Sunday music: Sauti Sol

 

Nairobi’s Sauti Sol featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition for a “sunny” but authentic appeal: “Native Sons Sing Straight to Kenya’s Youth”.

Here is “Blue Uniform”, video with lyrics, at Ghalfa.com.

At the Ghalfa Blog: “Sauti Sol is the Finest Kenyan Band to Walk the Earth:  Here’s Why”:

They have cross demographic appeal

Whether you are from the hilly valleys of Kakamega, or from the concrete jungle in Nairobi, Sauti Sol don’t leave you feeling alienated. Why? They sing in fluent English, Kiswahili and their native Luhya dialect. That’s a rare triple threat that you don’t get from many Nairobi bands, ESPECIALLY those from suburbia.

They have cross border appeal

These guys top charts from Kenya to the Netherlands. They also have mzungu fans screaming their name at international festivals such as South by South West in Austin, Texas. But don’t take my word for it, just take a look at the video . . . for their spellbinding performance of ‘Awinja’ at SXSW earlier this year . . .

 

 

Exciting Opportunity for American Somali and Swahili speakers

A reader called my attention to a  government program that might be a real benefit to some of you:

Do any readers speak Balochi, Dari, Pashto, Farsi, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, Mandarin, Swahili, Somali, Igbo, Hausa, or Turkish?  If so, the US government offers a great opportunity.

English for Heritage Language Speakers is government scholarship, like the Fulbright or the Boren, but specifically for Americans whose native language is not English.

The goal is to help advanced English learners become fluent enough to work for the U.S. Government.  The scholarship pays for a year of English courses at Georgetown University (complete with a stipend, laptop and health insurance) and helps you find a government job afterward.  Working for the government provides not only a secure job in a tough economy, but also a fulfilling, exciting way to contribute to society.  You can find more information at http://ehls.georgetown.edu/ or http://www.cal.org/ehls/, or just Google “English for Heritage Language Speakers.”

I’ve looked at the websites and this really does appear to be a great program that could provide the right person a major professional breakthrough.  Good luck!