A Ukrainian electronic music duo, Andrii Hutsuliak and vocalist Jimoh Augustus Kehinde have visited Kenya for the launch of the wall project.
They performed at the launch of the “Grains of Culture,” a project facilitated by the Ukrainian Institute and agency for cultural development, Port.
The Wall in Nairobi is the final of 5 murals-symbols opened in Vienna, Berlin, Marseille, and Brussels.
During the event, Kenya’s artists Moha and Eliamin Ink and their Ukrainian counterparts Alina Konyk, Nikita Kravtsov, and Andrii Kovtun created together the mural “Grains of Culture” to finalize the the “Wall Project.”
The Wall symbolizes resistance, stability, and armor that fences off the civilized world from the war.
Jimoh Kehind Jefferey shares his thoughts on his travel to Kenya and the reflects on the war In Ukraine.
Welcome to Kenya. How is Nairobi Kenya treating you since your arrival?
Jefferey: We meet different people, visiting different places. The first thing we had performance to support and connecting Kenya and Ukraine together with Murals. Everything went well and we enjoyed it, we liked it.
Is there anything common Ukraine and Kenya share that you have so far identified?
Jefferey: Absolutely i think few things Ukraine and Kenya have in common are the people because they are very loving and they received us warmly Ukraine is same as well. Another common thing is that you feel apart of another culture, because we different restaurants and Ukraine is same as well.
You just arrived from Ukraine, tell us why you are here ?
Jefferey: The first mission we had coming here was the murals of Ukraine institute which was to connect, build more relationships and create cultural connections between Kenya and Ukraine and that was first mission we had coming here.After this we obviously want to see around to meet the culture and also in future we can exchange culture, economic and have better relationships
Jefferey: Well, the situation in Ukraine is that fight is still going on, the soldiers troops are still in the battle field. Basically our whole Country is united against invaders who came on our land and everyday we save our lives from missle strikes and helping our people to be more united to make our victory faster versus Russian invasion.
You have been instrumental using music against the war in Ukraine. Tell us more?
Jefferey: I will say is best to do what you do best. In this case we know how to make music and raising money for the forces and the people as well. We use in sense to create awareness i think it is a great option. You know music is the art that can rise the spirits so, we released songs because together we can win this fight.
You performed underground in a metro station this year, which has also served as a bomb shelter, keeping Kyiv residents safe from Russian bombardment. How was it different from other performances?
Jefferey: It was different in a sense that it was in a different unusual location and it was also different atmosphere because from the past we can perform in a open but this we had to perform in a metro because of safety issues. It was very special time to be in and we really appreciate people putting together all that energy. When were watching our performance on YouTube it was like we very shocked because we couldn’t tell it was really underground because the stage was little on a platform of metro station so the trains were moving on the right side on the left side and also the people who organized it were taking the equipments down 100metres underground, they did an amazing job and we appreciate everything.
How significant is music and art in advocating for peace and dialogue?
Jefferey: In my opinion, you know everyone listens to some type of music, everyone is connected to some types of arts be it movies, music, painting so it’s best interest of the people in this case. At this moment we feel abit of light and fire inside us because we are fighting and yes we put this into a music.
What inspired the song “heart of the steel” which has since been nominated for the EuroVision song Contents 2023 in London?
Jefferey: “Heart of steel” is a song about strong, confident and unbreakable people who meet difficult time. Our song can inspire people to be better version of themselves tomorrow. No matter how bad situations is don’t give up, just go ahead, smile and all will be nice. Have a heart of steel.
The two of you were University friends, did that aid your growth and passion for music?
Jefferey: Absolutely because although we were friends before that maybe for like a year before we started music but it is kind of strengthening the passion we had for music. We didn’t even know. When we we met we were able to bring our art and abilities together and make something bigger than ourselves so yes it definitely aided our growth in what we have today. For us it is important to represent our country in the best way and to pass our message to the World.
What future do you see for Ukraine ?
Jefferey: First we see Victory, strength, togetherness just a sense of a family all together. We will have and see a modern country with the democracy and and have friendships with a lot of nations and different other countries.