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The Mighty Cavaliers – Mapendo (LP)

35.00  inc. VAT

The Mapendo album of the Mighty Cavaliers is shrouded in mystery. If you look at the original cover of this very rare Kenyan funk-infused album all you will find are the names of the engineer and the producer, as EMI Kenya omitted the names of the musicians and the songwriters. Digging deeper a rather sinister story of deceit develops whereby Mapendo becomes symbolic for all what was wrong about the Kenyan record industry in the 1970s, and the music industry in Africa as a whole. As this maltreatment of artists proved endemic throughout the con]nent, although little talked about.

One of the three surviving members of the Mighty Cavaliers, bass player Bonnie Wanda – who started his career in 1971 with Gloria Africana – vividly remembers participating in the recording of the two albums the band made in 1976 and 1977 – Fisherman and Mapendo, and how they, especially on the last album, got short-changed by shrewd record label executives. In the 1960s it was mostly Indian and European record bosses that called the shots and usually gave musicians the chance of a one-off payment for their session time and recorded songs or wait for, hopefully, a generous royalty check. In most cases records didn’t sell more than a thousand copies with an occasional hit selling in the tens of thousands, so musicians were reluctant to register themselves with the Music Copyright Society of Kenya. Although without doing so one couldn’t receive royalties.

For two years the Mighty Cavaliers performed five nights a week at the Starlight Club for five hour sets.


A1. Wacha Maneno
A2. Baruwa Ya Soweto
A3. Africa Tuungane
A4. Mama Come Home
A5. Mapendo Mapendo

B1. Mambo Bado
B2. Wacha Tabia Mbaya
B3. Mimi Ni Wako
B4. Bring Your Love
B5. Nifanye Nini


African Music/Afrobeat/Afro Funk, Funk, Soul/Funk, World Music

Weight 0.5 kg


SKU: CR05224 Availability: Available on backorder