Standard Digital Entertainment

Chalk and board was too boring, bengatronics is now my thing-Mwalimu Gregg Tendwa

By Shirley Genga | Wednesday, Jan 11th 2017 at 07:33

 Where have you performed?

We haven’t been performing regularly at a constant venue, though that is one of the things we intend to do this new year.

However, we have an impressive series of appearances at festivals across East Africa such as Doa Doa East Africa performing arts market (Jinja, Uganda), Afadhali Night (Arusha, Tanzania), Bayimba Festival of the Arts (Kampala, Uganda), Tour de Machakos closing party (Machakos, Kenya) [email protected] Bus Festival & Mardi Gras (Nairobi, Kenya) and Sondeka Festival (Nairobi, Kenya).

We plan to explore opportunities in southern Africa and in Zimbabwe where Kenyan benga music is interpreted as Kanindo or Sungura music.

 Do you have any single or album out?

We have not released any album or single yet. We wanted to first perfect the vibe then start to release material in 2017.

 Our debut album is still in the works. Follow bengatronics on social media and we will let you know where and when to find the music we have been working on.

 Tell us a little about yourself...

I was born into a family of seven siblings. I am the eighth child. I grew up in a Christian family.

 My dad was the choirmaster and I was the altar boy who also played drums for the church choir. If I wasn’t reading poems, I would be organising the school choir without a single understanding of musical chords or keys or notes!

If I was not writing plays, I would be mobilising social action through drama. However, when I was a teenager, I wanted to be a priest, but I dropped that idea somewhere along the way.

 Did you go to school to learn what you do or is it self-taught?

I am a self-taught musician. When you teach yourself, you never forget. I am also quite stubborn in the way I do things, so anyone who comes to teach me to be like them is pretty unwelcome, hence I have walked out of many classes.

Apart from bengatronics, what else do you do?

So many things.  I work at the Netherlands Embassy as a policy officer for culture, sports and development. Although I trained to be a high school teacher in university, I dropped the chalk and blackboard immediately after graduation to pursue social development through art, culture, technology and media. I am also the creative director at WiBO Culture Artcellerator, a dynamic collective of producers, artists and creative enthusiasts producing content that visualises a future Africa.

I co-direct art at the bus festival in Nairobi, Hatari voltage afro-eclectic party in Kampala.

I am the co-founder and regional director for Santuri East Africa, a music innovation outfit that connects East African content to the global music market.

I also consult for several development agencies and embassies on matters art, culture, applied technology and media for social change. 

 

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