Valentine's 2023: How Fadhili Williams Continues To Inspire Generations With Love Songs

[Image Source: Wall Street Journal]

Written By: Brian Sikulu

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Fadhili William is arguably one of the founding fathers of Zilizopendwa music. He is celebrated for his legendary songs that have trickled through generations and inspired many. The music icon is further popular for his activism and advocacy for the growth of local music.

The late singer and songwriter developed a passion and love for music in his childhood. He was born on November 11, 1938,  to the family of Halima Wughanga and Ramadhan Mwamburi. He drew motivation from his father who served as a traditional musician. Many years later, Fadhili Williams while a student at Shimo La Tewa secondary school made the tough decision to drop out of school in pursuit of his music career.

In the decades that followed, Fadhili Williams wrote and performed hundreds of songs. He dominated the airwaves and earned a huge fanbase within and beyond the borders of Kenya. He used his influence to not only educate society but also champion the growth of the local music industry. Around 1980, Fadhili Williams together with other musicians petitioned then-President Daniel Moi to protect the Kenyan music industry against domination by Foreign artists.

Fadhili Williams' songs touched the hearts of many. He had a unique approach to his songwriting. For him, music was not just a fictitious form of art, it was a way of bringing the past back to life. The majority of his songs were based on experiences that he had encountered. He had a special place in his heart for love songs which were mostly inspired by his encounters. Despite passing on in 2001, his music not only lives on but continues to inspire future generations. Here are some of the legendary love songs from the music star;



Fadhili Williams fell in love with a beautiful lady while at a government school in Pumwani. Unfortunately, the lady was married off to a rich older man as Fadhili could not afford the bride price. The singer wrote 'Malaika' as a consolation to the lady whose beauty could only be matched to that of an angel. The song has gone down in history books as one of the legendary Kenyan hit songs.

Taxi Driver

This masterpiece is also based on one of Fadhili Williams' real-life encounters. The singer had received an invitation from his lover in Nakuru. He promised to honor the innovation and consequently boarded a vehicle from Nairobi. Unfortunately, the vehicle got a puncture while in Naivasha. Afraid to break his promise, the singer hired a taxi car to finish his journey to Nakuru.

The song tells the struggle of a long-distance relationship and the commitment to honor a promise despite the challenges.

Alima Wangu

The song tells the story of a man who is helplessly in love with a beautiful lady called Alima. Unfortunately, Alima is in a relationship with another man. The singer pleads with the lady to consider his proposal despite the fact that she is in a relationship.

Nimewacha Wangu

This song presents the narration of a long-distance relationship. It outlines the sacrifices that one has to make while seeking a better life and at the same time remaining faithful to his partner. The persona in the song has to travel to hustle and leave his loved one behind.

Baby I Love You

In this song, Fadhili Williams breaks away from his signature Swahili songs into English. Through creatively tailored lyrics, he expresses his immense love for his partner. He further notes how a beautiful woman can easily break one's heart.

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