A big event called the Nile Project will soon be happening at the beginning of 2013 to bring together the people of the Nile river. Obonako player Grandmaster Masese will be one of its musical guests.
The people of the Nile have been at loggerheads over who will have the right to use the waters of the longest fresh water river on the planet. Egyptians have been having exclusive use of the lake for generations but in the last decade there has been agitation from the countries down river. They have been looking to get a piece of the massive river and its goodies.
A new initiative initiative dubbed the Nile Project has been started to show the people in the river ecosystem that it is not just about who gets to use the waters. The project involves a cross cultural initiative that will see artists and other players from the region come together at the beginning of January. This will be a four week workshop as artists go through a two week residency to bring themselves up to scratch where the issues are concerned in Aswan Egypt.
The artists will then come up with messages that will help the cause of integration and reconciliation that will eventually lead to a performance at the Smithsonian Institute in the USA. For more information about this great initiative you want to visit www.nileproject.org.
Of interest are the Kenyan artists that include some big brands from here including Ayub Ogada and Makadem. The interesting one for me is the inclusion of young artist Grandmaster Masese whose real name is Dennis Duncan Mosiere.
I met the Grandmaster when I attended Kwani Open Mic when it was THE hot must attend ticket in the mid-2000s. He was this young man from Kisii who would play the harp from that region called the Obokano as he sang or recited poetry.
As work and other life commitments – family, career – got in the way of the other poets Masese kept at it and now he is getting his reward after paying his dues. He has been around the continent and been featured in many publications. It was only an opening like this he needed to announce himself to the continental stage. We congratulate The Grandmaster and hope to see him do even more.