The winners of last year’s Kakuma’s Got Talent competition, music category, have received a fully sponsored recording deal and are currently in studio at Ketebul Music in Nairobi. The competition happens anually at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, which hosts refugees and asylum seekers from South Sudan. The beneficiaries are G2S Family, a group of teenage musicians from the camp and Kevin Erupe aka Young Courageous (YC), a 15 year-old hiphop artist from the host community of Turkana. The group will record and album of five tracks during their two-week trip to Nairobi, as will YC.
The competition and the recording process is organized by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and supported by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and DanChurchAid (DCA). The funding organizations will also cover the distribution costs.
The contest, which happens in three editions annually was completed on 9 and 10 December last year at Morneau Chapel Girls Secondary school hall in Kakuma Refugee Camp.
Among the winners is also a theatre group, YAFBG, which is touring theatres and TV and film sets as well as interacting with Nairobi actors. The dancers, a troupe called Ghost Riderz are taking dance classes with established dancers and choreographers.
Speaking to Music In Africa, YC, a solo artist who has been singing for five years said this opportunity gives them the limelight necessary to transition from underground artists to the mainstream music market. He said that though there are lots of talented musicians who are stars in the refugee camp in Kakuma, just getting by is hard for them they don’t get the opportunity to be heard and known by the rest of the country.
The Class Eight student said the producers at Ketebul Music understood his style and he is happy with the tracks he composed and recorded. The teenage artist, who has in the past captivated crowds with his confident performances, says he intends to balance school and music, because music is an important part of his life.
“I have written songs since I was nine. I used to turn folk songs into rap music. I was inspired by Tupac and I go out of my way to attend concerts not just in the Northern Kenya area where Kakuma lies, but also in Nairobi. I have performed at concerts held by Octopizzo, Juliani and Kenzo. I have also received a lot of support from Willy M Tuva,” he says.
Kakuma’s Got Talent aims to discover and expose creative talent among the refugee community and artistic training is provided by Blink Media Kenya.
Watch the story of Young Courageous in this video: