3rd October 2023

This post will tell you a little about DebeDebe one of 3 legs without whom there would be no SampleBar Kenya.

DebeDebe, is a community-based organization, formed in 2012 by 4 great percussionists from Nairobi: Zahir Nathoo, Izow Anyanga, Charlo Tea and Mbutch Mjingoma. 

Debedebe works to protect and promote the art of live African drumming and percussion. To honour, preserve, and promote the music, the instruments, the sounds and the teachers of indigenous cultures in Kenya, East Africa, and the world.

Mbutch is the Kenyan partner who started the Samplebar Kenya project.

Mbutch had the opportunity to meet with the InteractionAction founders Hillevi Helm(CEO) and Dr Preben Wik( CTO) via a drum circle. This journey lead to meeting Hakan Lidbo the CEO of Libido Music AB who is the innovator of the interactive Samplebar music table. 

DebeDebe, InteractionAction and Libido applied and was granted funding from the Swedish Institute –  Creative Force initiative, and made the first Kenyan samplebar music table, representing the music of the 9 sub tribes of the Mijikenda from the coastal region of Kenya. This in turn led to the project of creating 8 new tables, representing the 8 regions of Kenya, in collaboration with Bomas of Kenya, which will be installed at Bomas of Kenya at the end of 2023. It is described in other posts here in this newspaper.

One of the co-founders of DebeDebe, Izow Anyanga is playing percussion instruments on the Nairobi Samplebar table, so you can say that the Kenyan SampleBar history begun and ends with DebeDebe.