Fadhili William Mdawida leaves behind wives in Nairobi and New Jersey, 8 children and 9 grandchildren. After the Equator Sounds Studio closed up shop, Fadhili continued in a similar capacity in the s, working for the Nairobi offices of Phonogram PolyGram. In addition to his role as a talent scout, Fadhili also served as a session musician and arranger playing second guitar on many recordings. He learned by watching other musicians play but found it difficult to get his own teacher. Last updated September 7,
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It was a bitter sweet career for the man who enjoyed immense popularity in Kenya but spent much of his life fighting for recognition and royalties for Malaika from the international community. They also did an extensive tour of Uganda.
Blackart came to rely upon Fadhili’s knowledge and intuition of what might do well in the East African market. Guitarists, he said, were jealous and didn’t want to share their skills. Along with Guantanamera, Malaika is in the warm-up repertoire of nearly every hotel band on the continent.
By mid-January this year, Fadhili’s condition worsened again and he was once more admitted for hospital care. All his work was lost in a studio fire and nothing was ever released. Every Tuesday, they held auditions for new artists and materials.
In addition to his role as a talent scout, Fadhili also served as a session musician and arranger playing second guitar on many recordings. The group started out as a quartet with Fadhili as guitarist and leader along with string bass, trumpet, and drums.
One of the highlights of his stay in the US must have been Fadhili’s participation in the tour of Kenyan-based musicians, Samba Mapangala performing with John Ngereza and Les Wanyika. It was shortly after this that the studio was sold and the Jambo Boys were renamed Equator Sounds Band.
Fadhili William Mdawida leaves behind wives in Nairobi and New Jersey, 8 children and 9 grandchildren. His musical talent was readily apparent to his teacher who would sometimes turn the group over to him.
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The Nation and The Standard. Although Fadhili’s claim of authorship of the song is disputed among several Kenyans and Tanzanians, there is no argument that it is one of the best known songs throughout Africa. The following year, they added two more members and started performing on radio williwms Kenya Broadcasting Service. He stayed about a year before returning to East Africa.
Towards the end ofFadhili’s health began to deteriorate requiring three weeks in intensive hospital care for pneumonia in November. He leaves a lasting imprint in Kenya’s musical past and he leaves the world, Malaika. Later that same year, Fadhili returned to Kenya with his daughter.
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His songs and arrangements mix diverse elements from robust jazz chords to American country and western sounds, from walking baselines to Latin rumbas and South African kwela. Fadhili gradually worked his way into a position as Blackart’s assistant.
All those years in talent evaluation, producing, and engineering did not go to waste, however. By the mid-eighties, he was performing in international-class hotels in Kenya and Tanzania.
Following a five-year stint at Phonogram, Fadhili was invited to the United States as part of a government delegation. Born in Taita-Taveta, up-country from Kenya’s coast, Fadhili took up music in primary school joining the choir.
Fadhili was invited to perform on their Boston date, June 27th. But, apparently frustrated by his inability to make any great headway in either the local or international scenes from East Africa, Fadhili returned to the US in to pursue his musical ambitions.
He died three weeks later, newspaper accounts citing pneumonia as the cause of williwms.
But he must have been a quick study because he was soon recruited into Chem Chem Kids, his first group, by saxophonist Alexander Ayub. Fadhili was among the first in East Africa to use an electric guitar. While in the United States, Fadhili was preparing some studio recordings but even in this, he was thwarted. Various articles in Nairobi’s daily newspapers: In this period, Fadhili worked with most of the great musicians in and around Nairobi.