Monday, September 21, 2015

Five Videos Of The Kenyan Female Quartet "Gargar"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents five videos of the Kenyan female quartet Garar.
Information about this musical group is also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Gargar for their musical legacy. Thanks also to the publishers of these examples on YouTube, and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

"Gargar (formerly known as Bismillahi Gargar) is a group made up of Kenyan women of Somali origin from Garissa, North Eastern Kenya.The group’s name is derived from the Somali word ‘Gargar’ meaning ‘joining together’.

Gargar is part of the larger women’s self empowerment group from Garissa, called Bismillahi Gargar which was formed in 2003 with the purpose of reminding people of their traditional culture, and empower women in the community through music, basketry and weaving and other economical activities.

Gargar came to the limelight in 2008, as one of the 11 finalists in the Spotlight on Kenyan Music programme. Their AIDS awarness song titled ‘Aids Wadila’ (Aids Kills) was featured in the Spotlight on Kenyan Music Vol 4 compilation CD released in the same year...

Their music features songs that are uniquely traditional and in keeping with Somali language and sounds, yet arranged and recorded with modern instrumentation and arrangements to keep it relevant to the present day.

Since the launch of Garissa Express CD, the profile of this once marginalized group has been elevated transforming Gargar into one of the most sought after bands in the East African festivals circuit...

In 2011, Gargar reached another milestone in their career when they were nominated as the Best Group in the Afro Fusion category at the premier East African Music Awards.

The following year in 2012, yet another of their songs from their Garissa Express CD titled Shicir was selected and featured in the Spotlight On Kenyan Music Vol 5 compilation CD that focused on music from Northern Kenya."

These examples are given in chronological order according to their publishing dates on YouTube with the oldest dated example given first.

If you know what these songs mean, please add that information in the comment section. Thanks!

Example #1: Gargar - Auditioning for Spotlight on Kenyan Music in Garissa

KETEBULMUSIC, Uploaded on May 6, 2011
Previously known as Bismillahi Gargar, Gargar is a quartet from Garissa in North Eastern Kenya. THeir debut CD is titled GARISSA EXPRESS and it features their Spotlight on Kenyan Music hit: AIDS WADILLA (AIDS kills).

Example #2: Gargar AIDS Wadila (Kill AIDS)

KETEBULMUSIC, Uploaded on Sep 21, 2011

AIDS Wadila is the first single by the group Gargar, taken off theri debut CD titled Garissa Express. AIDS Wadila was featured in the Spotlight on Kenyan Music Vol. 4 compilation, after Gargar, then called Bismillahi Gargar, were selected as finalists in the Spotlight on Kenyan Music programme, an initiative of the Alliance Francaise de Nairobi.

Example #3: GARGAR - Deshayaga (Live @ Lamu Cultural Festival 2011)


KETEBULMUSIC, Published on Nov 13, 2012

Deshayaga by Gargar from their Garissa Express CD being performed at the Lamu Cultural Festival in 2011.

Example #4: GARGAR - Shicir (Live @ Lamu Cultural Festival 2011)

KETEBULMUSIC, Published on Nov 13, 2012

Shicir is a song featured on Gargar's debut studio CD, Garissa Express. The funk oriented song is also featured in the Spotlight On Kenyan Music Vol 6 compilation CD which focuses on music from northern Kenya

Example #5: Gargar - Danto


KETEBULMUSIC, Published on Apr 25, 2014

Gargar performing Danto off their Garissa Express CD, live on Citizen TV Power Breakfast Show, just before they jetted off to Marseille France for Babel Med 2014. They went on to be awarded the Prix France Musique des Musique du Monde 2014.

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1 comment:

  1. Gargar videos 3 & 4 in this post show people from the audience placing paper money on the performers while they are singing. This custom appears to be very similar if not the same as spraying money in Nigeria and some other West Africa nations.

    Click for a pancocojams post about the Nigerian custom of spraying money and its African American adaptation "pinning birthday money" on the dress top or the shirt of the person whose birthday it is. is a video of a Saudi billionaire showering a female performer with money.

    Does anyone have any information about where this custom came from?