The sports category has moved to a new website.

Zilizopendwa: 18 songs that hold special place in Kenyans hearts

From 'Stellah Wangu' to 'Embe Dodo' and 'Sina Makosa', here is a list of 18 Zilizopendwa songs that you should have in your playlist

From left: Daudi Kabaka, Freshly Mwamburi & John Nzenze

Zilizopendwa, a Swahili phrase that translates to "the ones that were loved," is a music genre that emerged in Africa during the 70s and 80s.

It captivated audiences with its fusion of African rhythms, jazz, and soul music, creating a unique and unforgettable sound.

The songs of Zilizopendwa served as a powerful medium to address various social and political issues prevalent during that era.


They became anthems of resistance, rallying cries for change, and vehicles for expressing the hopes and dreams of the people.

One of the remarkable aspects of Zilizopendwa is its ability to transcend time. Decades later, the music still resonates with listeners of all generations.

It evokes nostalgia for a bygone era while remaining relevant and captivating to contemporary audiences.

In Kenya, Zilizopendwa produced a plethora of influential artists who contributed to the genre's popularity and legacy.


These artists crafted melodies that became ingrained in the cultural fabric of the nation. Their music served as a soundtrack for both joyous celebrations and reflective moments.

One such iconic figure in the Zilizopendwa scene is Fundi Konde, a prolific musician who composed songs, such as Nyumba ya Mkubwa' and 'Zilipendwa'.

Another notable artist is Fadhili William, whose composition 'Malaika' achieved global recognition.

This timeless love ballad has been covered by countless musicians worldwide, solidifying its place as a Zilizopendwa classic.


Additionally, the late Daudi Kabaka, renowned for his soulful voice and poetic lyrics, contributed significantly to the genre's growth. His hits like 'Marashi ya Pemba' and 'Helule Helule' remain beloved by fans to this day.

Other influential Zilizopendwa artists include the legendary Les Wanyika, whose infectious rhythms and melodies filled dancefloors across Africa.

As the years pass, the influence of Zilizopendwa continues to be felt in contemporary African music. Artists incorporate elements of the genre into their work, paying homage to the pioneers while infusing their own creativity and innovation.

Here are 18 Zilizopendwa songs still rocking airwaves after 5 decades

  1. 'Pole Musa' - Daudi Kabaka [1982]
  2. 'Ninalia Angelike' - John Nzenze [1965]
  3. 'Malaika' - Fadhili Williams
  4. 'Bwana Nipe Pesa' - A.I Records Original artists [1983]
  5. 'Tausi Ndege Wangu' - Fundi Konde [1997]
  6. 'Harambe Harambe' - Daudi Kabaka [
  7. 'Sina Makosa' - Les Wanyika [1979
  8. 'Stellah Wangu' - Freshly Mwamburi [1992]
  9. 'Lunch Time' - Gabriel Omollo [1974]
  10. 'Barua Yako' - Les Wanyika
  11. 'Helule Helule' - Kabaka Daudi [1968]
  12. 'Shauri Yako' - Les Wanyika [1970]
  13. 'Julieta Uko Wapi' - Mwinamo Isaya 
  14. 'Embe Dodo' - Them Mushrooms [1982]
  15. 'Itawezekanaje' - Them Mushrooms [1982]
  16. 'Charonyi Ni Wasi' - Maroon Commandos [1977]
  17. 'Hasira ni Hasara' - Maroon Commandos [1986]
  18. 'Nyako Konya' - Les Mangelepa

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: