NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – She says she is the first female in the world to play the Nyatiti, a Luo musical instrument, traditionally only played by men in the community.
Born and brought up in Tokyo, Japan, Mukoyama Eriko does not only perform with the Nyatiti in different parts of the world, but has even adopted a Luo name, ‘Anyango’ as a her stage name.
Most of the time, she performs Luo traditional songs since she can speak fluent Luo, something I confirm when they engage in a conversation with her manager as I set up for the interview.
Anyango, as she now prefers to be called, also performs in Swahili, which she also speaks fluently, and other local languages.
But how does a Japanese leave her country and decides to exhibit her musical talent in an African way, and Kenyan to be specific?
In 2003, Anyango saw a Japanese band at an African music festival in Japan perform a Mijikenda song and just their sound, blew her away. She later joined the band and immersed herself with Kenyan and other African music.
In our seventh episode of Respect The Hustle, Anyango tells us more how she fell in love with Nyatiti (after seeing it for the first time at the National museum in 2004), spend 11 months at the house of the Nyatiti master, Okumu Orengo in Alego-Karapul, Siaya County and her experience in now thriving music career.