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CELEB BUZZ: What happened to Elani?

Tuesday May 14 2019

Elani. They have dropped a number of hits including “Zuzu”, “Kookoo” and “Jana Usiku”. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

Elani. They have dropped a number of hits including “Zuzu”, “Kookoo” and “Jana Usiku”. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP  

PHILIP ETEMESI
By PHILIP ETEMESI
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I’d like to report a missing person….or is it missing people? One of them is a gentleman by the name Brian Chweya.

He was last seen wearing a suit. (I am not sure which colour). He was also standing between two ladies.

Another one is a bubbly lady called Maureen Kunga. She was last seen smiling. That’s all I know. There is a high chance she will still be smiling when you find her.

The third person is called Wambui aka Wambizzy. I don’t know what she was last seen wearing or doing but don’t worry, you’ll recognise her by her beautiful eyes when you see her.

If you happen to come across any of these people or their music, please report to the nearest deejay, radio presenter or fan. They are urgently needed. Kindly spread the message.

Seriously, what happened to Elani? Where are they? The once popular maestros of song have faded more than a jeans that was bought from a CBD stall. The good music that they were known for has become as extinct as a Wooly Mammoth. Elani have left a big void in the airwaves, and now that void is filled with songs such as “Taka Taka” and “Pandana.” Surely, what did we do to deserve this?

We need to figure out this Elani puzzle urgently. Investigations need to be done and documentaries need to be made.

Were they abducted by Mexican putas? Is a drug lord holding them somewhere in Acapulco and forcing them to sing Mariachi music for his own amusement? I can picture Brian with a guitar, wearing a sombrero and singing “El Patron….El Patron….La la la la!”

WE NEED THEM BACK

Someone send Liam Neeson to get them.

Or maybe they were captured by extra-terrestrial beings. They might be holed up at a prison for earthlings, somewhere in Jupiter. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) should negotiate with the humanoids from outer space so that they can return our dear Elani back in one piece. We need them back. We really do.

Jokes aside, what happened?

Elani haven’t had a major hit in a very long time. Several months ago, they shocked us all when they released “Mahindi,” a song that caused even the most devoted of fans to cringe. You can tell an artiste has reached the elastic limit of their desperation when they release a song called “Mahindi.” It shows they are angry….and hungry. Maybe eat first before going to studio?

In their prime, Elani were untouchable. They were my favorite group by a mile. I never liked Sauti Sol at that time. I knew Elani would become the biggest superstars in Africa very soon. They were dropping hit after hit. “Zuzu”, “Kookoo”, “Jana Usiku”, you name it.  It’s like they were always speaking to us, saying “Are you guys done listening to that? No? Doesn’t matter. Here’s another one. Enjoy!”

At the height of their powers, the group could have gone in any creative direction that their hearts desired and we would have applauded. They could have literally recorded themselves just pronouncing letters of the alphabet and it would be a hit. It would be a song so big, catapulting them into even higher stratospheres of fame. It would have even made them eligible for knighthood and sainthood.

Sadly, they regressed. We can assume that lack of funds and poor management led them here.  They once admitted that they were very broke. Lack of money caused them to employ an unusual assortment of strategies to get some cash. They once tried to arm-twist MCSK. It didn’t work. They, later on, tried to sell a newly released single only for 30 bob too. Hood people would call this kupima watu.

Kenyans can’t buy music in that manner. Even an extremely wealthy Kenyan would rather throw 30 bob out of the window than use it to buy music.

Did Elani ever have a growth plan? I ask this because I never saw a  a super manager hanging around them. . They just sang and in every competitive music industry, singing alone is not enough.

Lately, they seem to have given up, which is sad. The good thing is that all the three members have second careers to fall back to. It’s not music or nothing. The disadvantage of having a choice is that you are never really motivated to fight for the main thing. When it doesn’t work out, you simply fall back to Plan B.

It’s sad that Elani have faded. But given that there’s not much we can do about it, it’s time we accepted it.

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