Growing up in the grass field hills and valleys of Kom kingdom, West Africa, was an unforgettable experience for Wanaku. Perched at 4000+ ft above sea level, this region has a dense concentration of several unique Bantu tribes, each with specific cultural attributes. Artistic expression - music, dance, chants, costumes - were channels for self-expression and identity, by each tribe.
Like any curious kid, Wanaku experienced the length, width and depth of this artistic expression through events that were triggered by mostly weddings, funerals, initiations into various societies within the community, festivals (harvest, installations of personalities ...), competitive arts festivals between the tribes, and what some would simply call "the day to day life in the village".
This background gives Wanaku a unique perspective and consequent approach to performing, composing and/or writing new music. No wonder most of Wanaku's music is rhythmic, simple but intricate parts with typical call-response type vocals. With a traditional/ethnic rhythm section, writing lyrics for one song in multiple languages at the same time can be challenging. Wanaku succeeds at making this look easy with lyrics that float in and out of one or more of the following languages: English, Creole, Kom, Igbo, Swahili, Twi, and French.
Wanaku speaks English, French, West African Creole, Kom, and Igbo (Eastern Nigeria).
Looking beyond the release of "Indigenous People", Wanaku hopes to set up a framework to establish a Community College in the Kom tribal area with a population of 300,000 and no post-highschool educational institution. Young wo/men who graduate and cannot for some reason or other go out of the tribe for higher education, become stuck and unchallenged academically, mentally and intellectually. The consequences of wasted brain power can be devastating even at best. The goal of the framework is to seek and find solutions to this situation.
Drawing on a culturally rich past and passionate vision for the future, Wanaku lives in the moment. "The show must go on".
Indigenous People (2012), Bei Samoh-Tell the Truth (2010), AfrikanGuitarStrophy (2006), Save Afrika (2000), AfrikaWanda (1991)
Listen to Wanaku's Song of the Soul featuring Wanaku & SUNplugd in the AfrikanGuitarStrophy CD album on Northern Spirit Radio, Eau Claire, WI-USA