Hayawi – A True Definition of Talent

By Janet Kabue

Hayawi is a Kenyan band from Mathare, Nairobi, formed in 2013 under the Maji Mazuri Youth Group. Hayawi is an extended portmanteau for the Hayawi performing at a functionwords Having- Your- Answers-Within.

The band currently consists of Leader Singer/ Guitarist- Kevin Ajode, Percussionist/ Back-up Singer-Maxmillan Lukale, Keyboardist-Sam Odera, Vocalist-Maureen Edung (Kim) and Back-up Bass/ Spoken Word-George Oluoch.

The group released its debut record ‘My Drive in Life’ in 2014 and is currently recording their second ‘A Butterfly in War’ – preparing for its release later on in 2015. The group is on its early development stages but appeals both locally and internationally.

On the international platform, the group has worked with renowned artists such as Nelleke Nijhuis (the writer of the book- My Drive in Life) and locally, it is an inspiration to many talented youths in Mathare with most of them starting to embrace their talents in different areas i.e. singing, drawing, rapping, dancing, modeling, sports among others.

Hayawi performing at the groups meetingEarly 2013, fifteen members of the Maji Mazuri Youth Group decided to form a poetry group aimed at creating unity and as a firm foundation for everyone to discover their talents. After a few weeks, three members from the group decided to  form their own singing group. Rapidly, the three members (Kevin Ajode, Triza and Goerge Oluoch) came up with the name Hayawi. None of them had any idea that the group would become what it is today -an inspiration for most of the Maji Mazuri Youth Group members and Mathare. Hayawi, fresh from the roots, started by performing at the  Maji Mazuri Youth Group meeting on Sunday afternoons. At first, they faced multiple challenges and some of the members were not receptive of their new roles and the general idea.

Later on in 2013, the group took a hiatus  but decided to clutch on to their dreams. Within no time and after consulting some of the Maji Mazuri members, Kevin and George revived the group, stronger than ever before. The new members were Maxmillan Lukalu, Sam Odera and Maureen Edung (Kim). The new and thrilled Hayawi’s hard work would see the recording of their first hit ‘My Drive in Life’ – a top-ranked song in most of the Kenyan radio-stations. The reassuring aspect about the song is its objectives reflect Nelleke Nijhuis’ book also titled ‘My Drive in Life’. Both projects’ focus was on the life in Mathare encouraging the residents and other people in a similar situation to learn from life itself, build strength from challenges and stay motivated through inner motivational resources.

After the debut of their first song the group thought of making more music to help augment their influence to the society, Kenya and across borders. Hayawi's first record coverHowever, practice and recording have had rough patches as the members have unrelated commitments. Maureen the vocalist relocated to a different part of the country to pursue her career goals, Maxmillan is a high school student set to sit for his final exams soon and George is working most of time.

All the same, the group members’ determination has been the key constituent to their progress. Hayawi is set to release their second song ‘A Butterfly in War’ that supporters, around the globe, are waiting for eagerly. The record features Zuhura Wambui (Tess).

External Links
You can experience Hayawi’s breath-taking performances at a stage near and make sure you visit their official social media pages.
YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGtuDQd805s / HAYAWI- My Drive in Life
Facebook- Maji Mazuri Youth Group/ Hayawi
Twitter- @_Hayawi
Instagram- Hayawi

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