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Nonini and Clemmo do not get the props and respect they deserve

July 29, 2020 at 13:05
Nonini and Clemmo do not get the props and respect they deserve

Nonini and Clemmo really are the OGs of the Kenyan entertainment industry but they rarely get the accolades and recognition they deserve. It really is a sad thing because even the genre they pioneered, Genge gets erroneously attributed to their colleague JuaCali.

Nonini is right about the dangers of being controversial in Kenya

You see, back in the day, before Genge existed, there were just a handful of styles. Ogopa DJs had Kapuka and Ukoo Flani/MauMau had hardcore hip-hop. Then Nonini and Clemmo crafted a sound that was unique to their neighbourhood, Calif.



Clemmo was the producer, the Dr Dre and Nonini was the Snoop Dogg of the style. He was the first out of the Calif records stable and he was doing rather well, putting out music that many Kenyans found inflammatory. And this was especially the case for the first song they put out:

Kenyans kept jamming to the track precisely for that reason: it was raw. It was exciting.


Nonini and Clemmo put out so many songs together before Nonini finally decided to move on from their working relationship and the stable which allowed the spotlight to shine on Jua Cali.

Nonini remembers the late Lady S 13 years after her tragic death! (Video)

Clemmo crafted the sound and feel of the genre that would influence the currently dominant Gengetone which has given a sound to Kenya’s Gen Z artists such as Ochungulo Family, Sailors Gang and Ethic Entertainment. It was Clemmo and Nonini who gave these artists a platform and voice and it was they who emboldened them and allowed them to have fun on their music.


Very few artists can say that they had an influence as great as Nonini’s on an entire generation and sound of music. Nonini was not even the most lyrical artist of his generation but he had a swag and he had a persona that made him a true superstar.

“Your actions will come back to haunt you!” Nonini strictly forewarns Gengetone artists (Video)

And granted, Nonini himself will be the first one to tell you that his music didn’t win him any ads and endorsement deals and this meant he had to really hustle to make money but the fact that his sound has a legacy speaks volumes.


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