18-05-2017 by redazione
Kenyans have chosen "Stella Wangu" the most beautiful love song ever in Kenya.
Nothing to do, either musically or poetically with the eternal Malaika (which for real does not yet know whether it is a traditional Tanzanian piece or actually written by Canadian songwriter Fadhili Williams) would be a bit like voting "I love you "By Umberto Tozzi instead of" The Sky in a Room "by Gino Paoli.
But love songs often have an emotional strength that has little to do with accords and harmonies, because they often arise from true stories, from moody feelings to the skin of the composer and almost always talk about abandonment, Defeated if not forgiveness or betrayal.
This is the case of "Star Wangu" whose story has keenly keen on at least three generations.
The song, a classic example of rhumba, Central African ballable rhythm that has evolved in the regions around Lake Victoria, was written by singer and guitarist Freshley Mwamburi, a musician born and raised on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, in the province of Taita Taveta.
We are in the eighties, Freshley was in love with a girl named Stellah, known to the superiors. At that time he played in a group that was called almost ironic "Everest Kings".
The musician and the student had a short love story, then she decided to leave and move to Nairobi, where she was engaged to another Kenyan.
The broken heart for the beautiful girlfriend inspired Mwamburi what would become the first real Kenyan hit. The song became a hymn, landed on all national radio stations and also came to Tanzania's and Uganda's ears and shops.
There was no group of rhumba that in the moment of the live evening did not sound "Stella wangu", the song of the lovers.
The ballad then gained a legacy when Freshley, who became leader of Les Wanjika, one of the most popular bands in all of East Africa, told all the backgrounds of that song, the true story of a platonic love that lasted more than Ten years and ended on May 17, 1992, exactly 25 years ago.
Before that were years of letters, phone calls, hopes.
Stellah left her boyfriend to move to study in Japan, and Freshley at the peak of success, never wanted to miss her affection and also decided to help her financially in her studies.
She wrote her dozens of passionate letters, but received in return only friendship and gratitude.
However, the musician never stopped dreaming that when he returned from the East, Stellah could decide to marry him. Freshley wrote other songs devoted to her, virtually her entire production.
On the day Stellah finally finished college, finally decided to return to Kenya, the eternal lover came to Nairobi Airport with his shoulder-guitar, ready to sing the song that made him famous everywhere.
But the scene that came before Mwamburi was absolutely unexpected.
From the plane of the plane along with her "Stellah", a child came down in a stroller and a Japanese boy. The girl recognized the musician and went to see him embracing him.
"He's my son - he candidly confided - and he is my husband, a college colleague known in Japan."
At that point, Freshley decided not to bring grudge (and how could he) but to change the text of "Stella Wangu" which simply became "Stellah", was engraved on a new record and told the whole story. A story that still has a lot of Kenyans ever, who even remembers on May 17 every year as "the day of Stellah's return".
Freshley Mwamburi is no longer talking about the story of Stellah, the song that in the meantime was engraved in afro, reggae and disco remix versions.
He leads a quiet life, performs in the Machakos area with his Everest Kings and every now and then receives some news from his old love, from the protagonist of the song of his life and that of many Kenyans.
by Freddie del Curatolo
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