the giants of African music, but his legacy still lives with us and his teaching continues to inspire millions. Read more on Last.fm.
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