An Important News Arts Editor's Note

Meet the hip hop grandpas of Nairobi

EDITED BY KALAHAN DENG

They’re known as Kabangu, and they’re a group of hip hop grandpas who’ve been around since the 1980s — or so it appears.

This ultimate band of “true hip hop heads” allegedly double as security guards by night in Kariobangi – one of Nairobi’s informal settlements.
By day, the four men are said to educate and mentor up and coming talents within the hip hop scene.

A fictional creation

Unfortunately, you can’t really listen to any of their records. It would be great if these two sets of octogenarians actually existed, but they are fictional characters created by Kenyan digital photographer Osborne Macharia and stylist Kevin Abraham. The pair’s editorials – often shared on Instagram and creative network Behance – have proved so popular that many believe Kabangu are indeed spitting rhymes across Nairobi. The series has had over half a million views across the internet.
“The majority of our audience and the people who come across the images and read the stories believe that it’s actually true, or that it is something that’s about to happen” says Macharia. The duo met in 2014 at an artists showcase and have been working together since.