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Singer wants to change Africa

Saturday July 26 2014

Daniel Benon is a singer with a mission: He wants to use his music to change Africa for the better. PHOTO/NATION

Daniel Benon is a singer with a mission: He wants to use his music to change Africa for the better. PHOTO/NATION 

SYLVANIA AMBANI
By SYLVANIA AMBANI
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Daniel Benon is a singer with a mission: He wants to use his music to change Africa for the better.

Born in Uganda, he came to Kenya in 2009 to pursue his music dream—and has since released two albums — One Love and Light in Africa.

He fuses the adungu, a traditional Ugandan music instrument, into his more modern Afro-fusion beat.

Benon says his love for Africa inspired his second album that features street children, some of whom he has taken under his wings to nurture their music talent.

He wants to build a home for the children, especially the street boys. He started out with seven boys in 2010, and now has 13  under his care.

At the same time, he has seen his music career blossom. He has toured several countries, including South Korea and the Netherlands.

FEW CHANCES

His role models are Kenyan stars Suzanna Owiyo, Eric Wainaina, and Sauti Sol.

“I feel the kind of music that these artistes produce, and the instrumentation tell a story.

“This is very important, it is something current artistes rarely do,” says.

Benon is the last born in a family of four. His music is a story of change and transformation in his life.

He was orphaned at a young age and was forced  to live at the mercy of his uncles, who, he says, did not treat him well.

He wants to show the world how a poor African child can overcome all odds to become someone of importance in society.

“I grew up with very few chances in my life, and I never wasted any of them. That is why I want to be an artiste who sees the value of music.”

Benon mostly lives off his live performances. He challenges fellow musicians to do music that will transcend generations, just like some great Kenyan musicians who have since passed away.

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