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Country Kenya Genres fusion roots traditional Website Festival Sauti za Busara 2007 Recordings
Osuga (Ketebul Production, 2006)
Olith Ratego was born in Asere Ugenya, Siaya District, Kenya. His interest in music was awakened by his mother, who was a singer of "dodo", a traditional style of Luo music. On occasion, she used to perform for dignitaries, even including the then president of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
As a young boy, Olith would listen and sing along to songs by Miriam Makeba and Tshala Muana, much to the amazement of his listeners. In school, he often got in trouble for writing songs in class and was sent home severally in an attempt to stop him from the habit.
Unfortunately for Olith, his school life was cut short at class five, due to lack of school fees. At this point he put all his energies in trying to get his songs recorded. Realizing that he couldn't get his songs recorded, he painfully gave up on his singing dreams, and instead left for Nairobi for an apprenticeship in carpentry with his cousin.
In 2001 he heard an afro-fusion song that rekindled his singing passion. He then decided to record a song using his monies raised from the carpentry workshop, "Mamano Daa" was released and got massive airplay on local radio. In 2003, he curtain-raised for a show by King Kong in Siaya, which was enthusiastically received by the crowd. King Kong was impressed and offered to take him to Nairobi so that he could continue to perform alongside him. He was then able to raise enough money to release another single, "Aheri". It was while working with King Kong that he met Tabu Osusa, an avid afro-fusion producer, who later signed him on the Ketebul Productions stable and "Osuga" was born!With thanks to Alliance Française de Nairobi