Nothing is sweet like success after deep struggle. The gentleman pictured below is one of the great artists not only in Luo land but in East and Central Africa Freddy Jakadongo .
He was born in Oyugis in a family of 10 him being the last born, the family were really in hardship especially after the death of his father while in class 1. Putting food on the table was now like a miracle to them.
Due to life hardship and being that Freddy was determined to go to school, he shifted to his uncle’s place in Nyakach so that he can get his basic education.
While at Nyakach, life was not fair to him and the only thing that saved Freddy was his talents. He was a good dancer and a singer just from his childhood stage whereby he was even the leader of choir members at his church.
Every evening after school, it was a routine that he must go where music was being played either in kinyozi, radio repair shop or any other place just to dance to music. He could dance to people since God gifted him with dancing skills and this is where he used to get tips from people like 5bob,10 bob etc. that would eventually be used as his school fees, books, pens and even buy himself School uniform.
According to Freddy, shoes was something that wasn’t even in his mind, he walked barefoot until the end of his primary studies (class 😎.
Weekends, he used to work on people’s farm and homes, where at times he could go to the forest to fetch firewood for sale or help women in the village fetch water and sell banana fruits in the market.
Jakadongo recalled a day when things were not going to him as usual, they were sent home for school fees and his case was so touching, the school uniforms were so worn out that he was not allowed to come back with the same.
On reaching home, he talked to himself that there is no where he was going to get new uniforms, he gained courage as a man walked straight to the headmaster’s office and he explained the real situation and assured the teacher that even if he stays home for one year no one will buy him uniforms.
The teacher was so touched and as from that day Freddy was never sent home for anything.
Music had already became his main dream, by this he used to modify drum set using old bed springs and this really offered him more opportunity to entertain people in the Market.
After class 8 Jakadongo could not at all continue with his further studies so he decided to listen to interviews of musicians from radio with an aim that he could get their contact and link up with them, at the same time despite still at tender age and lastborn he continued working on people’s farms, homesteads and mjengo.
He later called his cousin who was by then a tailor in Nairobi whom he tricked that he is interested in learning tailoring but his main aim was to look for artists to join their band since most artists were based in Nairobi. His Cousin agreed but on reaching Nairobi accommodation was now a big problem. Freddy sought refuge from his sister in Kibera for accommodation but the sister couldn’t help him because her house was too small that couldn’t even accommodate her well with family. Freddy planned to stay in street for weeks as his sister tries to seek out on how to accommodate him.
He was later accommodated by a stranger, after some few months. His brother in-law introduced him to Berber shop, trained him and could quickly learn the trade. He could shave professionally then and he moved back to his cousin who also trained him for 6 months in tailoring.
Now he was having 2 experiences being a tailor and barber. He then managed to connect with Emilly Nyaimbo and Atis Pesa, though his struggle was still not successful after meeting the musicians yes, he was still under age without ID card that the band managers couldn’t absorb him.
Second unsuccessful attempt, he went to Otis Bongisa where he was performing at Kibera Big 5 whereby on this day Freddy said he had never forgot how bouncers dealt with him, he received slaps that he couldn’t even understand where he is since underage’s were not allowed in the club.
In 2009, he met Onyango Underage (Musician) and now director @nyaundo records and @africlassic tv. Onyango was too frank and advised him to pay 10k if he wants to learn music. Being that music was already in his blood Freddy called his mum with the aim that their one cow which was at home be sold to facilitate his music career. Mum turned his request down. That reality, bitterly discouraged him from music.
He therefore decided to go back home since he couldn’t do any job in Nairobi due to lack of ID card. He embarked now thoroughly on working on people’s farm again for him just to save 10k. He went ahead and became a watchman in someone’s homestead. Still money was too little to save. He called one of his uncle who was a supervisor in sugar plantation in Awendo, requested job and by good luck he got the job.
On reaching there, condition was not the way he thought it could be. He tried to work in sugar plantation for 2 months and now his health started to deteriorate since he was still a young boy though he managed to save 3k.
He went back to his rural home in Kadongo and by good luck Onyango Jakadenge came to perform in one of the clubs in his home area and the club was being managed by his brother. He went to the show just like other fans but didn’t manage to have a word with Jakadenge, the next day he went back to the club tricked his brother that he has an in-law who is working under Okatch Biggy’s band and needs Jakadenge’s no so that they can perform again in the same club.
He managed to get the contact, Jakadongo later called Jakadenge with his mother’s phone and assured him that if given chance in his band he could perform so perfect.
Few months later he was called back Jakadenge informed him that he has a show in Katito and Freddy should be ready with fare to and from since it was still audition.
Freddy got excited since he saw his dream now coming true, that night he went to the show since it was gift from God he succeeded well and was absorbed in Jakadenges’s band. He was later instructed to pick up his clothes and journey off to Kisumu for more shows since he was now band member.
On reaching home, his mother and sister were against this decision of joining music, they believe their son would get lost in worldly things, get diseases or be killed by fellow musicians .This is what inspired him to make a song 🎵THOO MA BIRO NEGA POD AKIA (I don’t know what will be the cause of my death) available on his YouTube channel kindly subscribe 👉
Onyango Jakadenge was also a tough guy and at times could frustrate band members. Band members at some point, quit the band since they could stand the pressure. Freddy was so heartbroken since he was already happy he is at the right place.
Still under the band accommodation was a problem, Jakadenge introduced him to a friend called Ondijo who hosted him and later introduced him to boda boda business (bicycle rider).
Due to the tough conditions Freddy was facing he had no choice but to soldier on, he used to hire bicycle at 50 bob daily since he still couldn’t get his own. He met alot of challenges after joining bodaboda Nyalenda route, getting lost of direction was the order of the day since he was not well conversant with Kisumu roads.
Now he started to get mockery from people, mocking even his own mother how her son lied to the villagers that he is joining music only to be a bodaboda rider.This is also what inspired him to compose a hit song 🎵KINDA MA ITIMO MORA🎵.
The year 2012 he then left bodaboda riding officially, their band was only working on weekends so on weekdays he used to work with @Adiki jabondo, Amori wuod Ugenya or Lawi Jakabonyo in kibos Kisumu.
By good luck Lawi left the club he was performing at to Nairobi for a job since Freddy was good at copyright Benga and Rhumba, the owner of the club insisted that they will do everything, facilitate everything so that Freddy perform everyday with his own full band. He didn’t agree with this since it could look like betrayal.
He then informed his boss Jakadenge over this on which he didn’t agree since Freddy was like his manager but Freddy insisted that they must take the club under Jakadenge’s band where he will be now performing under him. Jakadenge was happy and okay with that the club couldn’t ignore too because Onyango Jakadenge was the star in Kisumu by then.
Then there were only two kings in Kisumu Abenny Jachiga Simba Kibos and Freddy Jakadongo shepherd Kibos.
Freddy Jakadongo finally married so that to disapprove the family and mockers then formed his own band after getting the required experience.
He then composed 🎼MAMBO NI NDILI🎵 the song really went viral, elevated his standards and status.