Is Rapper Kanambo Dede the New Kenyan Storytelling Rap Queen?

There are many things you can learn from rapper Kanambo Dede, the new talk of town. One of them has to be how to tell stories, and ghetto narratives for that matter.


I grew up listening to Genge music. Mejja and Juacali were toping the charts those days. Needless to say, storytelling was the backbone of everyone’s music. Nowadays great beats and a magnetic danceable beat are all people need.


Kenyan fast rising rapper has shown once again storytelling is an artist tool to message delivery. The young rapper who was a Tik Tok sensation after her video ‘freestyling’ went viral in January, released a song on February 4, 2021. Kanambo Dede, who has been signed by Kaka Empire was first brought to the limelight by Kasarani based content creator Kasa Boss.

I have carefully listened to her song ‘Walahi.’ The song tells a story of a teenager who got pregnant while still schooling. Her storytelling technique is top-notch or what some people in the writing industry call ‘pure gold.’ She left school to stay with a friend who didn’t know the ‘art of exiling’ her when the boyfriend is around. It happened that the friend left her with the stranger and as cards played, she got pregnant. She had to go back to her mother who let her in.


Kanambo Dede tells a Kenyan narrative the way it is. With the current situation whereby Kenya is crippled with issues of high pregnancies, it is high time Gengetone artists used their talents to highlight such issues affecting the society.


The music video did not have drugs, twerking or whatever the Gengetone artists use to share their messages.


The likes of Kanambo Dede, Nikita Kering, Maya Amolo and Ngarae are the future of the Kenyan music scene. And while the Kenyan audience is so diverse, traditional tools like storytelling are important in music. Thus, Gengetone artists should pick a lesson or two from Kanambo Dede.

And for content creators supporting uprising talents like Kasa Boss, special shout out to you. The world needs people like you to bridge the gap between the mainstream media and the artists.

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