LP released: Sep 29, 2023

Side A
1. Wacha Maneno
2. Baruwa Ya Soweto
3. Africa Tuungane
4. Mama Come Home
5. Mapendo Mapendo
Side B
1. Mambo Bado
2. Wacha Tabia Mbaya
3. Mimi Ni Wako
4. Bring Your Love
5. Nifanye Nini

The Mapendo album of the Mighty Cavaliers, up to today, has been shrouded in mystery. If you look at the
original cover of this very rare Kenyan funk-infused album all you will find are the names of the engineer and the
producer, as EMI Kenya omitted the names of the musicians and the songwriters. Digging deeper a rather
sinister story of deceit develops whereby Mapendo becomes symbolic for all what was wrong about the Kenyan
record industry in the 1970s, and the music industry in Africa as a whole. As this maltreatment of artists proved
endemic throughout the continent, although little talked about.
One of the three surviving members of the Mighty Cavaliers, bass player Bonnie Wanda - who started his career
in 1971 with Gloria Africana - vividly remembers participating in the recording of the two albums the band made in
1976 and 1977 - Fisherman and Mapendo - and how they, especially on the last album, got short-changed by
shrewd record label executives. In the 1960s it was mostly Indian and European record bosses that called the
shots and usually gave musicians the chance of a one-off payment for their session time and recorded songs or
wait for - hopefully - a generous royalty check. In most cases records didn’t sell more than a thousand copies with
an occasional hit selling in the tens of thousands, so musicians were reluctant to register themselves with the
Music Copyright Society of Kenya. Although without doing so one couldn’t receive royalties.
‘For two years the Mighty Cavaliers performed five nights a week at the Starlight Club for five hour sets.
The re-release of Mapendo, the first of the German Want Some Records label, is another exciting puzzle piece in
the tapestry of groovy Kenyan music. It proves that there are still great gems out there to be re-discovered for
audiences worldwide.

Text written by Michiel van Oosterhout
This Album is dedicated to the musicians
Bonnie Wanda, Rashid Salim, Vuli Yeni, Juma Waweru Njuguna and Athmani ‘guitar boy’.'