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The rise and rise of Fiesta Milele

They are young, vivacious and agile. Across the counties, they sing their hearts out at events. Their average age is 28. Brought together by a church choir festival three years ago, Fiesta Milele, is an all-male a cappella group.

Its members are steadfastly bound by love for music. But their love for the microphone and amity are not the only aspects that they flourish on.

Their talent has seen them transform to jacks of all trade; they not only sing but provide a complete entertainment package at events.

“Each of the group’s members – who are either vocalists, MCs or DJs – has over four years’ experience performing with renowned bands in the country,” says Bildad Thuku, the group’s co-ordinator.

With a blend of traditional folk and pop tunes from various communities across the country, Fiesta Milele believes in being unique.

“When we get on stage, our minds are usually fixed on giving our audience the best there is in matters entertainment,” says Kennedy Owidy, one of the group members.

As a cosmopolitan group, Fiesta Milele enjoys mixing songs from different ethnic groups in the country.

“Each one of us brings a tinge of freshness and uniqueness whenever we meet up,” says Bildad.

BLEND SONGS AND LANGUAGES

They have set their priority on being an all-inclusive entertainment group fit for any occasion, age group or event.

“We do not like confining our opportunities to the church or the young audience. We aim to entertain people from all age groups. To do this, we blend songs and languages that we use when performing.”

However, it was not all rosy starting up due to financial constraints. Bildad says that each member had to contribute resources to get the singing group on track.

They even once formed a self-help group to lease land for seasonal agribusiness.

From their savings, they raised Sh250,000 with which they bought sound and musical equipment, a big boost to their ambitions.

“It was never easy nor cheap to buy music equipment. We had to start from somewhere, and what better way to start off than from something many youths shy away from — agriculture,” says Bildad.

Shy about disclosing their investments, they insist that keeping up with the diverse technological world is key, and as part of technology, they use social media to market themselves.

The group of 11 singers, made up of university graduates and students, believes in hard work, patience and determination to succeed.

ENERGETIC PERFORMANCES

“Our aim is to satisfy our audience by churning out energetic performances. We believe in giving our best at any given opportunity,” says Bildad.

They also believe in nurturing talent among the youth who are interested in music. The group is now a favourite at weddings, birthdays, clubs and corporate events.

Their performances have brought good tidings as they have created business in their networks. Through referrals, they have managed to expand their network and clientele.

“Music pays our bills and has opened doors for us.”

When not singing, Fiesta Milele also bears the task of being the ambassadors of the Kids for Kids campaign, an initiative that mentors children to learn to save from a tender age.

“We seek to mentor kids to learn to save while we also foster church and society values,” says Bildad.

Like every other group, they have faced plenty of challenges, the biggest being clients who refuse to pay up after a performance.

“People want to be entertained,” says Kennedy. “But they are not willing to pay up for the entertainment. Music is also a profession which many don’t appreciate or take seriously.”

However, despite the challenges, the group is determined to soldier on. They have already released one album and are working on their second.

“Education has always been key to any door you want to open. And lack of employment should not deter one from exploring other ways to earn a living,” says Bildad.