SARABI, A hope for clean hopes.
In 2008, Mandela, the charismatic lead singer of Sarabi was arrested and jailed because of his activism and opinions on justice and governance in Kenya.
The slum rooted band which for years, have been a voice that resonates throughout by expressing social malaise and taking up actions to empower populations of slums through their songs with powerful lyrics and educational programs, has suffered many struggles. For example, many of its members, who were raised in a broken home; street survival; no parent or guidance; crime and police brutality; began to perform music, in spite of not being able to afford a instrument for themselves, while never losing hope.
They live in poverty, wear rag clothes but are full of good ambition. ‘We don’t need new clothes, we need clean clothes’ says their lead singer – Mandela. Which explains also their choice to compose and sing serious songs themed around social consciousness, human conditions, unity, and brotherhood.
Sarabi which means ‘The Mirage’ has become a well known band echoing beyond East Africa. The band has performed in Sauti Za Busara – the Annual Music festival in Zanzibar, known for it’s multicultural audience; one of the biggest in East Africa. While in pursuit for global appeal, Sarabi has recently performed at the Africa Oye Festival in Liverpool – England ; Roskilde Festival in Denmark ; and WOMEX (World Music Expo) in Hungary ALL in 2015. This was their first important step to international recognition.
Their rhythm is composed of Afrofusion, African rock and a hint of pure indigenous reggae, which makes for an original recipe of heart-filling melodies that cures souls and get fans engaged into social matters.
On the stage, when performing, they are engaging and fully present. One can feel them giving their all, sharing their soul and energy until the fans completely get absorb by their undivided theatrical performance.
A film portraying the philosophy, history and fight-for-justice of the most enthralling band in Kenya, which continues to build a bridge between all different social classes with their music and inspires a population living in abject poverty.
‘Music Is Our Weapon’ is a metaphorical journey of a young vibrant band that never ceases to believe that music is a weapon of CHANGE.