Ben Githae Revisits Creation of ‘Tano Tena’, Says He Shouldn’t be Blamed for Government’s Failures
27 April 2021
[Photo Credit: Ben Githae Instagram]
By Lydia M Joshua
‘Tano Tena’ is a defining anthem for the Jubilee government and its supporters. The political song which was composed by Ben Githae was monumental in Jubilee retaining leadership during the 2018 presidential campaigns.
Over the past few weeks, ‘Tano Tena’ and ‘Ben Githae’ have been trending on social media as netizens redirect their frustrations on the current governance to the musician and his viral hit.
Speaking to Bonga na Jalas on Tuesday, Ben Githae revisited the creation of ‘Tano Tena’, noting that the song was motivated by ‘Mambo Yabadilika’ the official campaign song for the opposition then.
“Sasa ikafika hapo 2014…2016 Wacha NASA ikuje na moto, zile nyimbo za ‘Naona mambo yakibadilika’ ‘Raila Tibim Tibim’ nikaona hawa watu watapelekwa nyumbani, hawa wataenda nyumbani, mambo yatabadilika. Napenda hiyo song sana ikiwa kwa church, sasa ikiwa kwa siasa nikisikia, itabadilika Uhuru aende nyumbani, nikasema atapeleka nani nyumbani? Hakuna kitu inabadilika, mambo hayabadiliki,” he explained hilariously to Jalas.
Expounding on the birth of the song, Ben noted that he had visited Dede Records to record a single for his upcoming album. During a recording session, he presented the idea to Dede and sang part of the lyrics that are popular today in ‘Tano Tena’.
“So nilipoenda Dede Records kufanya album ingine, those days tulikuwa bado tunafanya albums, nikaimba hiyo song nilikuwa nimeenda kufanya inaitwa roho ya wivu, nilipoenda kufanya hiyo song nikaambia Dede, skiza song nikonayo hapa ‘Nina sababu nyingi kupigia kura Jubilee Party, wakenya twasema Uhururuto tano tena’ hapo ni 2017 hapo,” he said.
To his surprise, Dede approved the song immediately and encouraged him to forgo his earlier jam and instead record ‘Tano Tena. After recording they called the visuals director from Charming Media called Kyallo who organized for the video shoot the next day.
“Tukampigia tukamwambia ebu skiza ngoma iko hapa akaniambia hii song nikubwa. Akaniambia kesho by 6 am tunaishoot nimetafuta wamama kama thelathini wakuje hapo na vitambulisho na manguo za jubilee,” he expounded.
Signs that the song would be a success were evident during the music video shoot, when fans of Jubilee, who were not part of the cast joined them and appeared in the music video. On its first day, ‘Tano Tena’ trended on YouTube at number one, setting precedence for the success that the song would bring to Jubilee party.
“Tukafanya hiyo song, hiyo siku kwa trending, ile song ilikuwa namba moja sikumbuki ni gani lakini ni ya Sauti Sol, kueka hii YouTube ikawa ndio inatrend number moja,”he added.
As to whether he bears any liability for the current economic and social political atmosphere, Ben maintained his innocence, encouraging those blaming him to blame themselves.