Obama in Kenya: Korogocho’s Ghetto Classics to thrill audience


Ghetto Classics during a practice session. Photo/COURTESY
Ghetto Classics during a practice session. Photo/COURTESY

In Summary

  • Citizen TV will be covering President Barack Obama's visit live.
  • Ghetto Classics works with children from disadvantaged families.
  • In the past, they have performed for Pope Francis and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Ghetto Classics, a musical group with over 300 children from Nairobi’s Korogocho slum, are all set for President Barack Obama’s visit to Kogelo on Monday.

In an advertisement on their social media pages, Ghetto Classics indicated that they will be performing with popular Kenyan musician Eric Wainaina.

“It’s going to be a busy week for Ghetto Classics… 20 members of the Ghetto Classics Orchesta will be travelling to Poland to perform at the Brave Festival conducted by JIMEK.

Also ReadTop photos of Obama in Kenya before he became U.S. President

“The rest of the orchestra will be travelling to Alego, Siaya County to perform with Eric Wainaina during the opening of the Sauti Kuu Foundation Resource, Culture and Sports Centre by the Auma Obama Foundation,” the post reads.

Under the Art of Music Foundation that was formed in 2009, Ghetto Classics works with children from disadvantaged families.

According to their website, art music is taught to the children to help them “realize their dreams and transform societies”.

Elizabeth Wamuni Njoroge, the foundation’s director and a classical music performer, is a notable figure in the Kenyan music industry.

A New York Times article describes her as an “indefatigable visionary for the power of classical music in Kenya”.

Back in Kogelo, preparations are in top gear with only a few hours to Obama’s arrival in the country.

There is a hive of activity at Dr. Auma Obama’s Sauti Kuu Sports and Recreational Center, where he will spend most of the day.

The nearby Kogelo Village Resort has also seen a rise in numbers occasioned by the former U.S. leader’s visit.

“Business has been low but his return has given businessmen the opportunity to visit and invest in Kogelo,” Mr. Nicholas Rajula, the proprietor of the resort said.

A few metres from the resort, similar scenes are evident at Mama Sarah Obama’s Safeguard Orphans and Widow’s Organization (SOWO) where final preparations are in earnest.

Executive Director Naomi Okech said they are ready to receive President Obama and are looking forward to interact with him albeit only for a short while.

By Rachel Ombaka and George Amolo

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