Nursery boy steals show at father’s street band

Chris Mwenyeji, the singer

The sight of a boy belting out tunes like an adult has been arresting the attention of many Nairobians along AgaKhan Walk.    

 Chris Mwenyeji, the singer, is only five years old. He accompanies his father Musa Munyalo, the founder of Wahenga Wenyeji band which entertains passersby using guitars and the harmonica.

Besides Chris, there is his nine-year-old sister, Esther. But it’s Chris who’s the star attraction. Musa who says he has been trying to make ends meet since clearing high school, said he was merely perfecting in born talent.

He told The Nairobian that he began singing at various spots in Nairobi

— including the Kenya National Theatre, Go Down Arts Centre and around Chester House tom popularise his band.

 “After some time, my daughter Esther started aping me, by trying to play guitar,” he said. “I realised the guitar often injured her fingers, which is what pushed me to train her. She picked the skill fast, mostly playing rhythm and bass. She started accompanying me once she had honed her guitar skills,” says Musa. Esther, is in CLass Five.

Musa adds: “Chris too took to music and started doing what his sister was doing One of his teacher’s told me the boy was too clever, and that he was and a good crammer. I had to coach him. Today he is our lead vocalist. In fact, since the first time he appeared on stage, the shows have shot up.”

Musa says this would not have been possible without his wife’s efforts. He says his wife has to prepare the children before they leave for their shows

— and during rehearsals at home.

On whether what he is doing is legal given the children’s age, Musa says: “I’m simply training and overseeing their talent. We don’t have any challenges operating from streets,” he said.

Chris sings about corruption, hard knocked life, leadership, drug abuse and problems facing society, while father and daughter play the instruments.

 The family goes home with between Sh1,000 and Sh1,500 on a good day, and depending on what time two youngsters leave school.

“They are among best students in class because they rehearse after classes,” said Musa. Owing to their ages, he only performs in alcohol free zones when not playing on the streets and for which he charges Sh50, 000 for a 40 minute session and between Sh30, 000 and 40,000 for weddings within and outside Nairobi.